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2015-07-17 09:03

BOOST IN VEHICLE SALES: New vehicle sales in Europe increased hugely in June 2015 despite the economic turmoil in Greece. Image: AP / Ross Franklin

MILAN, Italy - European auto sales surged 15% in June, the biggest month-on-month increase in more than five years, the European automakers' association reported on July 16.

Analysts, however, remained cautious amid economic uncertainty caused by the Greek financial crisis. The region posted its 22nd month of growth with sales of 1.36-million units, boosting half-year sales by eight percent to 7.1-million, the association said.

IHS Automotive analyst Carlos da Silva said the stronger-than-expected growth was due to two extra calendar days of sales in June compared to May, as well as the impact of end-of-quarter accounting when many automakers offer incentives to reach targets.

DEMAND IN GERMANY, FRANCE

He noted strong response from individual buyers in Germany and France, where sales rose 13% and 15% respectively.

Despite the acceleration in registrations, IHS remained cautious for the year, forecasting growth of only four percent to 13.1-million units.

WHAT ABOUT THE GREEK CRISIS?

Da Silva said: "The market's recovery is still fragile, even more so as a result of the ongoing turmoil in Greece." He added that private demand ws "close to saturation point".

All major markets posted double-digit gains, the associations said. Beyond France and Germany, registrations were up 23% in Spain, 14% in Italy and 13% in the UK.

The major mass-market automakers showed double-digit sales gains, except for France's Renault with sales up only 4.5%.

There were no major shifts in market share.

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