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European car sales show major gains in May

European car sales show major gains in May
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European car sales jumped by 9.6% last month, helped by new models from Fiat, Toyota and Volkswagen. But Italy’s statistics were distorted because a transport-industry strike there last year held back car deliveries. In addition there were more selling days in some countries compared with May last year.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association said cumulative figures for the first five months of the year show a rise of 2.4%. Since January, 6.82 two million new cars have been registered. Fiat’s sales were up 22.2% on the same period last year. Volkswagen sold almost 9.4% more cars, but Renault’s sales are down 8.7%.

Sales of its Logan low-cost car nearly quadrupled, but that could not offset a decline of 5.2% in the number of Renault cars sold. France, the company’s main market reported lower sales in May. They were down 3.3% compared with the same month last year. The other major European markets – Germany, Italy, Britain and Spain – posted an increase in sales.