European car registrations hit a record high for September, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers said Friday, amid healthy premium brand sales and solid figures from the scandal-hit VW Group. (VLKAY)
VW Group, the largest European car manufacturer by volume, saw registrations across the group rise by 5.6% in September and by 3% for the year-to-date, driven by strong demand for luxury brands such as Porsche and Audi. The core Volkswagen brand also saw volumes rise by 0.1% for the first time since the emissions-rigging scandal made headlines in September 2015.
However, the continent's premier auto group may still have some way to go before it makes a full recovery, with Friday's figures showing its market share falling from 23.3% to 22.9% during the twelve months to September. Around 2.7 million new VW Group cars were registered during the nine months ending in September, the statement said.
Volkswagen stock was up by 2.25% in European trading at €120.35, but is down by 10.8% for the year-to-date.
Total car registrations for all firms operating in the European Union and the European Free Trade Area were up by 7.3% in September, the ACEA said, to 1.4 million vehicles. Registrations were 0.3% higher during the nine months to the end of September, when compared with the previous year, totalling 11.6 million.
The strongest growth in registrations was seen in Italy, France and Germany, with these seeing an increase of 17.4%, 13.9% and 9.4% respectively. Growth in the U.K., the jewel in Europe's automotive crown during recent years, came in at just 1.6% in September and 2.6% for the first nine months of the year.