European car sales up 8.6% in October, driven by Volkswagen rebound

14 May 2019, Saxony, Zwickau: Employees at the Volkswagen Sachsen plant in Zwickau assemble Golf model vehicles on a production line.
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Passenger car registrations in Europe rose 8.6% in October, to their highest level since 2009, driven by robust demand in Germany and France and a rebound in demand for Volkswagen which posted a 29% gain.

Registrations rose to 1.214 million cars in the countries of the European Union and the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), statistics published by the European Auto industry association ACEA on Tuesday showed.

In the year-earlier period, registrations were depressed as carmakers struggled to certify new vehicles to meet the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

Volkswagen, which is also preparing to launch a new version of its Golf, is whittling down inventories of the old model, helping the German brand to outsell Renault, which posted a 15.8% gain and Hyundai which saw sales rise 13.4%.

A 12.7% overall rise in Germany and an 8.7% increase in France helped to outweigh a 6.7% drop in registrations in Britain, ACEA statistics showed.

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Key Points
  • U.S. President Donald Trump has until November 13 to decide whether to apply new duties on European carmakers.
  • The trade relationship between the U.S. and the EU has been tense since Trump came to power and ended negotiations for a trade deal with Europe that the previous U.S. administration was conducting.