BERLIN (dpa) – New car sales climbed in Europe during the past two months, led by a rebound in the auto markets in nations at the centre of the long-running euro debt crisis, data released Wednesday showed.
Registrations in the European Union rose 5.6 per cent in July compared with the same month last year and 2.1 per cent in August, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers said.
The Brussel-based association said the figures for the two months showed sales “pursuing the upward trend commenced 12 months ago.”
Eight months into the year, new cars registrations were at 8.34 million, up 6 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Leading the increase was a strong pickup in the car markets in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece, where automakers have been struggling to boost sales in the face of a long period of fiscal austerity. Those rises helped offset falls in August registrations in several of the EU’s biggest car markets – Germany, France and Italy.
The solid gains in demand in debt-hit parts of Europe also helped to drive sales for mass market brands such as Volkswagen, which posted a 14.1-per-cent rise in sales in August.
Sales for Ford were 17-per-cent higher last month while General Motors’ struggling European offshoot Opel reported an 8.1-per-cent increase.