September 18, 2019 / 6:10 AM / a month ago

European passenger car registrations slump 8.6% in August - ACEA

Cars sit in a traffic jam along the Embankment during the morning rush hour in central London, Britain, August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay - RC14051B39E0

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European car registrations dropped 8.6% in August as volume brands Nissan (7201.T), Renault (RENA.PA) Fiat (FCHA.MI) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) posted double-digit sales declines, according to industry data published on Wednesday.

Last year, some markets saw exceptional sales increases as dealerships stockpiled cars ahead of the September 2018 introduction of WLTP emissions standards, distorting year-on-year comparisons, European car industry association ACEA said.

Registrations fell to 1.07 million cars last month from 1.17 million a year earlier across the European Union and EFTA countries, the Brussels-based association said in a statement.

Calendar effects from August being a slow sales month, particularly in Mediterranean countries, accentuated the decline. Sales dropped 30.8% in Spain, 14.1% in France and declined by 3.1% in Germany, ACEA figures showed.

In Britain, registrations dipped 1.6% in August.

Last month, Renault saw sales of its core brand drop by 38% while rival Fiat’s registrations fell 26%. Alfa Romeo registrations plummeted by 60.1% year-on-year while Japanese brand Nissan sales tumbled by 47.5%, ACEA figures showed.

Among the premium auto brands, Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) sales rose 13.2%, outpacing rivals Audi (NSUG.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE), which saw their registrations drop 9.1% and 8.4% respectively, ACEA said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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