Monday, August 18, 2014 - 17:38
Auto sales at lowest levels in 45 years
Sales of new cars in the Netherlands are predicted to fall to levels not seen since 1969. Trade association Aumacon on Monday posted revised forecasts, predicting that 380,000 new cars will be sold in 2014, a decrease of 8.8% from 2013 when 416,726 new cars were sold. In the past decade, dealers sold an average of 478,000 new cars a year. The record high sales volume dates back to 1999 when almost 612,000 new cars were bought, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Aumacon director Clem Dickmaan has blamed the decline in sales on the slow recovery of consumer confidence and the lack of any major tax benefits. He has also speculated that the decline is the result of the dwindling significance of the car as a means of transport and as a status symbol. "The role played by cars in our lives is waning," said Dickmann. “Both as a means of transport and the role of status attribute, the car is less important than it used to be.” This decline is in contrast to Belgium, where new car sales are 40% higher than in the Netherlands. The luxury car industry is also performing significantly better in Belgium. Aumacon is predicting that new car sales in the Netherlands will again center around small cars.