EUROPEAN CAR SALES: European car sales in May were the worst in 20 years as the region's recession drags on. More than half of European Union nations are in recession and U.S. automakers have been shuttering factories and cutting hours.
RUBBER HITS ROAD: Passenger car demand dropped by 5.9 percent on the same month last year in the 27-country European Union to 1.042 million units, the lowest level for May since 1993, according to the European automakers' association. For the first five months of the year, sales dropped 6.8 percent to 5.07 million.
BREAKDOWN: PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford, General Motors and Fiat — all suffered double-digit declines in May. Germany's Volkswagen saw its sales drop at a slightly lower rate — a 2.8 percent drop in brand sales and 5.9 percent decline for the group. Sales of Mercedes brand rose 2.8 percent, while BMW brand sales declined 8.1 percent.