EU car sales rise 10.8% in March
The association's figures shows that new car registrations in the EU were 10.8% higher in March 2010 than in the same month of 2009. Over the first quarter of 2010 registrations rose by 9.2% compared to the first three months of last year but were down by 9.4% compared to the first quarter of 2008.
Last month saw most major markets recover ground compared to early 2009, reflecting the ongoing effect of government incentive programmes. In contrast, German registrations shrank by 26.6% to 294,375 units.
In total, 1,637,478 new cars were registered in the EU in March. The UK accounted for almost 400,000 new cars, or 26.6% more than in 2009, thereby becoming the largest EU market for the month. Registrations in Italy were up 19.6% and rose by 17.9% in France. Demand in Spain jumped by +63.1% compared to the low levels of 2009 (-38.7%), claiming fifth rank in absolute figures (124,756 units). Results in other European markets were mixed, with an increase by 40.6% in the Czech Republic and a drop by 53.3% in Hungary.
Over the first quarter of the year, 3,671,871 new passenger cars were registered in the EU, or 9.2% more than in the same quarter a year ago. Of the major markets, only Germany recorded negative results (-22.8%) while France (+16.9%), Italy (+23.3%), the UK (+27.3%) and Spain (+44.5%) all posted growth.
In absolute figures, Germany ranked first (670,410 units), followed by Italy (666,231 units), the UK (611,548), France (594,720 units) and Spain (286,167 units).