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April a mixed month for European car sales, figures show

Car sales in Europe have shown mixed month, with the Spanish market rising 39.3 percent but Germany posting its fifth consecutive monthly fall.

93,637 cars were sold in Spain in April 2010, according to Spanish car manufacturers' group ANFAC, up from 67,214 in April 2009. Peugeot was the most popular brand of the month, followed by Citroen and Spanish manufacturer Seat.

However, car sales in Germany posted a fall of 32 percent, led by a desertion of foreign brand sales which fell by over 40 percent compared to the same month of 2009. In total, 259,500 vehicles were sold in the country, which analysts believe has been damaged by the end of a government scrappage scheme.

In the first month since the end of the scrappage scheme in Great Britain, new car registrations rose 11.5 percent, their tenth straight monthly increase. The news was welcomed by the motor industry group SMMT, which revised its end of year forecast upwards, to 1.924 million units sold by the end of 2010.

In France, growth slowed but remained positive, with a 1.9 percent in April to 191,000 units, compared with a 13 percent growth in March. Whilst French brands, led by Peugeot, showed a growth of 7.9 percent, sales by foreign makers fell by 4.9 percent.

Car sales in Italy's fell by 15.6 percent, with sales of the country's leading brand Fiat falling by over a quarter.