The European new car market declined by 8.4% to 726,562 units in August amid continuing uncertainty in the eurozone, widespread austerity measures across the continent and tough conditions for those seeking to finance their purchase through car loans.
But there was good news for dealers in Spain, which recorded the largest rise in sales in the run-up this month's VAT increase, according to the latest figures from JATO Dynamics.
Volkswagen stayed top from a brand perspective, while Audi claimed second place for the month following a good performance in Germany, where it increased sales of the A4, A1 and Q3.
Mercedes was the only other brand in the top 10 to register increased sales for the month, while just outside the top 10 Skoda, Kia, Dacia and Honda also boosted sales - the latter has been particularly successful in Britain since announcing a mult-imillion pound investment in its Swindon manufacturing plant.
The Volkswagen Golf continues to be Europe's best-selling car, but sales declined by 12.9% compared to August 2011. The Volkswagen Polo is second, despite a 22.3% dip, while Peugeot's new 208 climbed to third place in the sales charts, ahead of the Ford Fiesta, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio.
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