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EU Car Sales Returned to Growth in May

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06/18/2019 | 02:15am EDT

By Max Bernhard

New car sales in the European Union edged higher in May, marking the first increase following eight months of decline.

New car registrations, a reflection of sales, rose 0.1% in the EU compared with a year earlier to 1.40 million vehicles, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said Tuesday.

"Demand in the region was mainly driven by the Central European countries, where registrations went up by 6.2% last month," the association said. The EU's five largest markets showed a mixed result. Spain, the UK and Italy posted lower figures, with registrations down 7.3%, 4.6% and 1.2% respectively. However, demand rose 9.1% in Germany and 1.2% in France.

Of the German car makers, Volkswagen AG was the only one to post a decline in May, with sales down 2.1%, while demand for BMW AG (BMW.XE) cars rose 8.8% and Daimler AG registered 0.4% more vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU, FCA.MI) sales declined 8.1%, while sales were down 4.4% for Ford Motor Co. (F). Peugeot saw demand rise 4.3%, while sales fell 3.7% for Renault.

In January to May, new car registrations across the EU fell 2.1% to 6.7 million units in total. With the exception of Germany, the five big EU markets all posted slight declines in the period, ACEA said.

Write to Max Bernhard at max.bernhard@dowjones.com; @mxbernhard

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AG 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
DAIMLER AG 0.80% 45.81 Delayed Quote.-1.02%
FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES -1.64% 12.006 End-of-day quote.-5.33%
FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES -2.12% 13.37 Delayed Quote.-7.54%
FORD MOTOR COMPANY -0.58% 10.2 Delayed Quote.33.33%
PEUGEOT 0.14% 21.94 Real-time Quote.17.46%
PEUGEOT SA (ADR) End-of-day quote.
RENAULT 0.71% 51.42 Real-time Quote.-6.40%
VOLKSWAGEN AG -0.07% 151.38 Delayed Quote.9.03%
VOLKSWAGEN AG 0.26% 153.6 Delayed Quote.10.32%
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