MUNICH -- Germany's new-car market returned to modest growth in April as sales to private customers picked up and the month had one business day more than the year-earlier period.
Passenger-car registrations rose 3.8 percent to 284,444 vehicles, the government's KBA transport authority said today.
The increase followed a 17 percent decline in March.
Volker Lang, president of the VDIK car importers association, said consumers appear to be getting more confident about making big purchases, giving hope that sales might recover over the rest of the year.
Private sales accounted for nearly 40 percent of the market, the KBA said. It said SUV/crossover sales grew strongly last month with a rise of 15 percent. Midsized vehicle sales declined sharply at 7 percent.
Morgan Stanley said the April sales figures will ease fears about the German market that arose after the steep decline in March, although sales last month likely benefited from some demand pushed from March due to the poor weather.