December 14, 2017 / 7:15 AM / a year ago

PSA, Toyota lead European car sales gain, helped by extra selling day

A Toyota Motor Corp. worker inspects a Yaris on the production line of the company's plant in Onnaing, near Valenciennes, France, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - European car sales rose 5.8 percent in November, helped by an extra selling day as PSA Group (PEUP.PA) and Toyota (7203.T) posted the strongest gains among the region’s major automakers, industry data published on Thursday showed.

Registrations rose to 1.26 million cars last month in the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, Brussels-based industry body ACEA said, from 1.19 million a year earlier. Eleven-months sales were up 4 percent to 14.5 million autos.

Sales by France’s PSA soared 83 percent from November 2016 to 200,211 cars as registrations of the newly acquired Opel-Vauxhall division were not included in year-earlier records, while Toyota was up 12 percent at 57,355 cars.

French rival Renault (RENA.PA) grew 10 percent to 139,335 vehicles whereas Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) slipped 1 percent to 74,568 cars, weighed down by declines of over 20 percent each at its Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands.

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Europe’s biggest automotive group reported a 5 percent increase to 310,647 cars with premium nameplates Audi (NSUG.DE) and Porsche as well as mass-market brands Seat and Skoda all posting growth.

Of Europe’s five biggest auto markets, Germany, France and Spain posted double-digit or close to double-digit advances, outweighing an 11 percent plunge in the No. 2 market Britain where weaker consumer confidence and uncertainty over the future of diesel have been hurting demand.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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