European new-car sales rose 9 percent in April with nearly all automakers recording sales increases and Volkswagen Group's namesake brand back to growth despite its diesel-emissions scandal.
Passenger-car registrations in the European Union and EFTA markets increased to 1.3 million vehicles last month, according to industry association ACEA. Four-month sales rose 8.3 percent to 5.25 million vehicles.
"The EU passenger car market posted strong results again, marking the 32nd consecutive month of growth," the group said today in a statement. "This is the highest result in volume terms since April 2008, just before the economic crisis hit the automotive industry."
European car sales returned to annual growth in 2014 after a six-year slump during which registrations fell to their lowest in decades. Demand has been growing each month since as an improvement in consumer confidence, retail incentives and new product launches lured customers back to the showrooms.
April's growth was boosted in part by extra shopping days as the Easter holiday shifted into March this year.
VW share dips
Sales at VW Group, Europe's top-selling automaker, increased 5.3 percent last month, slower than the overall market, resulting in its market share dropping to 25.4 percent from 26.2 percent.
VW Group's four-month market share was 23.9 percent, the first time the figure for the period was below 24 percent since 2011.