The number of cars sold in the Europe Union (EU) during March increased by 10.8% despite a 26.6% fall in Germany.
First-quarter sales in 2010 were 9.2% up on the same period in 2009, but are still 9.4% lower than EU-wide registrations for the first three months of 2008.
While most countries continued to increase sales many helped by government incentive schemes the German market contracted by 26.6% to sales of just 294,375 vehicles.
UK markets tops sales
With new car registrations of nearly 400,000 during March, the UK had the EU's biggest share of the marketplace.
The total number of new cars registered in the EU during March was 3,671,871.