Car sales have increased in the UK by 11.3% in the past twelve months (November to November), making it the only European country that has seen a positive change to the market. This news has defied economic data that has suggested that the UK could fall into a triple dip recession early next year.
Figures supplied by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (the ACEA) have shown that the demand for new cars has fallen for the fourteenth consecutive month in the European Union, with a slump in sales of just over fourteen percent. Greece was the worst hit with sales falling by just under fifty percent, whilst Germany suffered a loss of almost four percent showing that the troubles in peripheral European countries are now spreading to the centre. France also saw a large decline, with sales dropping by almost twenty percent in the past year, and its manufacturing businesses have been badly hit by weakening demand at home and in the neighbouring markets of Germany and Eastern Europe. It has been reported by the Guardian that Paris based PSA Peugeot Citroen saw sales drop by sixteen percent in the region, which has led to them scrapping more than ten thousand jobs and a car plant in order to stem their losses.
Conversely, Britain has seen an increased its car production by almost five percent in November and almost ten percent throughout the year to date. Chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Paul Everitt, said “UK car manufacturing has gone from strength to strength in 2012. The global appeal of UK-built products is a key factor in the strength of our manufacturing sector, supported by world-leading productivity and a dedicated and flexible workforce. This is good news, but there can be no room for complacency; the development of a long-term industrial strategy and consistent support by government is essential to secure future successes and more opportunities for the UK-based supply chain.”
The economy has not only benefitted from the sales of new cars, but also from the increase in car insurance policies being taken out to protect the vehicles, meaning that Britain may be lucky enough to avoid further economic troubles in the year ahead.