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On a market basis, all of the top-five largest markets in the region recorded gains in January. However, while Germany, France, and the United Kingdom saw relatively moderate improvements, with gains behind that seen by the region as a whole, the Spanish and Italian markets, which are continuing to recover from the depths that they hit during the height of the economic crisis, recorded far stronger improvements. Data from their respective local associations have shown that the types of customer underpinning this were different, with Spain benefiting from company car and rental demand for the forthcoming holiday season, and a large part of the improvement in Italy stemming from private consumers returning to the market, attracted by dealers' incentives.
Outside this group, strong gains have also been recorded in some markets. Ireland, Portugal, and a host of markets in Central Europe are continuing to record improvements following the Eurozone economic downturn and the low base of comparison. However, the Netherlands has seen a relatively heavy decline of 14.4% y/y as it was hit by a tax change that has taken place in the market.
Source: HIS Automotive
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