FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- German passenger-car registrations fell by 6.7 percent to 256,400 vehicles in May, the German motor transport authority (KBA) said on Tuesday in a month that had two fewer business days than May, 2014.
Adjusted sales rose by almost 4 percent, the VDA industry association said in a statement. The German market is doing better than expected, VDA President Matthias Wissmann said in the statement.
Five-month vehicle sales in Europe's biggest market are up 3.6 percent to 1.3 million. Equity researchers Evercore ISI forecasts that full-year sales will increase by 2.5 percent. Last year 3.04 million new cars were sold in Germany.
“Sentiment [among German dealers] is generally strong. We expect some seasonal moderation moving into summer mode but that's normal,” Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in an note to investors.
Among winners in May were Mitsubishi, whose sales jumped 83 percent, Daimler’s Smart brand, which sold 70 percent more vehicles, and Jeep whose volume rose 52 percent thanks to the new Renegade subcompact SUV.
Market leader Volkswagen's registrations fell 3.8 percent while Opel sales slumped 20 percent. Sales of Ford vehicles declined by 17.5 percent. Among premium brands, BMW's volume dropped 9.1 percent while Audi sales fell 13 percent. Mercedes-Benz registrations were down 2.4 percent.
• Download PDF, above right, for Germany car sales by brand for May and 5 months.
France, Spain and Italy
French car registrations fell by 4 percent last month due to public holidays. Adjusted sales rose 7.3 percent, the CCFA indutsry association said on Monday.
Italy’s registrations rose 11 percent, helped by pent-up demand from private customers replacing aging vehicles. Spanish registrations increased 14 percent after a government-backed scrappage scheme was resumed.