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Business

Car Market on Road to Recovery

After four years of falling sales, the German car market appears to have turned the corner with new car registrations rising by one percent to 3.267 million vehicles in 2004, data published by the auto industry federation VDA showed on Friday. It was the first time since 1999 that the number of new registrations -- a measure of domestic demand in the sector -- had risen on an annual basis, VDA said in a statement. A surge in demand towards the end of the year helped buoy full-year figures, the association found. In December alone, new car registrations were up 22 percent at 282,000 vehicles. "That is pleasing, particularly as German brands appear to have moved into the fast lane," said VDA President Bernd Gottschalk. "The successful model offensive met with a pick-up in consumption at the end of the year. But it doesn't alter the fact that the car industry did meet fulfill all of its hopes in 2004," Gottschalk said.

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