Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

European car sales up in February

Car being scrapped
Car scrappage schemes have helped some countries

New car sales in Europe rose by 3.2% in February compared with the same month a year earlier, but fell almost 30% in Germany as its scrappage scheme ended.

A total of 1,000,754 new passenger cars were registered in the 28 countries monitored by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

Slumping sales in Germany were offset by gains in countries such as Italy and the UK which still have stimulus plans.

Toyota saw its European sales fall 20% after a massive recall hurt the brand.

After negative publicity over reports of problems with acceleration and braking in some models, the firm sold just 42,234 cars in February, compared with 53,233 the same month a year ago.

The decline in car purchases in Germany meant that Volkswagen saw sales drop by 2.2%.

In the UK, overall sales rose 26.4%, while they added 18.2% in France, 20.6% in Italy and 47% in Spain.

But sales in several eastern European countries saw a sharp fall.

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