European new car sales jump again

European new car sales jump again

New car registrations are on the rise across Europe, with drivers eager to get behind the wheel of the very latest models.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - the five biggest markets in the continent - have all recorded increased volumes in each month of the year so far.

Figures released by JATO Dynamics reveal March was a particularly productive month for the motor industry.

Spain posted a jump of more than 33,000 units - up 41.1% year-on-year - thanks to an improving economy and continued scrappage incentives supporting private purchases. A strong rental sector anticipating high demand for hire cars over the Easter and summer periods also helped.

Poland recorded an increase of 35.6%, while Ireland, which is enjoying lower vehicle and fuel prices in real terms, saw a leap by 33.2% during the month. Latvia was up there as well with a rise of 25.7%.

The European new car market has now grown for seven consecutive quarters, something Brian Walters, Vice President of Data at JATO Dynamics, says demonstrates strong consumer confidence in the motor industry.

Volkswagen is still the market-leading brand, with an increase in sales of 10.8% during the first quarter of the year.

Ford reclaimed second place by leading the traditionally strong March market in the UK, as the registration plate update led to surge in number of people buying a car . Renault remained third after high sales in January and February.

Nissan's 25.7% increase in volume between January and March was the greatest of the top 10 brands, owing largely to the new Pulsar medium hatchback and new generations of the Qashqai and X-Trail crossover models introduced during 2014.

The Volkswagen Golf retained its lead of the market, increasing sales by 2.9% in the quarter.

The Ford Fiesta sits second, thanks to its popularity among drivers in the UK, just ahead of the Renault Clio.

Both the Nissan Qashqai and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa ended the three-month period with volumes of sales more than 20% higher year-on-year.

Mr Walters claims the figures show that new products are finding strong demand across Europe, while many longer-standing models that have been around for several years remain competitive and desirable as ever.

Copyright Press Association 2015