W.European car sales grow 5.3 pct in Sept-market forecaster LMC
FRANKFURT Oct 4 (Reuters) - Western European car sales rose at their fastest pace this year in September thanks to a surge in demand from private buyers in the UK, according to industry forecaster LMC Automotive.
But it predicted growth in volumes next year of only 1 percent to 11.55 million vehicles, after shrinking an estimated 2.8 percent this year to 11.44 million and nearly plumbing lows from 20 years ago.
"We'll see some growth but it's not going to be a stellar performance," Jonathon Poskitt of LMC Automotive said on Friday.
Western European sales grew 5.3 percent to 1.13 million vehicles last month, LMC said, bringing the total for the first nine months to 8.77 million - a decline of 4.1 percent over the same period last year.
Industry executives have been anxious to see whether soft sales in August were just a blip or would signal further problems to come.
Sales in the overall European market crashed to their lowest level for the first eight months of a year since records began in 1990.
"This (September) was a stand-out month for the UK market...The private side of the market is the real key to that expansion," Poskitt said
Sales in the UK jumped 12 percent to over 400,000 cars in September, its highest volume since March 2008, on the back of an even greater gain in privately-registered cars.