* European car registrations down 10 pct in Nov
* Market weakness showing "no signs of abating" - analyst
* Jan-Nov registrations down 7.2 pct to 11.69 million cars
* BMW, Daimler, Toyota, VW gain market share, others lose
By Laurence Frost and Andreas Cremer
PARIS/BERLIN, Dec 14 France's PSA Peugeot
Citroen and Renault led a 10 percent decline
in European car sales in November, the market's first
double-digit contraction in more than two years as economic
gloom spread east and north.
The French suffered most - closely followed by General
Motors and Fiat - as demand weakened sharply at
home, in Germany and in eastern Europe, according to data
published on Friday by the Association of European Carmakers.
Total European registrations fell to 965,918 cars for the
month and 11.69 million for January-November, down 7.2 percent
on the same period last year.
"European end market weakness is showing no signs of
abating," London-based Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold wrote
in a note published on Friday.
With December a seasonally weak sales month, Europe appears
on course to record a similar drop for the year as a whole, to
about 12.2 million total sales - its lowest in close to two
decades. Most commentators now expect 2013 volumes to decline
further, according to Arnold.
"Tough times clearly still lie ahead for Europe's
mass-market car players," the Credit Suisse analyst said.
Paris-based Peugeot, scrapping more than 10,000 jobs and a
car plant to stem losses, suffered a 16 percent regional sales
slide as its home market shrank 19 percent.
Renault's November registrations plunged 27 percent as the
spreading economic weakness hurt sales of its no-frills Dacia
brand, which until recently had resisted the worst of the slump.
Ripple effects are still being felt from the collapse of
austerity-hit Mediterranean auto markets last year.
The downtrend didn't even spare Germany where year-to-date
registrations have held broadly stable at just below 2.9 million
vehicles. The drop in new auto sales in Europe's biggest market
deepened to 3.5 percent in November after a 0.5 percent dip in
"Orders have weakened considerably," said Ernst-Robert
Nouvertne, who runs two VW dealerships near Germany's city of
Cologne. "No one knows yet how much the debt crisis is going to
cost us in the end. But our tax-paying customers will have to
pay the piper. That's bad for our business."
Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, posted a
2.5 percent sales drop led by the core VW brand, though has
raised its market share to almost a quarter this year from 23.3
percent in 2011.
German rivals BMW and Daimler and
Japan's Toyota have also expanded their footprint in
the embattled European region while the market share of Peugeot,
Renault, Ford and Fiat dropped, according to ACEA.
The sales decline also worsened in eastern Europe - from 2.2
percent to 6.7 percent in Poland and from 7.4 percent to 11
percent in the Czech Republic.
GM and Fiat both tumbled 13 percent across Europe, while
Ford paced the market's 10 percent fall.
The last time European auto sales fell 10 percent or more
was in October 2010, when the market recorded a 16 percent
year-on-year contraction to 1.06 million cars.