Scrappage incentives continued to boost the European car market in June, helping to secure a year-on-year gain for the first time in 14 months, according to data released by the European vehicle makers’ association ACEA.


The ACEA data confirmed figures for Western European car sales issued earlier this month by JD Power Automotive Forecasting (which were carried by just-auto).


ACEA said that the June market for new passenger cars in Europe was 1,461,859 units in June, 2.4% ahead of the same month last year. It said that fleet renewal schemes in more than ten EU Member States helped the market to its first year-on-year increase in 14 months, against the backdrop of a steep downward trend that commenced in May 2008.


Cumulative figures for the first half of 2009 show an 11% drop in European new car registrations compared to the same period in 2008, with a total of 7,425,762 new cars registered.


ACEA pointed out that June market growth was particularly strong in Germany (+40.5%), which is the largest market in Europe. Italy (+12.4%), France (+7.0%) and Austria (+4.0%) saw registrations increase as well, while the downturn in Spain (-15.9%) and the UK (-15.7%) was cushioned by more recently introduced support measures.


However, analysts say that the European car market will see a downward correction in 2010 when temporary scrappage schemes expire.


ACEA has also said that the production of motor vehicles in Europe declined by 35% to 3.4m units in the first quarter of 2009, with many manufacturers continuing to reduce stocks and cut output in light of reduced market demand.


Much of the boost to the European car market from scrappage schemes is being felt in small car segments.


The ACEA data shows that market leader Volkswagen Group increased market share in June – with sales up 9.5% – as VW brand small cars surged.


Troubled GM Group was hit by lower Opel/Vauxhall sales although Chevrolet notched up a 15.5% sales gain on last year.


Other notable June gainers included Dacia (+58%) and Hyundai (+27%).