Brussels – New car sales in the European Union contracted by 32% year-on-year in the first eight months of the year to 6.1 million vehicles, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
The figure shows a 2.9 million annual decrease in new car registrations during the eight months to end of August, ACEA announced 17 Sept.
In July, registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union saw a relatively small decline of 5.7% compared to the same month last year.
Seven of the 27 member states posted growth in July, including France at 3.9% and Spain at 1.1%.
Outside the EU perimeter, the UK saw an 11.3% growth in demand while Iceland and Norway showed first signs of recovery by posting 44.5% and 6.5% increases respectively.
During the month of August, however, the EU car market posted a stronger decline of 18.9%, with almost all countries of the region recording losses.
Posting a 14.1% increase in demand, Cyprus was the only country to see a market improvement in August.
Out of the four major EU markets, Italy performed best in August, with a slight drop of 0.4%, while the strongest declines were seen in Germany at 20.0% and France at 19.8%.