July 14, 2017 / 6:00 AM / 7 days ago

Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Daimler lead European car sales rise

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BERLIN, July 14 (Reuters) - European car sales edged up 2.1 percent in June, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota posting strong gains amid mixed signals from the region's top five markets, according to industry data published on Friday.

Registrations rose to 1.54 million cars last month in the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, Brussels-based industry body ACEA said, from 1.51 million a year earlier. Half-year sales were up 4.6 percent to 8.46 million autos.

In the 28-nation EU excluding Malta, registrations climbed 2.1 percent to 1.49 million vehicles, the highest level since 2007, the last year before the region's six-year slump.

Among major automotive groups, Toyota recorded the biggest monthly rise with a 12.9 percent gain, followed by Fiat Chrysler with 7.9 percent and Daimler with 4.2 percent.

Still grappling with its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaking group, saw deliveries rising 2.7 percent. Growth was held back by a 0.5 percent gain at the core namesake brand and a 1.4 percent drop at luxury division Audi.

French rivals PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault grew 3.9 and 3 percent respectively while General Motors' Opel division declined 6.9 percent as it nears its acquisition by PSA.

Registrations fell in the region's two largest markets Germany and Britain, by 3.5 percent and 4.8 percent, while Italy, France and Spain posted gains of 12.9 percent, 1.6 percent and 6.5 percent respectively, according to ACEA. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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