Source AP ©

High oil prices slow down car sales

Sharp rises in oil prices are blamed for slowing car sales in November.

Auto industry group ACEA said sales declined 1.1 percent in the region to 1.25 million compared with the same month in 2006.

"Private demand in most of the countries in western Europe has been dampened by consumer uncertainty fed by, among others, sharp rises in oil price, loss of purchasing power and regulatory changes," it said.

Inflation in the 13 nations that use the euro surged to the highest level in six years last month as the cost of oil and food items soared. Consumer confidence has been weakening in recent months after a brief growth spurt during which Europeans spent again after years of sluggish growth.

The car industry is also starting to see more taxes and other added costs as governments increase charges on road transport, which accounts for about a fifth of the EU's carbon dioxide emissions.

European leaders have pledged to cut the amount of greenhouse gas the region emits to try to tackle climate change. EU officials will next Wednesday set out plans to force carmakers to sell more lower emission vehicles.

Volkswagen AG, General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. had the sharpest dip in sales among major automakers as demand in the biggest nations in the region slipped.

VW, which sells the most cars in Europe, was down 7.2 percent, shifting 266,826 vehicles. GM sales fell 5.2 percent, while Toyota was down 6.5 percent. Europe's No. 2 and No. 3 carmakers, Peugeot and Ford, were also down slightly.

Among smaller players, Renault SA was up 11.3 percent after a poor year, Fiat was up 2.6 percent and luxury carmaker BMW AG enjoyed a comfortable 16.6 percent rise.

In Germany, Europe's top car buyer, sales fell 12.9 percent from a bumper season last fall when people rushed into showrooms before a sales tax increase on Jan. 1. Spain was also down 5.9 percent.

France was up 7.2 percent as the economy recovers from a lackluster year in 2005. Britain only saw a modest increase of 2.2 percent, and Italy was up 1 percent. Eastern European nations reported better growth figures but sales are still well below richer western Europe.

The ACEA's sales figures count new car registrations from 23 EU nations - excluding the island nations of Cyprus and Malta - as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

The discovery of the submarine has unveiled a few "inconsistencies." For example, how can one explain the fact that the sub was found where it needed to be searched for from the start?

Argentina hides the truth about the death of San Juan submarine
Comments
Russia close to recognising Donetsk and Luhansk republics after Donbass elections
Unemployment in Russia hits record high of 15 percent
Third Rome and geopolitics of Orthodox schism
Putin wants Russian army rearmed almost completely by 2021
Japan ratifies agreement to supply weapons and ammo to warring states
Argentina hides the truth about the death of San Juan submarine
Argentina hides the truth about the death of San Juan submarine
Putin and Erdogan launch first section of TurkStream pipeline in Istanbul
Why Trump tries to re-industrialize America
Why Trump tries to re-industrialize America
Unemployment in Russia hits record high of 15 percent
Kuril Islands dispute between Russia and Japan: The impossible is impossible
Russia to ban capture of killer whales and belugas in 2019
North Korea destroys security points in demilitarised zone
Russia to ban capture of killer whales and belugas in 2019
Third Rome and geopolitics of Orthodox schism
Five years after Maidan revolution, Ukraine remains one of Europe's most corrupt states
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores
Brexit: The UK's misunderstanding of Democracy
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores