The European new car market declined by 8.4% in August to 726,562 units.
According to the latest figures from JATO Dynamics Spain recorded the largest rise in sales out of the largest market, ahead of the Spanish VAT increase in September.
From a brand perspective Audi claims second place behind Volkswagen for the month following a good performance in Germany with increased sales of the A4, A1 and Q3.
This further demonstrates the challenges facing the non-premium manufacturers. Mercedes was the only other brand in the top 10 to increase sales for the month.
Just outside the top 10, Skoda, Kia, Dacia and Honda recorded increased sales for August. Honda has been particularly successful in Great Britain following its recent announcement to make further manufacturing investment in the market.
The Volkswagen Golf continues to be Europe’s best-selling car, despite sales falling by 12.9% compared to August 2011.
The Volkswagen Polo is second despite a 22.3% fall in August sales, while Peugeot’s new 208 has climbed to third place in the sales charts, ahead of rivals Ford Fiesta, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio.
Combined sales of 207 and 208 exceed those of the second placed Volkswagen Polo in August, and would achieve fifth place for the Year-to-Date.
The recently revamped Audi A4 came in at 10th position for the month and was the only one of the remaining top ten models to record an increase in sales, of 4.3% over August 2011.
Outside the top 10 it was new or recently revised models, such as the Toyota Yaris, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Volkswagen Tiguan, Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Up and BMW 1-Series that saw improved sales compared to August 2011.
Gareth Hession, vice president, research at JATO said: “August has been another tough month for the European new car market.
“Economic conditions, holiday periods and the expected slow month in the UK ahead of September’s registration plate change have conspired to depress sales across the region. Against this background the Peugeot 208’s performance is impressive.”