MILAN (Reuters) - European car registrations rose 14.4% in September as the market recovered from the previous month’s slump, led by robust gains at major brands Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Renault (RENA.PA), industry data published on Wednesday showed.
The year-on-year increase was largely due to the low sales volumes recorded in September 2018, when registrations fell “significantly” following the introduction of WLTP emission standards, European car industry association ACEA said.
WLTP standards measure the level of pollutants, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption for passenger cars.
Registrations rose to 1.29 million cars last month from 1.12 million a year earlier across the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, the Brussels-based association said in a statement.
In August, registration had dropped 8.6% year on year.
Four of the five major European markets posted a double-digit registration growth last month, with Germany outpacing France, Spain and Italy, with a 22.2% gain, ACEA figure showed.
Registrations in Britain rose by a modest 1.3%, as “Brexit-related uncertainties continued to affect consumer confidence,” ACEA added.
Last month, Volkswagen saw sales of its core brand rise 58.2% and Renault brand sales rose by 30.3%. FCA’s Alfa Romeo (FCHA.MI) registrations rose 25.9% year on year.
Japan’s Nissan (7201.T) was one of the biggest losers among major brands, with a 7.0% decline in sales.
Among premium auto brands, Audi (NSUG.DE) sales rose 38.8%, topping competitors such as Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) and Volvo, which saw their registrations rise 9.9% and 9.3%, respectively. BMW BMW.DE registrations dropped 6.6%, ACEA said.
Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Edmund Blair