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The number of cars sold in Europe soared by almost 100,000 last month, despite a continuing slump in the fortunes of Volkswagen. More than 1.7 million cars were registered in March, up by 5.7 per cent on the same period a year ago.

In the first three months of the year, European sales jumped by more than 8 per cent, with 3.9 million new cars hitting the streets, it was revealed. Jaguar registered the biggest monthly jump with 8,775 vehicles sold in March, up by almost 73 per cent compared with a year ago.

The figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association highlight the sheer scale of the of the challenge facing crisis bit VW with sales dropping 1.6 per cent in March.

VW’s share of the European car market also dropped to a five year low and it was the only one of the top ten European car makers to post a fall in sales.

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