European Oct passenger car sales up 11.2 pct image

European passenger car sales rose 11.2 percent in October, with a marked contrast between Western European markets, which grew strongly, and Eastern European markets which tumbled, industry association ACEA said on Monday.

A total of 12,206,381 new cars — or 5 percent fewer than the same period a year earlier — were registered in the first 10 months across Europe, which includes the 27 EU member states and the EFTA countries and excludes Cyprus and Malta, ACEA said.

ACEA said Western European car sales rose 15.8 percent in October, supported by fleet renewal schemes. The picture was bleaker in Eastern Europe, where car sales slumped 36.9 percent in October, with only the Czech Republic posting growth.

October 2009 had one fewer working day than October 2008.

Many governments introduced scrapping incentive schemes to boost demand for new cars after the industry was hit by a brutal crisis.

While many carmakers have forecast a strong end to the year, there is widespread uncertainty about 2010, with some scrapping schemes — like Germany’s — already finished and others due to run out soon.