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German new car sales pick up in December

German new car sales picked up speed in December compared with sales in November, the automobile federation VDA said Tuesday, but slumped by 23 percent in 2010 as a whole.

A total of 230,400 new vehicles were registered in the biggest European car market in December, the first monthly increase since November 2009, a VDA statement said.

For the entire year, 2,916,300 new cars were registered, it added.

Auto exports gained 11 percent on the month to 324,400 vehicles and leapt by 24 percent on the year owing to strong demand in emerging markets such as China.

Overall production was 18 percent higher in December than in the previous month, at 413,500 units, but increased by a more modest 12 percent over the entire year to 5,551,400 vehicles.

Of that total, 4.2 million were shipped to foreign markets, VDA said.