Western Europe registers mixed recovery in August image

Car sales in Western Europe rose 1% in August despite uncertain German and French demand from buyers, as the UK and Spain registered strong deliveries, according to LMC Automotive data.

While August is usually regarded as a slow holiday month, registrations grew to 640,123 units, while the selling rate fell back to 11.91 million cars a year from 12.18 million in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.

With sales from Germany, France and Italy declining, trade organizations have expressed their concerns over the region’s auto recovery. The German sales slowed 0.4% to 213,092 last month, the French car sales went down 3% to 83,340 units sold, and Italian deliveries staying flat, with a 0.2% slide to 53,191 vehicles sold. The situation was different in Spain, where sales were up 14% to 45,355 cars in August due to a subsidy given by the Spanish government fueling the growth.

UK car registrations also rose in August by 9% to 72,163 units, according to SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), which added that the market will find its natural level in the coming months as the country has registered two and a half years of consecutive monthly sales growth.

The European auto market in Europe reached its lowest point in 2013 and the tentative rebound here is yet vulnerable because of a continued weak consumer confidence, gloomy economic outlooks and a buildup of geopolitical uncertainties.

By Gabriela Florea