PARIS: Sales of cars in the European Union surged by 16 percent in May compared to a year earlier, continuing a 33-month rise and nearing pre-recession levels, manufacturers said Thursday.
A total of 1.29 million new cars were sold in the 28-nation bloc, a tally close to that of May 2008, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA) said.
“Among the major markets, Italy (+27.3 percent), France (+22.3 percent), Spain (+20.9 percent) and Germany (+11.9 percent) all recorded strong performances with double-digit percentage gains,” it said in a press release.
“From January to May 2016, new passenger car registrations increased by 9.9 percent, totaling 6.4 million units. All major markets posted growth, contributing to the overall upturn of the EU market.”
Big gains were notched up in May by Renault (28.7 percent), the Fiat group (25.7 percent), Jaguar Land Rover (26.1 percent), the BMW group (21.2 percent) and Toyota (19.5 percent).
VW group—hit last year by an emissions-fixing scandal—recorded a gain of 9.3 percent, retaining its position as the biggest car manufacturer by numbers.
It sold 309,708 units, amounting to 24.0 percent of the EU market, compared to 25.5 percent a year earlier.