Poland’s new car sales rose 4.3% in July  from a year earlier, with Japan’s Toyota aggressively grabbing market share, Reuters reported.


Auto market research agency Samar told Reuters on Thursday that 29,450 new cars were sold last month – the lowest level in four months. In the January-July period, 203,160 vehicles were sold, up 11.9% against the same period of last year, the report added.


Reuters said Toyota leaped past Renault, Opel and Peugeot into third place with 3,481 cars sold in July, up 68% year on year. Only Fiat and VW‘s Skoda sold more in July.


The news agency said Toyota has sold 21,490 vehicles this year, up 51% from the same period in 2002, with sales of its smallest Yaris model up 64% and compact Corolla up 44%.


Reuters noted that Poland’s car market – Europe’s eighth-largest in terms of new car registrations – shrank by more than half in 1999-2002 due to the country’s worst economic slowdown in a decade.


This year, Reuters added, it has recovered somewhat, aided by accelerating economic growth and a long series of interest rate cuts, which have put the central bank’s main rate at an all-time low of 5.25%, but nearly 18% unemployment and weak consumer confidence continue to dent demand for new cars.