European new passenger car sales increased by 6.4% in September, bringing some good news to the region at last. The Belgian-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association informed that new car sales have risen for thirteen successive months.
During the first nine months of 2014, sales increased by 6.1% compared to the same period last year.
In September, new car sales jumped by 26.2% in Spain, 6.3% in France, 5.6% in the UK, 5.2% in Germany, and 3.3% in Italy.
A total of 1,235,501 new passenger cars were bought in September 2014.
Sales for the first nine months of the year jumped by 17.2% in Spain, 9.1% in the UK, 3.6% in Italy, 2.9% in Germany and 2.1% in France.
From January 1st to September 30th 2014, a total of 9,572,259 units were sold.
The European Union’s (EU’s) passenger car industry’s recovery from a 20-year low in 2013 has been patchy as the region’s economy hiccups. Last week the IMF (International Monetary Fund) reduced its forecast for Eurozone GDP growth, warning that the currency bloc is at serious risk of slipping into a Japanese-style long-term deflationary recession.
German car magazine Autohaus PulsSchlag said discounts in Germany were at record highs in September.
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer, said new passenger car sales increased by 6.2% in the EU, with its VW brand delivering 7.5% more units and its luxury Audi models posting a 2.9% gain.
The European car industry is calling with one voice for the European Central Bank to hurry up with more impacting stimulus measures to boost demand and push up inflation.
French carmaker Peugeot, Europe’s second largest, posted a 9.9% increase in September. The company is finally returning to profit. Rival Renault reported a 10% rise, driven by strong purchases for its Duster SUV.
Ford sales in Europe rose by 6.5% in the EU in September. Following declining sales of its Fiesta subcompact car, production at one German factory was reduced.
Strong sales of General Motors’ compact SUV Mokka and small car Corsa helped the Detroit-based automaker post a 6.2% gain.
BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) saw sales in the EU fall by -2.1% in September, contrasting with luxury car rival Mercedes which reported a 9% increase.
The much-welcomed good news helped lift European stock markets. By mid-morning, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 indices were both 2% up, while London’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.2%. However, European markets are still down compared to one week ago.