European car sales build on broad recovery

City A.M. Reporter
EUROPEAN car sales rose 4.6 per cent in October, according to industry data published yesterday, as a broad-based recovery took root in most of the region’s main car markets.

Toyota and Renault led the gains among mass manufacturers, with Daimler gaining ground on premium rivals as total registrations advanced to 1.04m cars, the Association of European Automakers said.

Italy was the only major market to face a downturn in the month, with sales 5.6 per cent lower, while German sales rose 2.3 per cent and the French market grew 2.6 per cent.

In the UK, where car sales have remained strong while the rest of the continent suffered, growth came in at four per cent.

Despite what is becoming a sustained upturn in demand, the European car market is set to post a sixth consecutive full-year decline in 2013 to its lowest level in two decades. Registrations were down 3.1 per cent for January-October across the 30 countries of the European Union and European Free Trade Association trading bloc.

The year-on-year advance in October – a month after sales turned positive with a 5.5 per cent increase – may embolden car firms planning for a return to full-year growth in 2014, albeit at a low single-digit rate.