Green models help European car sales

Car sales in the two major European markets ticked up again in January, according to figures released this week.

In Germany, Europe's largest car market, new car sales were up 17 percent according to the VDA (German automakers association), with particularly strong sales for diesel-powered models.

A key factor in the rise was the falling levels of carbon dioxide emissions for Germany's cars, said the VDA.

French automakers also posted a rise of 8.2 percent, with foreign brands showing a stronger rise than domestic automakers such as Renault and Citroen Peugeot, although domestic brands still accounted for a higher percentage of sales.

Across the rest of Europe, the picture was more gloomy, with the UK, Europe's third largest market, posting a fall in sales of 11.5 percent February 4.

British automakers association the SMMT said that the drop partially reflected the end of the UK's scrappage scheme, adding that it was in line with forecasts and that demand for low CO2 emission and highly fuel efficient vehicles continues to grow.

Spanish car makers posted a fall of 23.5 percent and their Italian counterparts a fall of 20.7 percent.

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