European new car sales log third straight monthly surge in November 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on December 18, 2013

New car sales in Europe surged for the third straight month in November, with demand for vehicles built from Volkswagen and Renault added to indications that the slump in the region is finally hitting cul-de-sac. Registrations in the EU and EFTA markets jumped 0.9 percent in November to 975,281 vehicles, industry association ACEA said in a statement.

The gains followed hikes of 4.6 percent in October and 5.5 percent in September. According to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the economy of the 17 countries using euro may expand this quarter. New vehicles that are helping increase sales in Europe include Volkswagen's Golf hatchback and Skoda Rapid Spaceback wagon, and Renault's Captur compact crossover.

"I hope and think" Europe's car market has hit bottom as "it's slowly stabilizing," Alfredo Altavilla, chief operating officer of Fiat's European operations, remarked.  He, however, said that recovery is "another story."

The European vehicle market is still on pace to post its sixth annual decline in a row, as carmakers overall logged a 2.8-percent drop in sales in the first 11 months of 2013 to 11.4 million cars.

Even with the three-month gain, sales remain close to the lowest since the ACEA started collecting numbers in 1990, according to Quynh-Nhu Huynh, the group's economics and statistics director.  She said in an e-mail to Bloomberg that except for November2013, "registrations recorded for every month this year were at the lowest level or second-lowest ever recorded to date."

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