European car registrations increase 9.6 per cent in April

Brussels  - New car registrations climbed to 1.42 million in Europe last month, a 9.6 per cent increase over April 2007, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) said Friday.

The German market, recovering from a weak performance in 2007, posted a 20 per cent increase to 317,960 new cars, supported by an improving labour market and growing consumer confidence.

France registered a 15 per cent gain to 198,558 units, while registrations were up 3.2 per cent in Britain to 175,668 and 26.1 per cent in Finland to 15,499.

In Italy, the downturn trend continued with a decrease of 2.9 per cent compared to 2007 volumes, the ACEA said. Adjusted for working days, the deceleration was 12 per cent.

However, Italy remains the second largest market in Europe and its April results were in line with the monthly average of the last five years. Year-to-date figures show an 8.2 per cent contraction of the market, or 867,207 new cars registered in the first four months of the year.

German manufactures Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW all reported an increase in registrations, while French and Italian carmakers saw their market share drop.

Volkswagen's group share rose from 20.3 to 20.7 per cent, BMW's from 5 to 5.7 per cent and Daimler's from 4.7 to 4.9 per cent.

Peugeot/Citroen's share dropped from 13.2 top 12.9 per cent, Renault's from 9.4 to 9 per cent and the Fiat group's from 8.2 to 8.1 per cent, the ACEA said.

Japan's Toyota group saw it market share drop from 5.9 to 5.3 per cent after new registrations in April slumped 1.7 per cent 76,187 units. (dpa)

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