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UPDATE 2-German car sales jump almost 10 pct in September
October 5, 2016 / 9:31 AM / in a year

UPDATE 2-German car sales jump almost 10 pct in September

* 9-month sales up 6.1 pct to 2.56 mln - KBA

* German market may weaken slightly in Q4 - analyst

* LMC says western European car sales up 6.6 pct in Sept (Releads on KBA figures, adds LMC, analyst comment, background)

By Andreas Cremer

BERLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - German car sales jumped 9.4 percent in September from the same month a year ago, the country’s motor transport authority said on Wednesday, as Europe’s autos market continues its recovery from years of decline.

Mercedes-Benz and Renault were among the best performing manufacturers amid strong demand for small cars and sport-utility vehicles (SUV), the KBA said.

Registrations rose to 298,002 vehicles in September, a seasonally strong month, it added, confirming a Reuters story. That left nine-month sales in Europe’s largest auto market up 6.1 percent at 2.56 million cars.

After six years of declines following the global financial crisis, European car sales returned to growth in 2014 and have been steadily recovering since then, with pent-up demand and new models lifting sales despite a mixed economic backdrop.

Western European car sales rose 6.6 percent year-on-year last month to 1.4 million, based on registrations data collated by LMC Automotive with estimates for Greece and Luxembourg, which have yet to publish.

That represents a seasonally adjusted selling rate of 14.48 million cars per year, LMC said, up 4.1 percent on August’s 13.91 million.

“September saw the strongest selling rate this year for the West European car market, with ongoing expansion in all Big Five markets,” said LMC analyst Emiliano Lewis, adding there was little sign so far that Britain’s market had been adversely affected by its vote in June to leave the European Union.

Peter Fuss, a senior partner and automotive specialist in Ernst & Young’s German practice, said the German data was underpinned by low unemployment and rising incomes.

Sales to private individuals were up by more than a fifth, whereas registrations by commercial customers rose only 4 percent, he said, adding the German market may weaken slightly in the fourth quarter to post full-year growth of 5 percent.

Renault, Fiat and Daimler’s Mercedes posted the largest gains among major carmakers, with sales increases of 46 percent, 36 percent and 26 percent respectively.

Market leader Volkswagen’s deliveries edged up 1.7 percent, outpaced by mass-market rivals Opel and Ford , as its namesake VW brand continues to suffer the fallout from the company’s emissions test cheating scandal. (Additional reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter)

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