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Europe Car Sales Rise 1.1% in Surprise First Gain of 2020

  • Registrations are down 29% this year through September
  • Virus restrictions pose risk to momentum in fourth quarter
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Photographer: Andreas Gebert/Bloomberg
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Automakers eked out a surprise sales increase last month in Europe, the first advance this year for a region still struggling with a patchy recovery reliant on government subsidies.

New-car registrations rose 1.1% in September, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Friday. Sales gained in Italy and Germany -- two of the major countries offering incentives to support electric-vehicle purchases -- and offset still-slumping demand in Spain and France.