European car sales continue turnaround with monthly surge

Car sales in Europe continued to show strong growth in February, posting a 7.6 percent increase from the same period in 2013, according to an industry body.

Data from the European Automobile Manufacturer's Association (ACEA) on Tuesday morning showed a sixth consecutive monthly rise for new passenger car registrations in the 28 members of the European Union. This was a monthly increase of 8.0 percent.

An employee at the Renault factory in Maubeuge, France
Fabrice Dimier | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee at the Renault factory in Maubeuge, France

The fresh data show a continued turnaround after six years of poor sales as European consumers cut back on discretionary spending. However, in aboslute terms the figures are still dismal. The ACEA said that in absolute terms February's data was the second worst on record.

France was the only major market to face a downturn in February, according to the data, with a decrease of 1.4 percent in demand.. All other significant markets contributed positively to the overall 8.0 percent expansion, it said.

The U.K. saw growth of 3 percent, demand in Germany rose by 4.3 percent with Italy and Spain rising by 8.6 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively. The Volkswagen Group saw the biggest amount of new registrations in February with 211,979 units in the European Union.

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