Car sales in Europe have contracted, albeit only slightly, for the first time since rebounding from the industry’s longest-ever slump. The European auto manufacturers’ association, ACEA, reported Thursday that car sales declined 0.02 percent in October to 1.1 million units. That was the first October sales decline since 2012, during the industry’s six-year crisis.
Sales were down in two of the top markets, dropping by 5.6 percent in Germany and 4 percent in France. Italy grew by nearly 10 percent while Spain was up by 4 percent and Britain up by a modest 1.4 percent. Among mass-market carmakers, Fiat Chrysler showed a healthy 7 percent growth, while larger competitors Renault, PSA Peugeot and Volkswagen all contracted. Luxury carmakers BMW and Daimler had boosts.