With funds in Germany's car scrappage program running low, buyers invaded the country's auto dealers in June to cash in on the government incentive.
Sales of 427,111 vehicles in Europe's largest market were up a whopping 40 percent over the 304,036 new cars sold in June 2008.
But Germany wasn't the only bright spot in Europe last month. Sales in France rose 7 percent, while sales in Italy increased 12.4 percent.
All together in Europe's 28 markets, sales totaled 1,461,859 in June, up from 1,270,195 in May and a 2.4 percent improvement over a year ago.
But the party in Germany could be ending soon. As of last week, the country's scrappage program only had enough funds to subsidize sales of about 300,000 more new cars. German media reports say about 8,000 applications for the incentive are filed each day.
Sales in countries without a scrappage program suffered. In Great Britain, new-car sales dropped 15.7 percent in June to 176,264. For the year, sales in Britain are off 25.9 percent.
Among brands, Volkswagen was No. 1 in June with sales of 166,485, up 11.9 percent over a year ago.
Ford placed second with sales of 127,214, an increase of 5.4 percent from June 2008.
Renault was third with June sales of 114,788, down 4.4 percent from the same period a year ago.