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Western European car sales rise 5.4% despite UK woes

[PARIS] Western European car registrations rose 5.4 per cent in November, with France and Germany doing the heavy lifting as UK sales sagged, according to industry data compiled by LMC automotive.

Registrations rose to 1.144 million cars from 1.085 million a year earlier, the consulting firm said on Tuesday. Its numbers are based on a combination of published national data and estimates for some smaller markets that have yet to report.

The seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of Western European sales rose 3.8 per cent from October levels to 14.57 million cars, according to the data.

Sales in the region will rise 2.7 per cent this year and another 0.8 per cent in 2018, the firm predicts - while the British market shrinks by 5.8 per cent, then another 5.1 per cent.

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"The UK market continues to struggle, with an eighth consecutive month of falls," LMC analyst David Oakley said.

Registrations last month rose 10.3 per cent in France, 9.4 per cent in Germany and 12.4 per cent in Spain, according to data published in recent days.

But UK car sales plunged 11.2 per cent, the SMMT industry group reported on Tuesday, amid uncertainties over Brexit and the future of diesels. That puts the British auto market on course for its first full-year decline since 2011.

REUTERS