Auto sales in Europe increased 1.8% in April, the first gain in the past 19 months, due to a gain in consumer confidence in Spain and Germany.

Last month new vehicle registrations were up 1.8% to 1.08 million vehicles, compared with 1.06 million vehicles during the same month last year. Sales during the first four months of the year dropped 7% to 4.18 million vehicles according to ACEA. The increase came from Spain and Germany, two markets where consumer confidence rose last month.

But the increase in April did not make analysts’ change their predictions that the auto market will fall 5% this year, as the crisis leads the industry to a two-decade low. Daimler was the automaker with the highest gain of 11%, thanks to the A- and B-Class compact models, followed by VW with 9.7%, thanks to Audi’s 8.9% increase.

“Hopefully the worst is over,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, an analyst at Fairesearch GmbH in Kronberg, Germany. “For the rest of this year, the market will probably be less negative than it was before,” with “no more dramatic falls” in the southern part of the region.

Sales in Germany were up 3.8% last month, 11% in Spain and 15% in the UK, while sales in France dropped 5.3% and in Italy 11%.

Source: Bloomberg


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