Europe's consumers reluctant to buy cars, figures show

Europe's consumers have all but stopped buying new cars, according to figures released this month.

The UK carmakers' association SMMT said July 6 that June demand among British buyers fell 6 percent, following a similar trend set by nearly every major European nation this month.

A total of 183,125 units were sold in Britain in June, according to the figures, with the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus the country's most popular.

It was a similar story in France, which saw demand fall by 12.6 percent year-on-year, the third consecutive fall and a particularly bad month for Renault, which saw a sales drop of 26 percent.

In Spain, consumers bought even fewer cars - sales were down 31.4 percent and the average age of a car on the Spanish roads is now 10 years, above the European average of seven years.

Italian sales fell by 1.7 percent and only German consumers managed to provide a glimmer of hope - although even they could only manage to buy the same number of cars as in June 2010.

Figures from the country, Europe's largest car market, showed that demand for foreign-built cars fell by six percent, cancelling out a two percent rise in the demand for German-brand models.

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