Europe car sales sink for 7th straight month

MILAN (AP) — New car sales in Europe are continuing to fall for the seventh straight month, dropping by 4 percent in March.

The European carmakers' association ACEA, based in Brussels, said 1.72 million new cars were sold last month, down from 1.79 million in March 2018. Italy led all five top markets in decline, with a double-digit drop.

The Volkswagen group gained market share, capturing 23.2 percent of sales with a mild 1-percent drop. Shares of its luxury brands were mixed, with Audi up by 1.7 percent and Porsche plummeting 19 percent.

French carmaker Renault was alone among mass carmakers in increasing sales, up 2 percent, on the strength of its lower-priced Dacia marquee.

German luxury carmaker Daimler's sales slipped by 13.3 percent. BMW sales were down by 2.2 percent.