UPDATE 1-No let-up for European carmakers as June sales drop
* European car sales down 6.3 pct year-on-year
* Car sales down 6.7 pct in first six months of year
* H1 car registrations at lowest level since 1993
* BMW CEO sees no sign of recovery until well into 2014
MILAN, July 16 (Reuters) - European car sales fell 6.3 percent year-on-year in June, damping hopes of a recovery in an industry that has been pummelled by overcapacity and weak consumer demand.
Europe's car market has been in the doldrums for months, with sales plunging to a 17-year low last year. But hopes were raised in April when sales rose for the first time in 19 months.
That was followed by the weakest May for two decades and the decline in June suggests no let-up in the pressure on carmakers like France's Peugeot and Italy's Fiat.
Norbert Reithofer, the chief executive of German carmaker BMW, said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday that he did not expect a pick-up in western European markets until the middle of next year.
In its monthly report on Tuesday, the Association of European Carmakers (ACEA) said 1,175,365 cars were registered in 27 European Union countries plus those in the European Free Trade Association in June, the lowest figure for that month since 1996.
The decline in June was broadly in with the 6.7 percent drop in sales across the first half of 2013. The total number of vehicles registered in the six months - 6,436,743 - was the lowest since 1993.
"Even if there is a recovery in the second half of the year, it's hard to see how it could be strong enough to offset the bad results we've registered so far this year," said Quynh-Nhu Huynh, economics and statistics director at ACEA.
The German market, which resisted much of last year's slump, shrank 4.7 percent in June, while sales in France and Italy fell 8.4 and 5.5 percent respectively, as unemployment and austerity measures curb consumer spending.
By contrast, sales in Britain remained robust, notching up a 16th straight month of gains with a 13.4 percent increase.
Among major carmakers, Fiat was the biggest casualty, seeing a 13.6 percent drop in sales, while Peugeot, which is cutting 8,000 jobs and closing a domestic plant to stay afloat, saw a 10.9 percent decline.
General Motors' registrations fell 9.9 percent, while the Volkswagen brand, Europe's biggest, slid 6.6 percent.
Ford Motor Co, scrapping European plants and thousands of jobs, bucked the trend with a 6.9 percent rise, although its year-to-date deliveries were still down 10 percent.
Among luxury car makers, Mercedes posted a 2 percent gain, powered by new models, while the BMW brand fell 7.7 percent and VW's Audi dropped 8.9 percent.