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Fiat levels with Renault in Q1 in Europe

From Automotive News| April 16,2007

Fiat boosted its sales in Europe in the first quarter and is now level with Renault as fifth-largest car maker by market share, data by the ACEA European car makers association showed today.

Riding a wave of new models such as the Bravo, the Grande Punto hatchback and the Panda city car, Fiat had 6.4 percent higher sales in total in the 28 European countries surveyed by Acea. Its market share was up to 8.3 percent from 7.8 percent.

Renault, meanwhile, is treading water as it gears up for a new model offensive starting with Twingo and Laguna later this year and its market share dropped to 8.3 percent from 9.2 percent with a 9.9 percent sales decline in the European area made up of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

In the smaller area of the core 15-state EU and EFTA countries, Fiat's market share was up to 8.6 percent while Renault fell to 7.9 percent.

In the bigger area, Volkswagen group remained number one. Sales were up 0.1 percent and the market share nudged up to 18.9 percent from 18.8 percent.

PSA/Peugeot Citroen saw sales decline 1.1 percent and its market share slipped to 13.3 percent from 13.4 percent a year ago, still good for second place.

Ford had 2.4 percent higher sales for a market share of 11.2 percent, up from 10.9 percent, and GM sold 0.8 percent more cars and boosted its share to 10.5 percent from 10.4.

Toyota of Japan made a 12.9 percent leap that took its share of the market to 6.2 percent from 5.5 percent.

Overall, total car sales in wider Europe were 0.2 percent down in the quarter to 4.22 million vehicles and slipped 0.3 percent in March to 1.78 million.

In the European Union, sales fell 1.2 percent in the quarter to 3.85 million and 1.0 percent in March to 1.68 million.

Among countries, the picture was very mixed with a decline of 10 percent year on year in Germany for the quarter while Sweden was up 11.7 percent.

The new EU members were mainly up, with Latvia registering a 73.8 percent rise and Estonia seeing sales up 48.9 percent while the bigger Polish market advanced 24.5 percent.

But Hungary declined 6.4 percent and Slovenia slipped 0.2 percent.

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