The decline in sales of new cars in the European Union (EU) slowed down in July but accelerated again the following month, a trade association said on Thursday.
In July, some 1.073 million vehicles were sold in the bloc, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said in its monthly bulletin.
This was 5.7 per cent fewer than in the same month of 2019, but was the best monthly performance for 2020, a year in which car sales sank to record lows mostly due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
ACEA called the July figure “a relatively small decline.”
In August, however, “the EU car market posted a stronger decline (-18.9 per cent) again, although less dramatic than earlier in the year,” the Brussels-based association noted.
It added that over the first eight months of 2020, car sales plunged by 32 per cent compared to the same period of 2019.
Back in June, ACEA predicted a full-year sales drop of 25 per cent.
Among major EU markets, the market contraction for January-August was sharpest in Spain and Italy, with sales drops of around 40 per cent, compared to 32 per cent for France and 28.8 per cent for Germany.