Figures from the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association show that new car registrations in the European Union (EU) for March 2010 were 10.8 per cent higher compared to March 2009.
Over the first quarter of 2010, registrations rose by 9.2 per cent compared to the first three months of last year.
Registrations fell by 9.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2008.
Most major markets recovered ground compared to early 2009, reflecting the continuing effect of government incentive programmes.
In contrast, German registrations shrank by 26.6 per cent to 294,375 units. In total, 1,637,478 new cars were registered in the EU.
The UK accounted for almost 400,000 new cars, or 26.6 per cent more than in 2009, thereby becoming the largest EU market this month.
Registrations in Italy were up 19.6 per cent and rose by 17.9 per cent in France.
Demand in Spain jumped by +63.1 per cent compared to the low levels of 2009 (-38.7 per cent), claiming fifth rank in absolute figures (124,756 units).
Results in other European markets were mixed, with an increase by 40.6 per cent in the Czech Republic and a drop by 53.3 per cent in Hungary.
Over the first quarter of the year, 3,671,871 new passenger cars were registered in the EU, or 9.2 per cent more than in the same quarter a year ago.
Of the major markets, only Germany recorded negative results (-22.8 per cent) while France (+16.9 per cent), Italy (+23.3 per cent), the UK (+27.3 per cent) and Spain (+44.5 per cent) all posted growth.
In absolute figures, Germany ranked first (670,410 units), followed by Italy (666,231 units), the UK (611,548), France (594,720 units) and Spain (286,167 units).