European car sales jumped the most this year in May, as per latest industry data, helped by an extra selling day in a number of markets, with volume and premium brands alike posting double-digit percentage growth.
Registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union and the European Free Trade Association increased 16 percent last month to 1.33 million vehicles, the Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers (ACEA) said.
“Looking ahead, it is expected that the market will maintain its positive momentum,” ACEA said in a statement published two weeks after the group more than doubled its forecast for growth in European auto sales to 5 percent from 2 percent.
Five-month deliveries in Europe were up 9.7 percent to 6.58 million vehicles.
Four of Europe’s five biggest markets recorded double-digit sales gains, led by Italy and France where registrations surged 27 percent and 22 percent while the region’s No. 1 market Germany posted 12 percent growth.
Last month’s expansion was driven by mass market manufacturers Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’s Fiat brand, jumping 34 percent and 27 percent respectively, ACEA said.
But Germany’s luxury nameplates Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi also fared well, with the core Mercedes, BMW and Audi brands jumping 15 percent, 22 percent and 20 percent respectively.
Battling to move beyond its diesel emissions test-rigging scandal, Volkswagen’s (VW) deliveries in its core European market recovered further in May.
VW group sales including the troubled namesake brand, premium flagships Audi and Porsche and Czech division Skoda rose 8.8 percent, the highest monthly gain in the nine months since the manipulation came to light last September, ACEA data showed.
Registrations from the Opel Group, the European division of General Motors, rose 12 percent, while Ford was up 7.8 percent, ACEA added.
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