May 7, 2019 / 10:40 AM / 2 months ago

Western European car sales fell 1 percent in April: LMC

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are parked at a cargo terminal at Piraeus port, near Athens, October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

PARIS (Reuters) - Western European car sales fell 1 percent in April, according to industry data published on Tuesday, as the unresolved terms of Brexit and broader economic uncertainties sapped demand.

Registrations fell to 1.216 million cars last month from 1.228 million a year earlier, consulting firm LMC Automotive said. Its numbers are based on published national sales data and estimates for some of the region’s smallest markets.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales (SAAR) nevertheless rose 1.4 percent from March to 14.27 million cars.

Year-on-year gains in Spain and Italy were among the bright spots, LMC analyst David Oakley said, and French registrations also edged 0.4 percent higher.

But sales were down 1.1 percent in Germany and 4.1 percent in Britain, where the country’s approaching departure from the European Union continues to weigh on sentiment.

“Private buyers still appear to be shying away from making a purchase,” Oakley said, “with consumer confidence still at low levels amid the delay to Brexit and general uncertainty.”

Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Mark Potter

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