European car sales rose a 20th consecutive month in April, bolstered by a reviving economy and new models from Renault SA, BMW AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Registrations increased 6.9 percent from a year earlier to 1.21 million vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said in a statement Tuesday. Four-month sales jumped 8.1 percent to 4.85 million cars. The gains extend the auto market’s longest growth streak since the ACEA began compiling figures in 1990 and maintain a recovery from a two-decade low reached in 2013.
“The European car market has been performing above expectations, and the month of April is confirming the trend,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler. “The European economies are doing well, which is helping to boost car sales.”
Business confidence in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and largest car market, was at a 10-month high in April after first-quarter economic growth quickened in countries using the euro. Auto-sales increases were propelled by deliveries of sport utility vehicles including Renault’s Captur, Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Renegade and BMW’s X5.
Sales are also being encouraged by rebates, as “pricing remains tough,” Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd., said in a May 13 report. “Italy’s gains are partly founded on rental cars, and France’s retail demand is still tepid.”