Western European car sales rise 4% in June

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PARIS (Reuters) -- Western European car sales rose 4 percent in June, according to industry data collated by LMC Automotive, as a market rebound in southern Europe offset weaker demand in Germany.

Sales advanced to 1.15 million vehicles, the automotive data provider said, contributing to a first-half gain of 5 percent for the region.

Europe is steadily recovering from a prolonged auto-market slump that caused demand to fall to the lowest level for two-decades last year.

The June gain lifted car sales so far this year to an annualized rate of 11.93 million, LMC said, a 3.3 percent increase on the 11.54 million registrations recorded in 2013.

LMC's data is based on national registrations published this week in 13 of 17 western European countries and estimates for the remaining four: Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

German registrations dipped 2 percent in June, but after factoring in lost working days, car sales actually rose slightly, the country's VDA auto industry association said on Wednesday. In Spain, sales rose 24 percent last month, followed by a 6 percent rise in the UK. In Italy and France, registrations rose 4 percent and 3 percent respectively.

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