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New models head European growth of new car market

European new car sales remain buoyant, recording a year-on-year rise of 1.0% (12,349 units) in January, 2007.

The total volume for the month was 1,289,170 units, according to JATO Dynamics, the provider of automotive data.

While Volkswagen remains Europe's best selling brand, it is the manufacturers boasting significant new model introductions that have benefited from the greatest growth in market share. The new Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has been particularly well received and accounts for an 8% improvement in market share for the brand compared to this time last year.

Likewise, Fiat's successful new Grande Punto and Panda models have played a significant role in the company's 4.8% improvement, while the star of the top 10 performers is Toyota which has risen by 22% thanks to the Aygo, new Yaris and RAV 4 models. Predictably, the introduction of the new Mini has seen the brand post a 22.9% rise as customers begin to take delivery of the new car in its core markets of the UK, France and Germany.

With 39,393 units sold, the Corsa was Europe's best selling model, while Fiat's strong performing Grande Punto was in second place with 36,625 units sold. The Renault Clio, Peugeot 207, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, VW Golf, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, VW Passat and Fiat Panda rounded-up the top 10.

The majority of core European markets have experienced growth in January 2007 compared to this time last year, with the Norwegian market up a staggering 70%. One significant exception is Germany which recorded a 10.5% drop in volume following a revised taxation structure that was introduced at the beginning of the year.

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