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European car sales surge in March helped by Easter dates

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European car sales surge in March helped by Easter dates
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Car sales sped ahead in Europe in March, rising by 10.9 percent compared with the same month last year.

That was much greater than February’s 2.2 percent gain but a lot of the increase came from showrooms being open for more days as the Easter holidays were in March last year and in April this year.

Toyota recorded the biggest monthly advance among major brands, up 18.8 percent, Fiat Chrysler’s sales rose 18.2 percent and Nissan managed a 17.7 percent boost.

Volkswagen, Europe’s market leader, lost ground as its March registrations rose by 6.2 percent. France’s PSA Group also underperformed with a 6.7 percent sales increase, while its domestic rival Renault fared better, with a 14.4 percent gain in deliveries.

In terms of countries – Italy enjoyed the biggest sales increase at 18.2 percent. In Spain they rose 12.6 percent, Germany saw 11.4 percent growth and Britain 8.4 percent.

Registrations rose to 1.937 million cars last month in the European Union and European Free Trade Association countries, according to the industry body the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, from 1.746 million a year earlier. That took first-quarter sales to 4.26 million cars, an 8.2 percent gain.

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