Euro zone new car sales up 7.6 per cent in May

Brussels: New car sales across the European Union posted a year-on-year increase of 7.6 per cent last month to just under 1.4 million units, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported on Friday. Britain, which is poised to leave the bloc, was the sole major national market where sales dropped, by 8.5 per cent.
Sales rose by 12.9 per cent in Germany, 11.2 per cent in Spain, 8.9 per cent in France and 8.2 per cent in Italy.
May’s upswing came after a year-on-year decline of 6.6 per cent in April, which was blamed on Easter festivities. It is normal for car sales to slow down during public holidays, when dealers tend to be closed.
In the January-May period, new car registrations were up by 5.3 per cent compared to the same period of 2016, but again Britain stood out compared to other big markets, as sales there dropped by 0.6 per cent, ACEA said. Germany’s Volkswagen Group maintained its predominance in the first five months of the year, with a 23.3 per cent market share. France’s PSA Group and Renault remained as the second-and third-largest sellers, each with 10.1 per cent slices of the market. — dpa