MILAN (AP) -- The Italian automaker Fiat, which has reached a deal for a stake Chrysler and is in talks to take on GM's European operations, defied a contracting market for the second straight month, increasing its European sales in April by 5 percent, according to new figures released Thursday.
Fiat Group Automobiles SpA sold 116,300 cars in Europe last month, up from 110,828 a year earlier, making it the only European automaker to increase sales in April, according to figures compiled by the European auto makers association ACEA.
Industry-wide, new car sales in Europe fell for the 12th straight month, dropping 12.3 percent for a total of 1.25 million cars sold.
Fiat said in a statement that it achieved a market share of 10 percent in Western Europe in April for the first time in eight years. It was number four in terms of sales in the month, behind Volkswagen, PSA Group and Ford.
Fiat continued to make inroads into Germany, where it wants to acquire the General Motors Corp. subsidiary Adam Opel GmbH, doubling its market share to 6.8 percent compared with 3.3 percent in April 2008, the automaker said.