FRANKFURT --Germany's new-car market bucked the trend in the rest of Europe in July, with sales growing 9.9 percent year-on-year, in contrast to declines in France, Spain and Italy.
Germany's new-car sales rose 260,907 last month, the Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) said on Tuesday. In the first half, 1.9 million cars were registered, a rise of 10.4 percent.
Volkswagen AG sold 59,389 VW-badged cars in July, a rise of 32.2 percent on 2010 figures, making it Germany's best-selling brand. Between January and July, the brand sold 413,426 cars in Germany.
Sales of General Motors Co.'s Opel brand grew 11.1 percent to 20,579 units, while the Mercedes-Benz brand led luxury sales in Germany with a rise of 7.7 percent to 26,275 units.
The KBA said minivans were especially in demand in July, with sales more than doubling. The VW Touran and Sharan, and Opel Zafira vans were popular, with sales of these models covering 60 percent of the minivan market.
France, Spain, Italy
French passenger car sales fell 5.9 percent last month to 159,945, following a 12.6 percent drop in June and marking the fourth consecutive month of declines, according to the country's CCFA carmakers association.
CCFA said the association was expecting a drop in sales of 8 to 10 percent over the year.
In Spain, new-car registrations fell 4 percent in July, industry association ANFAC said. That compared with a 24 percent drop in registrations in July 2010 when a scrappage subsidy program ended.
Italian new car sales were 137,422 units, down 10.69 percent from July last year, continuing a downward trend from last month, while Belgian new car registrations fell 11.25 percent.
In June, new-car sales in the European Union suffered their biggest drop in eight months. In addition to economic uncertainties, the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in March also had a knock-on effect on the global automotive industry hitting parts supplies, as many electronics suppliers' factories were damaged.
Renault said last month that supply difficulties that weighed on its sales in recent months -- related to problems with suppliers ramping up capacity after the financial crisis -- should start to ease from July.
Reuters contributed to this story