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Global Car Sales Fell 4% in August

Worldwide sales of light-duty vehicles declined 4% last month to 7.19 million units, according to market forecaster LMC Automotive.

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Worldwide sales of light-duty vehicles declined 4% last month to 7.19 million units, according to market forecaster LMC Automotive.

But LMC says the annualized selling rate for August climbed to 94.9 million units from 90.9 million in July. The company notes that year-ago volume was distorted by a surge in sales in Europe as carmakers discounted models ahead of the new WLTP certification requirements.

August sales in the U.S. jumped 11% to 1.64 million units, thanks to an extra selling day. Volume also climbed 7% to 383,900 units in Japan.

But sales last month fell for all other major markets. Totals declined in China (-8% to 1.95 million units), western Europe (-7% to 1.06 million) and eastern Europe (-7% to 329,400).

LMC says China’s selling rate has stabilized at about 27 million vehicles per year. But the South American market is showing renewed weakness, with sales shrinking 10% to 273,000 units.

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