The battered European region is continuing its recent recovery, with car sales edging up 6.1% last month on the continent thanks to an extra selling day and increased demand for some brands.
September had an extra selling day compared to the same period in 2013 and some mass-market automakers, such as Volkswagen and Ford, posted stronger results in critical markets – Germany, France and Italy.
Even as the car sales drop finally leveled last year and the region has been modestly rising for the 13th month in a row, the region is still bewildered by weary consumers that fret the economies could collapse again because of rising geopolitical tensions. Actually, if the deliveries were adjusted to exclude the extra selling day this year, European sales would have only inched 1.3% above the figures for the same month last year. Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with ISI Group even cautions the increases could be further slowed during the fourth quarter – “the situation is still difficult, there are only gentle impulses.”
According to the Association of European Carmakers (ACEA), September’s new passenger-car sales in the European Union (EU) and the countries of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) rose to 1.269 million units – following September 2013’s 1.196 million deliveries. Also, registrations for the January to September period have grown by 5.8 % to a total of 9.91 million autos – up from 9.36 million in the first nine months of 2013.