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New car registrations hit 17-year low in EU

CARSPARIS, Jan 16 – New car registrations in the European Union declined by 8.2 % in 2012, including at twice that average rate in December, to reach their lowest level since 1995, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Wednesday.

“Demand for new cars reached the lowest level recorded since 1995, totaling 12,053,904 units” in 2012, marking a year-on-year contraction of 8.2 percent, the body said in a statement.

The 8.2% percent year-on-year contraction was the worst since the 16.9% downturn experienced in 1993, ACEA said.

The trend was aggravated by exceptionally bad figures for December in the debt crisis-stricken bloc, where leading automakers have announced job cuts and factory closures in recent weeks.

“In December, new car registrations declined by sharp 16.3% in the EU, continuing a downward trend commenced fifteen months ago. The decline is the steepest recorded in a month of December since 2008,” the statement said.

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