European sales of new vehicles in August jumped 7.5 percent over a year ago but were still down 0.5 percent for all of 2005, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
August sales for 17 manufacturers selling in 26 European countries totaled 894,226 compared with 831,660 sold in August 2004.
Sales for the first eight months of 2005 reached 10.35 million units. Last year at this time sales were 10.4 million units.
Part of the reason for the increase is that most European countries this year had two more days in which dealerships were open over last year. Reuters reports that new models and aggressive discounts also helped fuel sales this summer.
August's big winners include Kia Motors Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. Kia posted an increase of 35.0 percent; Suzuki's increase was 30.6 percent.
Embattled Volkswagen AG rolled up a 19.8 percent gain, while BMW AG, along with its Mini division, was up 14.2 percent. DaimlerChrysler AG posted a 12.4 percent gain.
Sales of General Motors brands were off 4.2 percent, falling from 88,940 last August to 85,247 this year. But the Chevrolet and Daewoo brands sold 12,190 vehicles and posted a 9.8 percent increase over August 2004.
GM is launching Chevrolet as its world brand.
Ford Motor Co.'s sales were 6.8 percent higher compared with last year.
Struggling Fiat group and Mazda Motor Corp. saw their sales drop in August. Fiat, with sales of 48,967, was down 8.2 percent, while Mazda was off 9.6 percent.
Mazda sold 13,751 vehicles in August.
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