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European car sales drop by 6.5%

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Car registrations in the Europe fell by 6.5% in the past 12 months, new figures have shown.

A report by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association found that the new car sales across Europe reached 1.1 million in the last year, compared with 1.18 million in the previous 12 months.

Data shows that while European new car sales saw a rise in the four months after November 2009, figures declined after that - with last month marking the eighth consecutive month of sales falls.

The initial boost in sales was attributed to the effects of scrappage schemes that governments of several nations introduced.

According to the report, Fiat saw the biggest decline in sales at 24%, followed by Toyota with a 20% drop and Ford at 15%.

However, German car manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz, whose models usually fall into high car insurance groups, saw a 19% and 2.5% rise in new car sales respectively.

Premium vehicle manufacturers, which were less affected by the impact of scrappage incentives, saw more stable comparative sales figures.

Philippe Houchois, a London-based analyst at UBS AG, told Bloomberg: "We're seeing a more contrasted picture.

"While Italy, France and their carmakers are still struggling, Germany is better than expected and its premium carmakers are finally beginning to stabilize."

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