Sales of new vehicles in Western Europe increased by 6.9 percent to 1.18 million in May, with the strong rise in Germany making up for the declines in other major markets.
Specifically, the records of J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting's U.K. office show that vehicle sales in Germany went up to 304,543 units in May, or 22 percent, from a year before, providing a 3.3 million units annualized selling rate for that month.
In the first five months, there were 1.33 million new vehicles registered in Germany, an increase of 13.1 percent from the same month last year.
These figures describe an economy that is helping boost the economic recovery in Europe, J.D. Power said in a statement. In addition, this also leads to strong business and consumer confidence, J.D. Power added.
Except for Italy, other major markets in Western Europe saw sales declining in May. French vehicle sales dropped 6.2 percent to 197,784 units, as the second month sales figures are affected by the ending of government incentives to replace old models.
The annualized selling rate is "subdued" at 2.04 million units, J.D. Power stated. It further stated that the selling rate demonstrates that the market is going through a weaker period now that registrations no longer include a lift from the 2010 scrappage scheme that continued to assist the market in the first three months of 2011.
This subdued activity will remain in the months to come, according to the forecasters. On the other hand, Spain experienced a drop in May vehicle sales by 23.3 percent to 78,870 units, the eleventh consecutive month of declines after the removal of government subsidies last July. This country’s annualized selling rate is higher for May but still remains below 900,000 units, J D Power disclosed.