New-car sales in Europe rose 6.2 percent in January as price cuts and economic-growth prospects boosted demand for most brands. Registrations in the EU and EFTA markets rose to 1.03 million vehicles last month, industry association ACEA said in a statement today.
That compares with increases of 4.9 percent in December and 5.4 percent for all of 2014, the first year of growth after a six-year drop.
"The recovery seems to continue, but the market is still at a very low level," Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank, said.
Among the top-selling European volume automakers, General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall sister brands posted the biggest gain with sales up 15 percent.
Renault sold 10 percent more cars. Registrations jumped 11 percent at the namesake brand and 7.4 percent at the no-frills Dacia nameplate. SUVs such as Renault’s Captur and Dacia’s Duster propelled demand.
Volkswagen Group sales rose 6.6 percent, with the VW brand delivering 8.3 percent more autos. The Seat marque, benefiting from a revamped Leon model line, posted a 13 percent jump. Porsche, which introduced the Macan compact SUV last year, reported a 46 percent surge. Audi sales increased slightly, by half a percent. Skoda's volume was up 3 percent.
- For January sales by auto group and brand, download the PDF, above right.
At Fiat Chrysler, sales increased by 5.8 percent with the Fiat brand rising 3.6 percent, and Jeep nearly tripling its volume, thanks the new Renegade subcompact SUV.
Ford of Europe's sales jumped 5.4 percent.