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Car sales increase in Europe

The European car market increased by 8.4% (90,005 units) in February 2008 compared to the same month last year, to a total volume of 1,163,035 units. Year-to-date, the market increased by 3.6% (84,324 units) to a total of 2,451,321 units.

A report from JATO Dynamics shows significant growth in February's registrations in Germany, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Netherlands.

However Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy recorded declining car markets.

“Considering the stress placed upon the global economy in recent months, the car market so far this year appears to be very robust,” said Nasir Shah, global business development director at JATO Dynamics.

“The February market was particularly strong thanks to the extra trading day afforded by the leap year and also because the French market recovered from the short-lived decline brought about by taxation changes early in the year.”

Volkswagen continued its domination of the European car market and was once again the top-selling car brand in February, with total sales 14.5% higher than a year earlier and ahead of Peugeot (up 14.4%), Renault (up 9.9%), Opel/Vauxhall (up 2.0%) and Ford (up 2.9%).

Fiat improved sales 11.5% higher than a year ago. Mercedes and BMW both posted volume increases of 21% over the same period last year, thanks to the recovering German market, said JATO.

Other significant market improvements have been posted by Nissan (up 55.8% in February and 52.0% year to date), largely driven by continued high demand for the Qashqai model, while MINI volumes grew by 48.9% due to the introduction of the new Clubman and the low-CO2 ratings achieved by the revised “Efficient Dynamics” equipped models, said the report.

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