Figures from the European car industry show strong car sales last month, with 1.45 million new car registrations across the EU. This was a record for September. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said this was up 7.2 per cent on the same month last year, while figures for the first nine months of 2016 are up 8 per cent from a year earlier.
Italy and Spain led the way for September, with increases of 17.4 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively. France (2.5 per cent) and the UK (1.6 per cent) showed much smaller gains.
Ireland was one of only three EU countries to show a fall (1.6 per cent) in sales compared with September last year, but Irish sales are still 18.4 per cent ahead so far this year - one of the fastest growth rates in the EU.
Among the winners:
Luxury brands: BMW sales jumped by 10.5 per cent in September, Mercedes was up 17.9 per cent and Lexus 16.7 per cent ahead. Jaguar sales leapt by more than 42 per cent.
Renault: The French company recorded the strongest growth of all the heavyweight groups, up 18.7 per cent, with both of its brands - Renault and Dacia showing double-digit growth.
FCA Group: Fiat’s owner showed a 14.5 per cent gain, with Fiat sales up 10.8 per cent and Alfa Romeo jumping 38.8 per cent.
And the losers:
VW Group: Still trying to recover from its emissions-cheating scandal, the German car maker did record 5.2 per cent growth in the EU in September, but this was well below the average 7.2 per cent level - and its market share slipped from 23.2 per cent to 22.8 per cent.
PSA: The French group, in which the French state took a stake after a 2012 bail-out, was one of the few groups to record a fall. Its sales fell 5.2 per cent in September, with Citroen dropping more than 10 per cent.
Ford: The US car maker’s Opel and Vauxhall brands recorded only modest growth compared with rivals, and its market share slipped from 7.9 per cent to 7.3 per cent.