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EU market on recovery course as new registrations rise

Europe's car market has shown yet another monthly increase in registrations, following a protracted period of sluggish demand amid the continent's debt crisis. Britain and Spain were the biggest contributors in March.

Demand for new passenger cars in the 28-member European Union increased for the seventh month in a row in March, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association

(ACEA) reported Thursday

.

The industry organization said it recorded a 10.6-percent rise in new registration, reflecting a total of roughly 1.45 million units.

ACEA said it was a sign of hope the continent's car market was slowly, but surely

leaving behind a long period of unusually low demand

with the eurozone crisis biting.

UK in the lead

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The association noted, though, that the figure logged for March marked the second lowest result for the same month since ACEA started collecting comparable data for the enlarged EU back in 2003.

All national markets were found to have contributed to the March surge in registrations. The UK logged a 17.7 percent increase, while Spain posted a 10-percent surge. The French, German and Italian markets also grew strongly.

ACEA said new passenger car registrations increased by 8.4 percent for the first three months of the year, with a total of 3.27 million new units logged by offices across the bloc.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters)

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