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Slump in car sales begins to get into top gear.

The European car market is diving ever deeper into the doldrums, hitting Polish automakers, although domestic new-car sales continue to rise, according to new data.

Europe's biggest economies have all recorded double-digit slump in new-car sales in November. As a result, Poland's export-oriented plants have launched a round of heavy job cuts, with companies such as Fiat, MAN, Cooper Standard and Delphi Poland all shedding from 100 up to 750 jobs each, and Remy Automotive Poland closing its plant altogether.

Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak is set to announce a stimulus package on Thursday; carmakers have urged him to foster job growth, through credit guarantees and slashing labor costs, instead of throwing cash at the problem.

On a brighter note, Poland is the only large economy to have defied the downward trend in new-car sales in November, with price promotions and fears of an imminent rise of the excise duty pushing monthly sales up by 10.7% on the same period last year; January to November sales leapt by 9.3% on the year before. (Warsaw Business Journal)