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Business

Car sales in Germany pick up tangibly

Car sales in Germany have increased considerably in recent weeks, a national automobile industry association has confirmed. The rise in domestic demand has coincided with a surge in exports to many areas of the world.

Demand for cars in Germany rose markedly in March, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) reported Thursday.

It said some 323,000 new registrations were recorded in the country for the month under review, a nine-percent surge over March figured from a year earlier, and the steepest monthly rise since August 2011.

VDA added that some 758,000 cars were sold in Germany in the first three months of the year, marking a six-percent rise compared with the first quarter of last year.

Spain in the lead

"The figures are good, and we're looking to the rest of the year with confidence," VDA chief Matthias Wissmann said in a statement.

He also noted that exports went smoothly

despite some regional problems

, with more than 427,000 units being shipped abroad in March.

VDA officials added car sales had not only picked up in Germany, but also in a number of fellow European nations.

France for instance saw its vehicle sales rise by 9.3 percent, while Italy's sales went up by 15 percent in March year-on-year. The biggest monthly surge, though, was recorded in Spain, where the number of new registrations skyrocketed by 40 percent - not least due to a generous state-subsidized cash-for-clunkers scheme.

hg/nz (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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