Brussels, Belgium – Sales of new passenger cars in Europe rose 2.4 per cent in June, the first market increase in 14 months, carried by the effects of fleet renewal schemes in more than ten European Union (EU)  Member States.

Overall, 1,461,859 vehicles were sold in June 2009. In June of 2008, the market was down 7.9 per cent when compared to June 2007. However, sales for the first half of 2009 are still down by 11 per cent compared with 2008, with a total of 7,425,762 vehicles registered, compared with 8,346,828 the year before.

New registrations in Western Europe rose by 4.6 per cent in June, totalling 1,382,189 units. Countries with car scrappage schemes generally posted growth, with particularly strong demand in Germany, up 40.5 per cent, which is the largest market in Europe. Italy increased by 12.4 per cent, France by 7.0 per cent and Austria by 4.0, while downturns of 15.9 per cent in Spain and 15.7 in the U.K. were cushioned by more recently introduced support measures. In the first six months of 2009, only Germany at 26.1 per cent, and France at 0.2 per cent, performed better than in 2008. Overall, the Western European market declined by 9.8 per cent in the first half of 2009.

In the new EU Member States, new car registrations fell by 25.3 per cent in June, with the only growth being in the Czech Republic, up 18.0 per cent, and Slovakia, at 57.4 per cent. The sharpest downturn was recorded by Latvia, which fell 72.6 per cent. During the first six months of 2009, the overall market dropped by 27.1 per cent, but gains were made in Slovakia, up 18.4 per cent; the Czech Republic, up 7.9 per cent, and Poland, up 0.2 per cent.

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