Car registrations continued falling in January this year, for a decline of 54.5 pct in the first two months of 2011, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Friday. The statistics service said registrations of passenger vehicles were down 58 pct in the January-February period.

Car registrations fell 46.8 pct in January (both new and used) compared with the same month last year, while registrations in the two-month period totalled 23,060 vehicles, down 54.5 pct compared with the corresponding period in 2010. The market had recorded an 8.5 pct increase in the first two months of 2010.

Registrations of motorcycles totalled 6,145 units in the January-February period this year, down 10.9 pct compared with 2010, after recording a 19.5 pct decline in the first two months of 2010.

Car market executives said they hope that a government measure to subsidize the renewal of the car fleet in the country could offer some comfort and reverse a dramatic decline in sales.