German Demand for New Cars Buoyant in December

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The FINANCIAL — New car registrations in Germany rose 8% in December from the same month the previous year, bringing the increase for all of 2015 to 6%, though growth in Europe’s biggest car market has been overshadowed by the emissions scandal at the Volkswagen AG, according to Nasdaq.

German December car registrations, a reflection of sales, benefited from one additional workday versus the year- earlier month, the German automobile association VDA said. The December data follow an increase of 9% in November from the same month the previous year.

Germany’s data follow that of other European markets earlier in the week. In France, sales rebounded, up 6.8% for the full year, while Italy’s sales rose 16% and Spain’s jumped 21%, Evercore ISI ​investment research ​said.

In France, December sales were up 13%. Registrations of French brands increased sharply, while sales of Volkswagen cars, the most popular foreign brand in France, dropped 9.7% from a year earlier.

The automobile industry came under sharp scrutiny in September, when Volkswagen admitted to installing software on diesel models which manipulated emission tests, allowing vehicles to perform better during tests than on the road. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil suit against Volkswagen on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

​VDA didn’t break out registrations by manufacturer. ​

Late on January 5, Volkswagen, Germany’s and Europe’s biggest car maker by sales, said its U.S. sales fell 9.1% in the month of December. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA, said it would release European registration data for December on January 15.


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