UK sales boom lifts European gloom


Europe’s struggling car industry ended a dire 18-month run of declining sales in April thanks to booming sales in the UK, figures showed yesterday.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said 1.038 million new cars were registered across the EU, up 1.7 per cent on April last year.

Britain led the way with 15 per cent growth, while sales in Spain also saw a double-digit advance, driven by a new government subsidy scheme for buyers. Growth in Germany also helped to outweigh declines in France and Italy, where sales of Peugeot, Citroën and Fiat brands suffered.

Demand for new cars in Europe fell to a 17-year low last year. But the EAMA said there were two extra sales days in many European markets after Easter holidays fell in March this year instead of April, helping year-on-year comparisons.