PARIS, Sept 4 Western European car sales rose
1.2 percent in August, the 12th consecutive monthly gain, as
faltering German and French demand was offset by strong gains in
the UK and Spain, according to industry data compiled by LMC
Registrations came in at 640,123 cars in a slow holiday
month, the automotive consulting firm said, but the selling rate
fell back to 11.91 million cars per year from 12.18 million in
July on a seasonally adjusted basis.
August was "a slightly disappointing month, with Germany,
France and Italy all lower," LMC forecasting chief Jonathon
Poskitt said. "Recent results continue to indicate the road to
recovery will be a bumpy one."
Europe's auto market bottomed out in 2013, the end of a
six-year slump, but the tentative rebound remains vulnerable to
weak consumer confidence and economic outlooks, clouded by
mounting geopolitical uncertainties.
LMC maintained its 5 percent full-year sales growth
forecast, in line with the year-to-date gain. Calendar effects
led to one fewer August sales days than a year earlier, paring
The German, French and Italian sales declines published this
week have stoked concerns that the recovery may be losing
A sustained surge in UK car registrations, which posted a
9.4 percent gain for August, is also expected to slow in coming
months, the country's SMMT industry body said.
But Spain, one of the markets worst hit by the financial
crisis, saw its annualised selling rate rise 1.7 percent to
849,155 cars, LMC said.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan)