European car sales up for first time since 2011 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 17 May 2013 06:28

MILAN (AP) — European auto sales grew in April for the first time since September 2011, ending 18 consecutive months of decline, but the improvement was a technical one because of two extra work days last month, the European automaker's association said Friday.

In April, 1.038 million new cars were registered in the European Union, up from the historic low for April of 1.021 million reached in 2012, ACEA said. In absolute terms, April 2013 sales were the third lowest recorded for the month.

The auto industry has been victim of the region's deepening recession and rising unemployment, and Europe's mass carmakers are looking to see when the bottom will hit. Already some have raised alarms that the contraction could be greater than 5 percent that many used to base their forecasts.

Many have had to announce factory closures or put off new car launches in bids for survival.

Sales rebounded in Germany, posting a 3.8 percent gain in April after dropping by 13 percent in March. Sales also were up in Spain, helped by new incentives, and continued strong in Britain.

France and Italy, the No. 3 and No. 4 markets, posted declines of 5.3 percent and 10.8 percent respectively.


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