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European car sales climb away from crash

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 – Sales of new cars in Europe rose over the summer thanks mainly to incentive schemes in a countries in the EU, according to industry date released on Tuesday.

Rises in new car registrations of 2.8 percent in July and 3.0 percent in August continued the sector\’s re-emergence from the global economic crisis, according to the ACEA European car makers association.

They followed a similar rise in June which ended a 14-month period of declining sales.

The ACEA stressed that the summer results "derived from starkly varying results in individual countries".

This comment was born out by figures showing Austrian new car sales up by 44.1 percent in July alone while drops of a massive 77.1 percent were registered in Ireland and 86.6 percent in Latvia.

The rising sales number overall "is mainly reflecting the impact of incentive schemes in a number of markets across the EU," the ACEA said, referring to the kind of \’cash for clunkers\’ schemes that have enticed buyers back into the new car market.

The association pointed out that in the first eight months of this year the car registrations are still 8.2 percent down on the same period last year, amounting to 9,565,517 units.

In terms of market share, Volkswagen remained on top with an improved 23.5 percent of the European market.

Japanese rival Nissan, working from a much lower base of under three percent, enjoyed the biggest percent sales rise, up 46.5 percent in August, while struggling US maker Chrysler saw its even smaller sales almost cut in half in August from 12 months previously.

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