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Europe car sales drop 6.8% in April on VW, British slump: ACEA

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European car sales fell 6.8 per cent in April due to a fall in demand for Volkswagen-branded cars, fewer trading days during Easter, and thanks to a double-digit sales drop in Britain, industry figures published on Tuesday showed.

[FRANKFURT] European car sales fell 6.8 per cent in April due to a fall in demand for Volkswagen-branded cars, fewer trading days during Easter, and thanks to a double-digit sales drop in Britain, industry figures published on Tuesday showed.

Registrations dropped to 1.23 million cars last month in the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, Brussels-based industry body ACEA said, down from 1.32 million a year earlier.

The decline in April registrations, the first monthly drop this year, limited the four-month increase to 4.5 per cent to 5.49 million cars, ACEA said.

This year Easter was in April, leading to more depressed sales figures when compared with a year earlier, ACEA said.

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Registrations of VW, the biggest selling car brand in Europe, fell by 14 per cent in April, while Renault, the next best selling brand, saw sales decline 3.3 per cent, statistics showed. Sales at Vauxhall and Opel fell 13.1 per cent.

Nearly every auto brand posted falling sales, with the exception of Toyota, which saw sales rise by 5.4 per cent, and Kia, which saw sales increase by 8.1 per cent.

The main reason European sales fell is because the region's two largest markets, Germany and the United Kingdom, saw registrations drop 8 per cent and 19.8 per cent respectively, ACEA figures showed.

Among the large markets, only Spain saw sales rise, posting a 1.1 per cent gain, while deliveries in France and Italy fell by 6 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively, statistics based on national registration figures published earlier this month showed.

In the European Union sales fell 6.6 per cent, ACEA said.

REUTERS

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