German new car sales up 3.0% in January: federation

2nd February 2016, Comments 0 comments

New car registrations in Germany, a key indicator of demand in Europe's top economy, rose in January, data showed on Tuesday.

A total of 218,400 new cars were registered last month, an increase of three percent compared with the figure for the same month in 2015 and the highest level for January since 2008, according to data compiled by the automakers' federation VDA.

"The German car market got off to a good start in the new year, continuing on from the trend seen in recent months," said VDA president Matthias Wissmann.

"New registrations in January were higher than they have been since 2008. That makes us confident for the coming months," Wissmann said.

According to separate data containing a breakdown of sales by different carmakers compiled by the federal road transport authority KBA, new own-brand registrations of the country's biggest carmaker Volkswagen slumped by 8.8 percent in January.

VW brand cars are still the biggest selling models in Germany, accounting for 22 percent over the overall market, the data showed, but the emissions-cheating scandal is taking its toll on sales.

New registrations of Skoda cars, one of the VW brands also involved by the scandal, fell by 7.3 percent last month. And sales of the group's Spanish brand SEAT fell by 2.2 percent.

By contrast, sales of the group's luxury Audi brand advanced by 22.5 percent, KBA calculated.

Volkswagen owns 12 different brands in total and consultants EY calculated that total new registrations of all 12 brands fell by 1.8 percent in January.

And the affair was hitting the wider diesel sector, where new registrations of diesel-power cars declined by 0.5 percent.

Volkswagen admitted in September to installing emissions-cheating software in 11 million diesel engines worldwide, sparking a worldwide scandal.

© 2016 AFP

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