By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com -- European new car registrations returned to growth in August, ending thirteen straight months of declines, but remain below pre-pandemic levels as supply constraints weigh on the continent's auto industry.
According to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association released on Friday, monthly new vehicle sales in the European Union rose by 4.4% compared to the same period last year, with 650,305 units registered. However, the ACEA noted that this result is still well under the corresponding figure in August 2019, when it touched 1.04M registrations.
Europe's four largest markets contributed positively to the expansion, led in particular by a 9.9% gain in Italy and a 9.1% increase in Spain. Meanwhile, Germany saw new vehicle registrations rise 3.0%, while France ticked up by 3.8%.
On a company basis, Peugeot owner Stellantis NV (BIT: STLA ) and German automaking giant Volkswagen (ETR: VOWG_p ) Group were the top gainers in August, with new car sales jumping by 10.6% and 7.9%. But these increases were partially offset by a 6.99% fall at France's Renault (EPA: RENA ) Group, where sales of the flagship Renault brand dropped by nearly a quarter.
Elsewhere, car sales for July slipped by 10.4% to 738,238 units. The ACEA said this decline came despite the base comparison figures already being depressed by an ongoing semiconductor shortage that has hampered the European auto sector's performance throughout 2022.
Germany and Spain experienced the strongest dips in July car registrations, falling by 12.9% and 12.5% respectively.
Meanwhile, when totaling up the first eight months of 2022, overall volumes have contracted by 11.9% year on year.
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