In April, the EU* market of new passenger cars grew for the first time (+1.7%) since September 2011, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA - Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Áutomobiles).
New car registrations in Europe in 2012 were at the lowest since 1995 as the number of new cars registered fell 8.2% to a total of 12.05m vehicles.
The region counted on average two more working days compared to the same month last year, which would account for the increase. In absolute figures, it is the third lowest level of new registrations for a month of April, with the historic low for April reached in 2012 (1,021,358 units). A total of 1,038,343 units** was recorded in the EU in April this year, or 1.7% more compared to the low level of April last year. Four months into the year, new car registrations amounted to 4,026,946 units, or 7.1% less than in the same period a year ago.
In April, results were varied across markets. Looking at the major ones, Germany (+3.8%), Spain (+10.8%) and the UK (+14.8%) expanded, while France (-5.3%) and Italy (-10.8%) faced a downturn.
From January to April, the UK remained the only major market to post growth (+8.9%). Spain (-6.7%), Germany (-8.5%), France (-12.3%) and Italy (-12.3%) all saw their demand decline, leading to an overall 7.1% decrease in the EU*.
The rebound was dampened by big dips in France and Italy, posting drops of 5.3% and 10.8% respectively.
Carmakers from those two countries were the ones to suffer most from the ongoing sales crisis. France's PSA Peugeot Citroën group sold 10.1% fewer cars in April, while Italy's FIAT group sales dropped 10%.
The biggest gains by percentage were reported by Jaguar Land Rover - up 16.4% - and Mitsubishi which sold 13.1% more cars, according to the ACEA data.
Detail [pdf: including brands]
* EU27, data for Malta unavailable
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