There was a big jump in European new cars sales in August. They showed the largest rise in nine months. Among the factors were new models from several manufacturers, heavy discounts for buyers and the fact that there was an extra selling day in the month. However, the figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association still show that sales in the first eight months of this year are down by 0.5% on the same period last year.
Following July’s slump, car registrations in the EU, plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, increased by 7.5% over August last year. There was double digit growth in Germany, which is the continent’s biggest market by far. BMW, helped by launch of its revised 3-Series, had some of the biggest sales gains along with Volkswagen and South Korea’s Kia motors. DaimlerChrysler’s sales in Europe increased, though it sold fewer of its Smart-brand cars as the main model – the two-seat ForTwo – is reaching the end of its life cycle.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company showed off a concept car which could be the next model. With high fuel prices in mind, it has electric and petrol engines, so that it uses 15% less fuel.