Influenced by German auto giant Daimler’s strong earnings, rising 2.1%, European stock markets opened higher on Friday.

On Friday, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association announced that European auto sales soared last month. After the lower level in 2020, it rose by 63%.

European countries were locked down to tackle the rapid spread of coronavirus. Despite the restrictions, the number of car sales began well last month. The registering of 1.39 million vehicles was the highest since June 2019.

Despite recoveries seen in China and the U.S., the European car market has been lagging for months. As of now, the figures for the industry’s development are improving. Moreover, car producers are not worried about the demand and issues related to the global chip shortage anymore. The deficit hindered production and delayed some companies’ new models like Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY), Stellantis NV, and Renault SA (OTC: RNLSY).

Typically, the European car sales industry is doing well in March. However, despite the noticeable surge, registrations are still 13£ lower compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Italy was the center of Europe’s initial COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. In March, car sales rose by 500%. It is 12% low compared to the times before the pandemic.

Car producers are moving sales processes online. They are also benefitting from government subsidies for electric vehicles to cope with restrictions to move forward. Economic experts believe Europe’s growth prospects depend on the vaccination rollout. The program started slowly at first but has been accelerated recently.

In the first quarter, among Europe’s five largest markets, sales rose 29% and 21% in Italy and France. Registrations fell 15% in Spain, 12% in the U.K., and 6.4% in Germany.

The industry has seen historic consolidation during the quarter. France’s PSA Group merged with Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis. It registered 47% of vehicles in the first three months.