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Europe car sales still slumping

New car sales were down 9.5 per cent in February and and 8.1 per cent year-to-date.

New car sales were down 9.5 per cent in February and and 8.1 per cent year-to-date, according to JATO Dynamics, the world's leading provider of automotive intelligence.

France and Italy continue to hold the European total down while Volkswagen's Golf and Polo have maintained their positions as Europe's top performing models.

Mercedes was the only top 10 brand to record an improvement, on the back primarily of an increase in sales of B-Class and C-Class models to record an 8.6 per cent lift in February and up 8.5 per cent year to date.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-AMG is also doing strongly in its track campaign.

The German carmaker is set to feature prominently in the 2012 Formula 1 season with the debut of the new Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, but also the return of the Official F1 Safety Car and the Official F1 Medical Car from Mercedes-AMG.

The SLS AMG and C 63 AMG Estate ensure maximum safety in extreme conditions.

The gullwing model, with its characteristic roof lights and distinctive FIA and F1 logos on its aluminium body, has been deployed in the role of official Safety Car for Formula 1 since 2010.

As soon as Race Control considers that the safe progress of the race may be impeded, it sends the SLS AMG out onto the track.