Paris: Car sales returned to growth in Europe last month, the latest industry data showed on Thursday, but that Brexit and the so-called dieselgate scandal are making their impacts felt.
Sales of new vehicles climbed 5.9 percent in October compared to the same month last year, according data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, recovering from a 2.0 percent dip in September.
Over the first ten months of the year, sales of passenger vehicles have risen by 3.9 percent.
Car sales were up nearly everywhere on the continent, but not in Britain where consumer confidence has been undermined by uncertainty over the terms of the country’s impending exit from the European Union.
They tumbled by over 12 percent last month, and are down 4.6 percent in January through October.
Car sales are down even more sharply in Ireland, which is probably the EU nation most directly vulnerable to Brexit as Irish exports make up 11 of the top 15 European Union goods most exposed to the British economy, according to the Irish finance ministry.
They fell by nearly 14 percent in October and are down 10.3 percent in the first ten months of the year.
“Brexit related uncertainty and the weakness of sterling are impacting negatively on the industry,” the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said earlier this month.
The lower value of the pound has caused a surge of attractively priced used cars from Britain going on sale in Ireland, which is also a left-side drive country.
SIMI said that “with an increase in used imports of less than 3 years old, it is likely that some of these are displacing new car sales.”-AFP