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.
For the past year, automakers such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG have banked on bargain-hunting Britons to buy as demand elsewhere in Europe tumbles. The strategy is poised to encounter headwinds as slowing growth and concerns over inflation threaten momentum.
When Hugo Ramos was a teenager in La Coruna in northwest Spain, he dreamed of a good job, his own apartment and a flashy car. After a two-year recession in the country, those goals have been scaled back.
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.