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August Western European registrations drop 4.7%

Releasing data for July and August registrations today, 11 September, the ACEA reported July W. European registrations of 1,294,794 units and August registrations of 785,329. The July result was 1.2% up and the August figure 4.7% down year on year. During the two-month period there were two fewer working days in Belgium, France (where August registrations hit a 20-year low) and Spain, and one fewer in all other countries.

The ACEA suggests that the weak August figures can partly be explained by the heat wave that hit Italy (-10.5%) and France (-15.4%) and especially in Germany (-5.0%) by consumers waiting to see new models at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show. In August, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain joined the UK in posting increases in registrations.

Cumulative figures for the year to end August show a decrease of 2.2% across Western Europe (-2.1% in the EU 15), while a minority of national markets have shown an increase: three major markets - the UK (+0.2%), Spain (+0.7%), Italy (+0.1%) showed modest gains while some smaller ones registered larger increases, including Finland (+23.9%), Austria (+4.8%), and Sweden (+4.4%). Year-on- year decreases range from -0.1% in Germany to -22.5% in Portugal.

European market leader VW Group retained a 20.9% share of the August market, with second-placed PSA Peugeot Citroen holding 14.7% compared to 15.3% a year earlier. Japanese brands collectively took 13.2% of the market, and Koreans, 3.6%. Ford's brands collectively lost share for the month as did GM's and Fiat's and marginally, those of DaimlerChrysler.

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