Europe's car buyers get back on the road

Consumers in Europe started buying cars again in August, figures released this month have shown.

British auto industry association SMMT said September 6 that the new car market in the UK rose for the first time in over a year last month, ending 13 months of straight decline.

Much of the 7.3 percent yeary-on-year growth was driven by the supermini segment, which jumped a whopping 17.6 percent to account for well over a third of the vehicles sold in the UK in August - the Ford Fiesta leading the pack ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa.

It was a similarly positive story in France, where registrations rose after four months of decline, albeit by just 3.2 percent.

Most of the growth was in foreign-built models, French automakers' association CCFA said, with Renault the only domestic brand managing to post a significant increase in sales.

Arguably the most spectacular figures came from Germany, where 18 percent more cars were sold in August 2011 than the same month in 2010, marking a record month for BMW and a strong uptick for Daimler.

Italian sales were up 1.5 percent and Spain also posted a rise, although Spanish industry association ANFAC warned that it reflected a statistical anomaly in last year's sales.

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