European sales rose 5.9 percent in October, with Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen Group’s Seat brand leading the gains among volume automakers. Registrations advanced to 1.21 million in the European Union and European Free Trade Area from 1.17 million a year earlier, industry association ACEA said in a statement on Thursday.
Toyota’s monthly sales jumped 21 percent, with Toyota brand’s registrations gaining 22 percent and Lexus 1 percent. Renault posted an 18 percent increase in group registrations with Dacia sales up 20 percent and Renault 17 percent.
PSA registrations jumped 74 percent after it began reporting sales by the Opel and Vauxhall brands it recently acquired from General Motors alongside its own Peugeot, Citroen and DS marques. The combined sales of all five brands rose about 6.7 percent year-on-year. Peugeot sales increased 17 percent, helped by a retool of the seven-seat 5008 into an SUV from an earlier minivan version. Citroen was up 7.4 percent and DS down 20 percent. Opel’s volume slumped to 68,552 units from 92,448 in September.
VW Group registration increased 4.7 percent, led by a 21 percent gain at Seat and 11 percent rise at Skoda. VW brand sales increased 2.2 percent, Audi’s volume fell 1.5 percent and Porsche’s registrations dropped by 2.2. percent.
Ford posted a 5.8 percent gain. It said this week that deliveries of the Kuga crossover in a 20-country portion of the region surged 44 percent. Fiat Chrysler sales rose 1.5 percent as 20 percent gains at Jeep and and Alfa Romeo offset slow 1.2 percent growth at Fiat brand.
Nissan’s registrations dropped 4.7 percent. Asian rivals Hyundai and Kia gained 7.7 percent and 9.8 percent respectively. Among premium automakers, BMW brand was down 9.2 percent while Mercedes-Benz gained 7.7. percent.
European sales are up 3.8 percent in the first 10 months. Demand was buoyant in France and southern Europe, with French and Spanish registrations both rising 14 percent and Italian sales up 7 percent.
German registrations increased 3.9 percent while UK sales fell 12 percent, the seventh consecutive monthly decline as concerns about Brexit also discouraged consumers from buying new cars.
The euro-zone economy is set for its best annual performance in at least a decade, with consumer confidence at its highest since 2001.
Public concern is rising in the UK, which isn’t in the euro area, because talks have made little progress on the terms for the nation’s departure from the EU.
Full-year sales in western Europe next year are likely to be “constrained by struggling UK sales,” analysts Jonathon Poskitt and David Oakley at research company LMC Automotive Ltd. wrote in a report before the ACEA published its statement.