BRUSSELS: Car sales in Europe fell 7.9% in June (and by 2.2% in the first half of 2008) braked by rising inflation and fuel prices, with Toyota Motor and General Motors posting double-digit monthly declines, reports the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

New car registrations in Europe fell by over 120,000 to 1,427,008 in June, increasing the 0.7% decline in sales witnessed from January to May to an overall  2.2% for the first six months of the year.

Monthly sales in Germany – the continent's largest auto market – grew 1% to 304,036, and in France by 1.5% to 219,753, compared with gains of 4.2% and 5.2% from January to May respectively.

The Spanish market saw sales slump by 31% in June – and by 14% from January to May – while Italy registered a monthly drop of 20% (and of 10% for the first five months of 2008). The UK posted a decline of over 6% in the sixth month of the year.

Toyota saw a European slide of 18% in June to 68,961 units – or just 4.8% of all regional registrations – while GM'sfigures fell by 13% to 145,947.

Volkswagen, Europe's number one auto manufacturer, posted a monthly drop of 6.1% to 283,887 – including a 15% reverse for its Seat brand – while Daimler slid 6% to 74,405 vehicles, with its Mercedes arm down 6.8%. 

The region's second largest car maker, Peugeot Citroen, was down by 9.7% to 183,336 vehicles, with Renault recording a 5.6% decline and Fiat also experienced a decline of 6.3% to 112,039 vehicles, as its Alfa Romeo marque slipped by 28%.

The Ford Motor Company, on the other hand, enjoyed a 0.8% rise in figures in June, and BMW's saw a 1.7% increase, with its Mini brand up by 8.3%, apparently benefitting from consumers' trading down from bigger models.

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff