Car sales in Western Europe slipped 7% year-on-year in January to 1.19 million, new statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association reveal.

“These figures,” the organisation declared, “coming after a strong result in December 2002 [when sales jumped on fears of an imminent price rise], show a weak start for the year 2003, reflecting the general economic slowdown.”

Some observers fear the results herald another year of decline. Germany, Europe’s largest car market, has posted falls for the last three years and saw a drop of 2.6% in January.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff