VW’s woes are boon for Ford, Opel as European demand picks up

European car sales rose 13.7 per cent in November, according to industry data published on Tuesday, with American brands recording strong gains as German powerhouse Volkswagen continued to pay the price for its emissions test-rigging scandal, agencies reported.

Registrations rose to 1.12 million cars last month from 989,758 a year earlier, the Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers said, with Ford and General Motors'  Opel among the best performers.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker by sales, saw its core brand market share tumble to 12.2 per cent from 13.5 per cent, as sales edged just 3.1 per cent higher. The German automaker group as a whole posted a 3.9 per cent gain.

The VW brand, struggling to contain the damage after being exposed in September for cheating US tests for toxic diesel emissions, suffered a more marked 20 per cent sales decline in Britain, according to data released on December 4.

The broader European auto recovery is set to continue into 2016 after an 8.6 per cent expansion in January-November, Ernst & Young analyst Anil Valsan said.
"The car market is expected to remain on the growth track driven by the positive economic environment, low financing costs, low fuel prices, high discounts and some remaining pent-up demand," Valsan said.

"However, growth is expected to be slower, with interest rates likely to edge up."
Fiat Chrysler, Ford and Opel all saw November sales rise more than 18 per cent, with GM's European arm helped by the recently launched Astra compact.
Sales by France's Renault advanced 15.1 per cent, while domestic rival PSA Peugeot Citroen rose 12.8 per cent, with a buoyant Peugeot brand tempered by a weaker Citroen performance.