The SAAR (seasonally adjusted annualised selling rate) during October was just under 14.7 million units a year, higher than the average for the year to date, a study by JD Power-LMC suggests.
It said German sales were crucial to this demand. The selling rate in the country had averaged 3.2 million units a year in the first seven months, but this has increased to about 3.4 million units in the last three months.
The study said: 'There is no mistaking the improvement in German demand. The October registrations volume is expected to come in at about 282,000 units in October, for the third consecutive month, would represent a selling rate of 3.4 million units per year.'
'The evidence on orders is also positive, though there is some concern that these orders may be somewhat artificial (for example, vehicles destined for showrooms rather than customers).
'This is consistent with our idea that some of the sales improvement may be due to manufacturers pushing harder. Whatever the reasons behind the higher volumes, the data for registrations in the current and recent months confirm that the improvement is here, and the order data does not suggest that it is going to go away in the very near future.'
The study also revealed that an Italian Government incentive scheme designed to get motorists out of older vehicles and into newer ones could be extended.
It said: 'There were strong rumours that the incentives might even be made more generous from January, which would have had a negative impact on near-term sales. These rumours were met with a denial, presumable officialdom has realised that the policy that will help Fiat the most is to keep quiet about what will happen after December until the time has come, and then announce more incentives.'