BERLIN (Reuters) -- Car sales in Germany fell by 2 percent in November, mirroring a drop in France, in a sign that the European auto-market recovery remains fragile amid weakening economic growth in the region.
German car registrations declined to 250,100 vehicles, after growing 4 percent in October, the VDA industry association said today.
The drop in sales in Germany and France contrasts with higher deliveries in Italy and Spain.
In Germany, volume growth in November was again mainly driven by commercial registrations, while private household purchases remained weak despite higher wages and dealership incentives.
"There's a certain degree of customer restraint," said Ernst-Robert Nouvertne, who runs two VW dealerships near Cologne, Germany. "The economic environment may be improving but it's a weak recovery."
The VDA said Germany's auto market will return to growth for the first time in three years in 2014. Registrations may grow about 2 percent this year to slightly more than 3 million and volumes may rise further by 1 percent in 2015.
"The situation is better than sentiment," VDA chief Matthias Wissmann said at a press conference today in Berlin.
German car sales fell 4 percent last year to 2.95 million vehicles after shrinking 3 percent in 2012, according to VDA data.
German registrations through November are up 3 percent.