European car sales rose a fifth consecutive month in January as the start of an economic recovery in countries sharing the euro encouraged purchases of models such as Volkswagen AG’s Golf hatchback and Audi A3 sedan.
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, is counting on the rollout of the VW Golf and Audi A3 compacts to increase earnings in the second half as the threat from the region’s auto-market contraction wanes.
For decades, Ford Motor Co.’s Mondeo was the company car of choice in Europe. Roomy, comfortable and conservative, it was the perfect set of wheels for mid-level executives, who became known as “Mondeo Men.”
Ford Motor Co., Fiat SpA and Toyota Motor Corp . led a ninth consecutive monthly drop in European auto sales as mass-market carmakers continued to suffer from the end of governments’ car-scrapping incentive programs.
Audi’s new A3 hatchback can be equipped with safety features such as video cameras that help nudge the car back into a lane if a driver drifts off track. The Volkswagen AG unit will be relying on the redesigned model to provide similar stability for sales growth as it fends off a challenge in upscale small cars from Mercedes-Benz.