LONDON - Car sales in Western Europe continued to fall in November.
Last month's sales dropped 1 percent from November 1999 to 1,102,726 units. For the first 11 months of the year, sales were off 1.7 percent to 13.9 million units.
DaimlerChrysler sales leapt 14.5 percent in November, with Mercedes-Benz (up 9.9 percent), Smart (up 52.6 percent) and Chrysler (up 16.3 percent) all reporting increases.
Sales at the Volkswagen group, which consists of the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands, climbed 5 percent. The group had 19.2 percent of the European market in November.
General Motors and Ford both fell. General Motors sales dropped 9.1 percent, and Ford was down 10.5 percent.
In November, three of the five main markets fell - Germany, France and Spain.
Sales in Germany, Europe's largest car market, dipped 4.1 percent to 263,000. The German market is down almost 11 percent for the year.
Sales in France declined 3.9 percent. ACEA, the European automakers' association, said that could be because consumers are delaying purchases until the new year, now that France's new model year is in line with the calendar year.
ANFAC, Spain's carmakers' association, reported sales down 10 percent to 104,258 units. The group attributed the decline to high fuel costs and signs of a cooling in the Spanish economy.
But there were positive results in the other two main markets, the United Kingdom and Italy, where sales climbed by 13.4 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.