Europe car sales grow 5th straight month

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MILAN (AP) — European automakers continue to claw their way out of the industry's longest slump ever, posting the fifth straight month of growth in January.

The European carmakers' association said Tuesday that car sales rose 5.5 percent in January to 935,640 units. Still, the industry's six years of contraction set the bar low: sales were the second lowest for January in a decade.

All major markets saw growth: Britain, Spain and Germany all posted more than 7-percent increases and Italy, which is just shaking off recession, saw car sales grow 3.2 percent, the second straight month of gains.

Carlos Da Silva of IHS Automotive says that despite the low volumes, the trend "is now pointing to future growth," and automakers can switch their focus from survival to revival.