Car sales in Europe up for fifth straight month


Brussels, Belgium, February 18th, 2014.- Auto sales in Europe grew for the fifth consecutive month, as the Continent’s carmakers had a modest -yet broad-  expansion.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, new car registrations, which serve as a proxy for sales, reported a 5.5% rise from January 2013. This figure is in line with expectations, and added to the growing confidence that the European market begins its recovery.

The leading companies for this month’s sales were Volkswagen, Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroën.

The Association cautioned nevertheless that roughly 936,000 vehicles were sold in January, even though the market in Europe has been growing steadily since August, its lowest month. The first month of 2014 also marked the second-lowest volume since it began tracking its data in 2003.

Last year, the European car market fell to 1.7%, with only 11.9 million units sold, the fewest since 1995. Analysts indicate that high unemployment, which fills 12% in the euro zone, as well as demographic and cultural shifts, are signs that the market won’t return to its precrisis levels before the decade ends.

The major markets in the 28 nations of the Europe grew in January, with Spain and Britain continuing their expansion, with 7.6% growth rate. For its part, Germany grew 7.2% and Italy 3.2%.

Volkswagen Group, the largest European carmaker, reported an 8.9% increase in January, while PSA Peugeot Citroën had sales 7.4% higher than in the same month from the previous year. Renault had a 13.4% more sales, pumped by the 39% increase in sales of its low-cost Dacia brand.

The American brands had disparate results, with Ford gaining 9.5%, but General Motors and Fiat Chrysler falling 5.3% and 2.1% respectively.

Daimler had a 0.6% decline, while BMW had a 0.5% fall and Jaguar Land Rover also slipped to 3.7%.

Mexican Business Web, via The New York Times.

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