As the US car industry struggles, there are signs of the start of a sales recovery in Europe.
Helped by government incentives, sales rose strongly in France, they were up by 8.1 percent in March while Renault said it sold 12.8 percent more cars in that month compared with a year ago. In Italy sales increased for the first time in 14 months. They were up by 0.24 percent in March and Fiat’s sales rose six percent. The Rome government is offering incentives for drivers to purchase new, less polluting cars. While in Spain the sales decline slowed, also partly due to a government stimulus plan. German government officials said more than 860,000 car owners have signed up for its 2,500 euro new-for-old “scrappage” bonus. But with pressure still on, Daimler is in talks with its German workforce about cutting workers’ hours and wages to save another two billion euros this year.