European car sales jumped the most this year in May, volume and premium brands alike posting double-digit percentage growth. Hayley Platt looks at a sector that appears to be defying major scandals and global economic wobbles.
Europe's car market gathers speed showing its biggest rise this year. New car sales rose 16 percent in May. Premium brands led the way helped in part by an extra selling day in many markets. And.... (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Low interest rates. It just makes buying a car a lot cheaper than perhaps it should be, than if you were basing interest rates on purely market levels, they would probably be a bit higher than they are now. But, still, there's an incentive to buy new cars at low rates and while interest rates are low that's probably not going to change." Italy and France enjoyed some of the biggest gains. Sales of Renault and Fiat Chrysler soaring. While Germany, Europe's biggest single market, posted growth of 12 percent. Even the beleaguered VW brand managed respectable gains as it battled to move beyond 'Dieselgate'. The industry still remains well short of its pre-crisis peak.