Automotive News reports the European automotive market has posted first gain in 19 months. Germany and Spain helped push the swell thanks to higher-than-average consumer confidence, though the EU saw registrations jump two percent overall compared to the prior year. In April, buyers took home 1.08 million new vehicles, up from 1.06 million during the same month in 2012. Analysts are hoping the news is the first sign of a legitimate recovery for a region that has suffered some of the slowest auto sales in 20 years. Even so, the market continues to suffer – four-month sales are down 7 percent to 4.18 million units.
Peugeot-Citroen saw its sales fall off by 10 percent last month. Ford and General Motors both posted declines of 0.6 percent and four percent respectively, with Chevrolet suffering through a 28-percent decline last month. There were winners in the region, however. Mercedes-Benz sales increased by 13 percent while Volkswagen registrations jumped by around 9 percent. Sales were particularly strong in the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany.