Global recovery in the car industry seen in the first part of the year is losing steam in markets from the US to China.
In the US, retail car sales have recovered from last year's lows but slowed over the past two months.
The withdrawal of scrapping incentives introduced last year is hurting sales in Europe, which analysts say will be further affected by austerity plans recently introduced in several countries.
Even in China – the global car industry's new growth motor – sales growth is slowing month-on-month, with dealers reporting more problems moving cars off lots.
The car market's softening could spell more trouble for an industry that in 2009 received tens of billions of dollars of emergency bail-out loans and scrappage subsidies.
In Europe, carmakers had predicted the slower market, due largely to the ending of scrappage schemes that artificially inflated car sales last year.
Carmakers are offering discounts in Germany and other countries to boost sales, but this will probably hurt their profit margins. In Canada, both General Motors and Ford Motor have launched generous “employee pricing” promotions for July and August.
Brian Johnson, Barclays Capital analyst, estimates that the US retail market shrank to an annualised 8.5m vehicles in June, from more than 9m in each of the previous three months. A slowdown would be a particular blow to GM, which aims to attract investors to a public share offering this year.
巴克莱资本(Barclays Capital)分析师布赖恩•约翰逊(Brian Johnson)估计，6月份美国汽车零售市场的年化销量缩至850万辆，较之前三个月均超过900万辆的销量有所下降。增长放缓对通用汽车打击尤为严重——该公司正计划吸引投资者参与今年的公开发股。
While analysts expected emerging market countries to lift overall global industry sales this year, there was still a risk of slowdown in key markets such as China.
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