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European car sales rev to record high

By Hazel Davis

Passenger car demand growth highest on record

Passenger car demand grew in Europe for the fourth month in a row in December, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

The ACEA says that the 21.7 per cent rise to 1.22m vehicles sales marked the highest December total on record.

All EU countries posted solid growth rates but big gains were seen in France (28 per cent), Sweden and the Netherlands, which both reported more than double sales.

This growth is in stark contrast with weaker demand in China and the US. Car sales in China fell 3.6 per cent in December and growth slowed in the US, with dealers offering record discounts.

Overall in 2019, registrations of new cars increased by 1.2 per cent across the EU, according to the ACEA, making it the sixth consecutive year of growth.

The December surge is likely due to panic-buying ahead of regulatory changes. The EU has introduced steep fines for car makers that exceed carbon dioxide average emissions, as reports show that emissions have increased across the board. It is thought that Europe will lead global growth in electric-car sales in 2020 as individual governments start introducing greater incentives for purchase.

FURTHER READING: UK car sales expected to slump to eight-year low in 2020 Porsche defies gloom with record sales in 2019

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