French car sales are down by more than 13 percent this year, which marks the lowest record for the European country in 15 years
“A drop in the market of around eight to ten percent was expected in January. By July, we shifted the figures to -10 and -12 in case things improved. But four weeks before the end of the year, the revised figures show we are looking at a drop of around 14 percent,” Patrick Blain, head of French Automobile Manufacturers said in a press conference in on Monday.
France’s car sales are much lower compared to neighboring Germany, for which various reasons have been pointed, such as French Peugeot Citroen’s exit from Iran, and a rise in oil prices.
“French car makers, which are in a general segment, are in a bad position. They’re dependent on the middle classes, which are suffering from the economic slowdown in France, which itself is a result of economic crisis in Europe,” Blain said.
“It was announced some weeks earlier that the housing sector is facing a crisis, and particularly new constructions of houses are not as high as it was initially expected … This has by and large affected sales of multi-utility vehicles,” he added.
Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.
The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demos in many European countries.