German car sales rev up pace in July

Berlin: Demand for cars in Europe’s biggest economy Germany surged 12.3 percent in July compared to a year ago, with new registrations of brands belonging to auto giant Volkswagen group leading the charts.

New registrations totalled 317,848 in July, Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority said in a statement Thursday, noting that year-on-year growth outpaced that of June’s 4.2 percent.

Demand for petrol cars revved up 24.5 percent, now making up every six in 10 new registrations.

Registrations of diesel vehicles skidded 10.5 percent as they struggle to lift a cloud of suspicion after a massive pollution cheating scandal.

At the root of the crisis was Volkswagen, which admitted in 2015 to cheating emissions tests on 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Despite the dent to its reputation, the group’s brands which include Porsche and Audi proved popular with buyers in July.

Porsche registrations soared 56 percent while Volkswagen’s rose 34.2 percent. Audi also showed growth of 26.9 percent.

Volkswagen brand cars also made up the biggest share of new vehicles on German roads, with every one in five cars sold bearing the VW badge.

In comparison, registrations of Mercedes vehicles were down 15.5 percent and those of rival BMW too slumped 14.8 percent.