Germany posted higher new-car sales in March 2014, raising hopes that the European auto market’s recovery is gaining headway. New-car registrations in the country surged 5 percent to 296,408 in March, boosted by gains from major German brands except for Porsche and Smart, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA.
Sales to private buyers during the month surged 3 percent. New-car registrations in the first quarter of 2014 jumped almost 6 percent to 711,753. Car sales in France hiked 9 percent to 179,871 in March as the country's stop-and-start recovery seems to be taking hold.
New-car registrations in Spain surged registrations jumped 10 percent to 79,929 in March, marking its seventh consecutive monthly growth. Registrations in Italy jumped 5 percent to 139,337 vehicles in the month. Despite indications of recovery, industry watchers remained cautious.
David Barrientos, a spokesman for Spain's Anfac industry association, remarked that the country stands out in the European context because of the subsidies scheme. He noted that the next few months would be when most registrations occur and would be critical to securing the recovery.
UNRAE, a Rome-based industry grouping, cautioned that that sales growth in Italy was driven by unprofitable sales to rental firm. The group reiterated a call for tax breaks to incite consumer demand. In France, car sales jumped 9 percent in December 2013, but flattened in January and February.