October 14, 2016 / 6:01 AM / 9 months ago

Europe car sales keep growing as volume, luxury brands gain -ACEA

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BERLIN, Oct 14 (Reuters) - European car sales grew by 7.3 percent last month, industry data showed on Friday, with volume and premium automakers alike posting strong growth.

Registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union and the European Free Trade Association rose to 1.496 million vehicles in September, a seasonally strong month, from 1.395 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers (ACEA) said.

Renault posted the largest gain among major carmakers with an 18.7 percent increase even as growth in its French home market edged up only 2.5 percent.

Fiat Chrysler jumped 14.2 percent, helped by double-digit growth in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

For the 28-nation EU excluding Malta, the 1.46 million tally, a 7.2 percent gain year-on-year, marked a new record for September, ACEA said, adding the region's top five markets of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain kept growing.

PSA dropped 5.8 percent, with the Peugeot brand, Citroen and the upscale DS line all showing declines. Ford was the only other major carmaker in the red, with sales down 0.7 percent.

Volkswagen, a year after its emissions scandal came to light, posted a 3.3 percent advance in European registrations at the VW brand, its fourth-best monthly result this year.

Luxury nameplates BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus posted double-digit or near double-digit growth. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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