Opel and Vauxhall, the main car brands of General Motors Europe, are continuing to lose market share.But sales of Opel and Vauxhall fell faster than the average European drop of 7 per cent. Overall sales drop 8.1 per cent, despite a rise in sales of upmarket Saabs, and its market share fell to 9.7 per cent from 9.8 last August. However, the drop was an improvement on the 15 per cent falls in June and July.Depreciation at the car market was reflected with weakness from Renault, the French carmaker, which moved down after a 23 per cent fall in sales.
Across Europe new car buys fell sharply as consumer confidence ebbed, also the situation was aggravated with the weather conditions. Only BMW, helped by the new mini, and Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Honda saw sales rise, mainly thanks to their exposure to the strong British market.Fiat's poor performance in Italy contributed to a 10 per cent decline in sales, with its Lancia and Alfa Romeo luxury brands performing particularly poorly.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969