Figures for the month of April, for the EU15 and countries belonging to the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA), reached 1,271,876 units, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same month the previous year.
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which produced the figures said: 'With the number of working days being basically the same, there was one extra trading day in Italy and Portugal, and one less in Spain and Luxembourg, this result seems to confirm the positive trend started last month.'
The association said that figures for April show some significant increases in individual countries. They range from an increase of 29.5% in Denmark to 1.8% in Ireland. In the five main markets the figures were Italy: (+13.3%), Spain (+4%), Germany (+3.4%), the United Kingdom (-3.8%) and France (-4%).
Portugal (-1.2%) was the only other country to end the month with a drop. Figures for the first four months of the year show increases in 12 countries, ranging from +21.6% in Denmark to +1% in Austria, and decreases in the remaining three countries, ranging from -3.3% in Sweden to -1.1% in Germany.
A spokesman for ACEA added: 'New EU member states ended their last month as accession countries with a significant increase (+20.6 %), which brings cumulative figures for 2004 up to +12.8%. Poland (+45.6%) posted the highest increase, while the Czech Republic was the only country showing a decrease (-9.7%).'
|Year to date sales figures|
|Country||Jan-Apr 04||Jan-Apr 03||Variance|
|EU (new members):||307,603||272,583||+12.8%|