European car sales rise in November

By BLOOMBERG

FRANKFURT • European car sales jumped 5.8% last month as new SUVs from French automakers Peugeot and Citroen as well as Asian rivals attracted buyers amid accelerating economic growth.

Registrations increased to 1.26 million vehicles from 1.19 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said yesterday in a statement.

Eleven-month sales gained 4% to 14.5 million autos.

The region is set for the highest annual delivery volume in a decade, cementing a comeback from the global recession and sovereign-debt crises in some European Union (EU) count r ies that plagued the car market for years. The EU raised third-quarter gross domestic product growth figures a week ago, while unemployment in the countries sharing the euro is at a nine-year low, encouraging consumer and business spending on autos, especially roomier SUVs.

“The crisis has been overcome, and in the coming year demand can continue upward,” Peter Fuss, a partner at consultant Ernst and Young, said in a statement. “Economic growth prospects are good” and “interest rates remain low, making auto financing terms attractive”.

Demand for SUVs has prompted producers from Volkswagen AG to luxury-vehicle producers such as Rolls-Royce and Ferrari NV to add them to their line-ups. Sales growth last month was focused on companies offering new or recently updated versions of the rugged models.

PSA Group’s Citroen brand, which began deliveries of the C3 Aircross compact SUV in previous months, posted a 15% surge in European deliveries in November, while its Peugeot nameplate sold 20% more vehicles, buoyed by demand for the 3008 and 5008 crossovers.