Never before were more cars sold in a September in the European Union than this year. An eight-year long sales crisis resulting from the 2008 financial crisis in Europe has finally come to an end.
Last month, auto sales in Europe accelerated 7.2 percent compared with September 2015 as more than 1.455 million vehicles were sold - the "highest September total on record," according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
ACEA's data show that sales on the continent have been rising steadily since September 2013 - except for a slight drop in July - thus recovering from all-time lows marked in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and economic depression.
Among major EU markets, vehicle sales picked up most significantly in Italy, gaining 17.4 percent, to be followed by Spain, up 13.9 percent, and 9.4 percent reported from Germany.
Demand for cars was less strong in France and Britain, with sales rising by only 2.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively. The annual total for 2016, now stands at 11.243 million units sold in the EU - an increase by 8 percent over the same January- to-September period last year.
Winners and losers
The biggest beneficiaries from the new car boom in Europe were Italy's Fiat and France's Renault in the mass-market segment. In the premium market, Germany's BMW and Daimler reported the biggest gains.
In September - as in previous months - embattled German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) sold the most vehicles of all manufacturers, retaining its position as Europe's biggest carmaker.
However, the company's diesel emissions scandal caused VW to lose further market sharein the first nine months of 2016, dropping to 23.8 percent after reaching 24.9 percent in the same period last year.
France's PSA and Renault were tied in second place, on 10 percent each, followed by Ford with a 7.1-percent take of the market, Opel with 6.8 percent and Fiat-Chrysler on 6.7 percent.
uhe/sgd (Reuters, dpa)