Jan. 16 - Demand for new cars in Europe fell to the lowest level recorded since 1995, closing a year burdened by heavy declines in all major euro zone economies. Hayley Platt reports.
16 per cent is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount new car registrations fell by last month. Less than 800,000 new vehicles took to the roads in Europe - the lowest number for 18 years. Heavy declines in all major euro zone economies was largely to blame. The figures from the European Automotive Industry Association highlight the crisis facing automakers in Europe. Austerity has pushed unemployment to 12 percent, many consumers are short of cash and banks aren't keen on lending. Demand for new cars fell 8 percent over the whole year to just over 12 million - the biggest drop since a 17 percent downturn in 1993. There were exceptions - the UK and Sweden for example - but all were outside the euro zone. America's General Motors and Ford were among the worst hit last month. But even Volkswagen struggled - with core brand sales down 22 percent. Korea's Hyundai and Kia were the bright spots thanks to their range of affordable cars with long warranties.