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EU car market shows postive signs

Tuesday, June 03 10:40:44

Sales of new cars in Germany rose 5.2 percent in May, Germany's Department of Motor Vehicles KBA said on Tuesday, in a sign that demand for passenger cars is still recovering in Europe's biggest auto market, following a 3.6 percent sales dip in April.

Europe's car market has shown signs of recovery from a six-year slump, but excess production capacity and steep discounting continue to distort the true level of demand.

In Germany, premium brands Mercedes and BMW saw German registrations fall 0.5 percent and 4.8 percent respectively, as both auto makers review the cost structure of their German operations and stop short of heavy discounting.

Sales of Volkswagen-branded cars rose 2.4 percent, while German brand Opel saw sales increase 9 percent. French brands Citroen saw sales rise 22.2 percent, and Renault sales were up 32.5 percent.

The German car sales recovery comes as elsewhere in Europe sales momentum continues. In Spain car sales rose 16.9 percent, while in France sales inched 0.1 percent higher.

In Spain, sales in May marked the ninth straight month of increases, car manufacturers' association Anfac said on Monday, as a government subsidy scheme, has helped buying.

By contrast, Belgian car sales fell 3.51 percent in May. (Reuters)