European car sales saw a mixed end to the year, figures released this week have shown, with French, British, Spanish and Italian sales down but German sales up slightly.
Over 230,000 vehicles were sold in Germany, Europe's largest car market, a rise of 7 percent on December 2009 and the first monthly increase since November 2009.
Sales in France fell, although only marginally on the back of a strong sales month in December.
French automakers' association the CCFA said a total of 228,316 cars were sold, down 0.7 percent, a fall which was driven by foreign brands rather than domestic automakers such as Citroen and Peugeot, who reported a good month.
However, in other countries the news was not so positive, with Spain posting its sixth consecutive sales fall, of 23.9 percent, and Italian sales falling 21.71 percent on the month.
British figures released January 7 showed an 18 percent fall, with UK built-models slightly outperforming the market and performing better than they have since 2005.
Paul Everitt, the boss of Britain's automaking association SMMT, said that he expected demand to strengthen in the second half of 2011.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies