16 Jan 2010

European car sales up in December

7:27 pm on 16 January 2010

European car sales rose by 16% in December, marking signs of recovery in the sector after another tough year.

A total of 14.5 million cars were sold across 28 European countries in 2009.

However, total sales for 2009 were down 1.6% on 2008, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Some countries with scrappage schemes saw rises in sales in 2009, including France and Germany.

France was the first to do so, in January 2009. It has now ended, helping car sales rise by more than 10%

The BBC reports the German scheme cost 5 billion euros and ended in September 2009. Car sales rose by 23% last year.

Other countries to do so include the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Sales in Britain were down 6.4% for the year as a whole, though December sales were up 39% compared with a year ago.

The British scheme began in May 2009. According to manufacturers, it has been responsible for a fifth of new car registrations since then. It is expected to end in February.