FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Western European car sales rose 5.2 percent in March, according to industry data provided by LMC Automotive.
New-car sales rose to 1.64 million according to LMC estimates, which are based on national registration data and forecasts.
In the first quarter, sales were up 7.7 percent from a year earlier to 3.66 million new passenger cars.
"Despite one fewer selling day in a number of key markets with Easter falling early this year, West European car registrations continue to pick up strongly," LMC Automotive analyst Emiliano Lewis said.
LMC said its estimates project seasonally adjusted new registrations in Western Europe will reach 14.28 million this year, up 7 percent from a year earlier.
Sales in Germany, Europe’s biggest single market, were flat last month, but in the No. 2 market, the UK, they rose 5.3 percent. French sales rose 8 percent, while in Italy they leapt 17 percent. In Spain, registrations fell nearly 1 percent.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report