German car sales may decline in second half after 3% rise in June
MUNICH -- Germany's new-car registrations rose 3 percent in June, but industry insiders don't expect Europe's biggest market to show growth during the rest of the year.
Registrations last month were 296,800, according to the KBA federal transport agency. Six-month sales are 1.63 million, up 1 percent on the first half of 2011.
Last month's rebound last month follows a 5 percent plunge in May deliveries.
Volker Lange, president of the VDIK importers association, said a positive consumer climate helped car sales in the first half, but order books are currently below last year's levels so growth in the second half cannot be expected.
Full-year sales will be stable compared with 2011, Lange said in a statement on Tuesday.
The German auto industry association, VDA, predicts full-year sales of 3.1 million.
Germany is feeling the ripple effects of the euro zone's deepening debt crisis and automakers are supporting sales with steep discounts and manufacturers' self-registrations.
France, Italy, Spain declines
German market growth in June was in contrast to declines in France, Italy and Spain.
French light-vehicle sales fell 0.9 percent to 248,697. In Spain, registrations dropped 12.1 percent to 73,258 while Italian sales were down 24.4 percent to 128,388, their lowest monthly level since 1979.
Reuters contributed to this report