Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat were the automakers worst hit as European passenger car registrations fell 10 percent to 829,359 last month to their lowest February level for 23 years. The region's deepening recession continued to deter customers from buying cars despite steep discounting by car companies.
Ford's sales in the EU and EFTA countries were down 21 percent last month, according to figures released by industry association ACEA today. Ford said its sales have been hit by production stoppages at its factory in Genk, Belgium, which is due to close next year.
"Our sales in the first two months of the year were significantly affected by the lack of consistent supply of the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy," Ford of Europe's marketing and sales head, Roelant de Waard, said in a statement. All three vehicles are built in Genk, where production restarted on Monday after workers agreed severance terms.
"We have strong demand for these vehicles and will now move quickly to fill orders and meet the demand," de Waard said.