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European Car Sales Rise 0.7% as New EU Countries Offset Demand

European new car registrations rose 0.7% in June as demand in the countries that recently joined the European Union offset a decline in western Europe.

Growth in new EU member states rose 21% while in western Europe sales during the month dropped 0.7%, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said Friday.

The strongest growth came from Latvia, where new car registrations rose almost 39%. Elsewhere, the weakest growth was in Denmark, where new registrations dropped 23%, the agency said.

Japan's Honda Motor benefited the most, registering a 19% increase in sales, while South Korea's Hyundai Motor posted an 11% decline.

The ACEA's sales figures count new car registrations from 23 EU nations -- excluding the island nations of Cyprus and Malta -- as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

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