The West European car market surged in November according to data released by JD Power-LMC. The market analyst said that sales in November totalled 1.15 million units, 9% ahead of the same month last year. The total makes it one of the strongest Novembers on record.

Seasonally adjusted annualised sales also rose sharply in November to over 15.2 million units a year.

The firm said that previously weak national markets such as Germany and France recorded impressive gains in November.

But it also said that the apparent demand upturn has more to do with manufacturer incentives and new product availability than underlying consumer sentiment.

And the outlook for the car market in Western Europe in 2005 remains weak, JD Power-LMC said.

"2005 does not currently offer any great hope for a rise in car demand. A number of negative macro-economic factors are colliding (high oil price, appreciating currencies) to produce downward revisions to economic growth forecasts across the continent. Our assessment for the car market in Western Europe is that sales will struggle to grow at all in 2005 — meanwhile the issue of incentives will remain as contentious as ever with significant risk, both upside and downside, resulting," JD-Power-LMC said.

In the first eleven months of the year, West European car sales stand at just under 13.6 million units, 1.8% ahead of the same period last year, according to JD Power-LMC.