In the month of April, the European automotive market saw a 1.7% increase in new passenger car registrations compared to the year-ago period, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (EAMA) recently announced.

There were a total of 1.038 million new car registrations in April, the first year-over-year improvement since September 2011, according to the EAMA. April 2012 had notched a historic low and in absolute figures the AprilĀ  2013 number is the third-lowest level of new registrations for the month.

For the four months ending in April, European auto sales remained down 7.1% from the same period a year ago. Additionally, the EAMA attributes much of the 1.7% improvement in April to the region's two more working days, on average, compared to April 2012. The additional working days call into question the sustainability of April's improvement.

Across the region, the U.K., Spain, and Germany led the European automotive sales expansion, with 14.8%, 10.8%, and 3.8% increases in April, respectively. Italy had the worst car sales decline, falling 10.8% in the period, followed by a 5.3% drop in France.