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UK, big markets led Europe in car sales last month

Government incentive programs continue to buoy car consumption in Europe, with the large markets of Europe all producing significant sales last month, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association on November 16.

Western Europe (+15.8 percent) drastically outpaced the new EU member states (-36.9 percent) in October, compared with October 2008. Overall for 2009 car sales totals have climbed back to -3 percent for Europe, compared with last year, after being down 14 percent after May.

The UK led the way with an increase of 31.6 percent, as their "cash for bangers" government program is still in full swing.

But for the year, the only countries to show gains from 2008 are Germany (+25.9 percent), Slovakia (+13.5), the Czech Republic (+8.2 percent), Austria (+6.3 percent), France (+4.2 percent) and Poland (+0.6).

European car sales: % Change from October 2009 over October 2008

   Austria:                +2.7
   Belgium:               -7.6
   Denmark:            -14.1
   Finland:               -25.1
   France:               +20.3
   Germany:            +24.1
   Greece:               -40.4
   Ireland:              -12.7
   Italy:                  +15.7
   Luxemburg:          -4.2
   Netherlands:       -14.5
   Portugal:              +3.5
   Spain:                 +26.4
   Sweden:              -2.3
   UK:                     +31.6
   Iceland:               -58.0
   Norway:              +21.4
   Switzerland:         -8.8
   Bulgaria:              -60.5
   Czech Republic:   +8.8
   Estonia:               -73.2
   Hungary:             -72.4
   Latvia:                 -81.6
   Lithuania:            -71.3
   Poland:                 -8.4
   Romania:             -69.1
  Slovakia:             -34.2
  Slovenia:             -18.8

Total Europe:           +11.2