(Bloomberg) -- European car sales rose for a 20th consecutive month in April, bolstered by a reviving economy and new models from Renault, BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Registrations in the EU and EFTA countries increased 6.9 percent from a year earlier to 1.21 million vehicles, the Brussels-based industry association ACEA, said in a statement today. Four-month sales jumped 8.1 percent to 4.85 million cars.
The gains extend the auto market's longest growth streak since the ACEA began compiling figures in 1990 and maintain a recovery from a two-decade low reached in 2013. Business confidence in Germany, Europe's biggest economy and largest car market, was at a 10-month high in April after first-quarter economic growth quickened in countries using the euro.
Sales increases were propelled by deliveries of SUVs including the Renault Captur, Jeep Renegade and BMW X5.
"The European car market has been performing above expectations, and the month of April is confirming the trend," said Juergen Pieper, an analyst with Bankhaus Metzler. "The European economies are doing well, which is helping to boost car sales," he said.
All major European automakers posted April growth. Volkswagen Group registrations were up 5.4 percent with gains of 5.6 percent at the core VW brand, 18 percent at Porsche, 9.5 percent at Skoda and 3.7 percent at Audi. Seat sales fell by 1.1 percent.
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's sales rose by 2.5 percent with the Peugeot brand's 5.8 percent increase outpacing 1.1 percent growth at Citroen. Volume at the new DS brand dropped by 17 percent on an aging lineup.
Renault's registrations jumped 15.3 percent with volume at the core Renault brand growing faster at 15.6 percent than Dacia's 14.7 percent gain.