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August Car Sales Dropped 9% in Western Europe

Year-on-year sales of new passenger cars in western Europe dropped 9% to 929,300 units in August, but the annualize selling rate surged to 16.9 million from 14.3 million in July.
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Sales of new passenger cars in western Europe dropped 9% to 929,300 units in August, but the annualize selling rate surged to 16.9 million from 14.3 million in July, says to LMC Automotive.

The drop in volume was expected. The market research firm notes that last year’s sales were distorted because carmakers discounted inventory ahead of a regulatory switch to WLTP-certified vehicles that took effect in September 2018.

Germany’s unit sales slipped only 1% in spite of the unfavorable year-on-year comparison, and its annualized selling rate jumped to 4.3 million units. LMC Automotive says sales also were exceptional under the circumstances, slipping less than 2% year on year.

Several other major European markets posted month-on-month increases in annualized sales rates. The gains were led by France (from 2.2 million in July to 2.6 million in August) and Italy (from 1.9 million to 2.2 million).

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