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Business

European car market inching out of doldrums

The car market in the European Union has shown increased signs of recovery, following another month of boosted sales in most member states. But it's still far from levels seen prior to the global financial crisis.

Car sales across the European Union surged again in October, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) reported Tuesday.

The major lobby organization for the continent's automotive industry said sales in that month increased by 4.7 percent year-on-year, following a 5.4-percent increase in the previous month.

ACEA said more than a million units left showrooms in October, adding to analysts' optimism the market's recovery might be sustainable.

Spain leads the table

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Almost all domestic EU markets improved, ACEA figures showed, with Spain logging the biggest gains by far. The debt-stricken southern European nation recorded a sales increase of no less than 34.4 percent, eclipising the 28.5-percent surge in the previous month.

Spain's boosted sales can be largely attributed to a state-supported cash-for-clunkers premium that buyers of new vehicles received in return for scrapping their old cars.

Germany only posted a modest 2.3-percent jump in October, with Daimler boosting its sales by over 7 percent, while Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen, saw its sales climb by 5.8 percent year-on-year.

hg/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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