EUROPEAN CAR sales rose 9.2 percent in February.
A quarter of the increase was due to Italy, which was up 14.1 percent. This was the Italian market's smallest rise since scrapping incentives were introduced in January 1997.
Spain was up 19.2 percent, helped by government incentives.
Although sales in France were up only slightly, French carmakers raised sales abroad. PSA's share of the European market rose to 12.5 percent from 11.7 percent in February 1997.
Volkswagen brand's market share fell to 9.8 percent from 10.6 percent a year ago, dragging VW Group from 17.6 to 16.9 percent.