MUNICH -- Scrapping incentives in Europe's five largest markets helped boost the region's overall new-car registrations in July and August. Government-funded programs that encourage people to trade in old cars for newer, more fuel-efficient models have led to three straight months of increases in Europe after 14 consecutive declines.
In August, overall registrations rose 3.0 percent to 829,083 units, according to the European automakers association, ACEA. The gain was driven by a 7.8 percent increase in western Europe to 770,468 units. Registrations in new EU member states slumped 35.2 percent to 58,615 in the month. One of the hardest hit countries was Romania, where volume dropped 71.9 to 8,591. (Click on chart, right)
Eight months into the year, new registrations were down 6.6 percent to 8,980,598 in western Europe and 26.8 percent to 584,919 in the new EU countries.
Asians make big gains
July was a great month for most Asian automakers.
Registrations rose 36.1 percent to 31,443 unit for Hyundai in July while sister brand Kia was up 11.2 percent to 21,070 cars. Even more impressive is that the two brands boosted their combined market share to 4.1 percent from 3.3 percent in July 2008. (Click on chart, above right)
Nissan reported a 21.6 percent gain to 36,544 in July while Suzuki was up 5.0 percent to 21,667.