New car sales in France and Spain rose last month, but in Italy, Europe’s fourth-biggest car market, they dropped 2.9% showing mixed signs for the European market.
Raising hopes that the problems are finally over for a western European auto market fighting the slumping demand, September auto sales in France increased to over 142,000 vehicles, as a 19% sales growth for the Renault brand more than offset 6-7% declines at French rival PSA’s Peugeot and Citroen brands. Also, after the country’s highest administrative court ordered the government to lift its sales ban on Mercedes-Benz cars, the sales of the premium brand jumped almost 40% on overdue demand.
Separately, Spain’s auto industry group Anfac said that new car sales in the austerity-hit country have jumped a great 29% to over 45,000 cars,buoyed by government subsidies and one extra working day this year.
“The market last month should not be taken as a reason to celebrate, but could be seen as a sign that we’re starting to get some breathing room,” said Juan Antonio Sanchez Torres, President of vehicle showroom and sales association Ganvam, in an Anfac statement.
Sadly, new car sales in Italy, one of the worst performing major European markets, fell 2.9% in September to 106,363 vehicles, according to the country’s Transport Ministry. Unlike France and Spain, Italy is still extending the lost sales.