EU Car Sales Continue to Rise

European car sales rose a 12th consecutive month as price cuts by automakers and demand for compact models from Ford Motor Co. (F) and Volkswagen AG (VOW) led to the longest stretch of growth on record.

Registrations increased 1.8 percent in August to 701,118 vehicles from 688,464 a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA, said today in a statement. The growth, the slowest this year, pared sales gains in the eight months through August to 5.8 percent.

Demand for cars in Europe is reviving from a two-decade low last year that stemmed from a sovereign-debt crisis and recession in the countries sharing the euro. The VW Polo and Ford's competing Fiesta helped propel sales jumps last month exceeding 14 percent for those brands. Mass-market producers tried to win buyers with discounts that Barclays Plc estimated averaged 20 percent in Germany and 18 percent in France.

"A slowdown in year-on-year industry growth during the third quarter is a consequence of a slight market recovery in the second half of 2013," Allan Rushforth, head of European operations for Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co., said in an e-mail. "Where there is still growth for the industry, it is driven by heavy incentive spending."

SOURCE: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-09-17/europe-auto-sales-rise-a-12th-month-on-vw-ford-compacts