Europe sales rise slightly

LONDON — New light-vehicle sales in Western Europe last month rose 4 percent from a year earlier, putting year-to-date sales 0.6 percent ahead of last year’s near record pace at 13.9 million.

Sales in November rose in each of the five main markets of Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. Britain led the way with a 13.4 percent increase, while Germany, Europe’s biggest market, posted a 4.1 percent gain.

Sales in Austria, Finland, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland and Norway all declined in November. But ACEA, the European automakers’ association, said the overall results were “encouraging ... given the current economic situation.”

Buoyed by the addition of the Mini to its lineup, BMW Group sales surged 23.9 percent over a year earlier to nearly 49,800 units. Sales of the Mini totaled 6,689 in the month, while BMW brand was up 7.3 percent, to just over 43,000.

Jaguar had a strong month, with sales up 92.4 percent over a year earlier as buyers warmed to the X-Type.

Renault sales increased 11 percent, while PSA/Peugeot-Citroen was up 10 percent from a year earlier. Troubled Fiat Auto posted a 4.3 percent gain in November, trimming its decline for the 11 months to 3.9 percent. c

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