EU demand for passenger cars contracted 32% year on year in the first eight months of 2020, ACEA said.
A tally of 6,123,852 new cars was registered across the European Union from January to August, almost 2.9m less in the same months of 2019.
July 2020 registrations declined 5.7%. Seven of the 27 member states posted growth in July, including France (+3.9%) and Spain (+1.1%). Outside the EU perimeter, the United Kingdom (+11.3%), Iceland (+44.5%) and Norway (+6.5%) also showed first signs of recovery.
August volume fell 18.9% though that was less dramatic than earlier in the year. With the exception of Cyprus (+14.1%), all countries in the region recorded losses compared to August 2019.
Of the four major EU markets, Italy performed best, with a slight drop of 0.4%, while the strongest declines were seen in Germany (20%) and France (19.8%).
In the first eight months of 2020, Spain saw the biggest decline (40.6%) so far this year, followed by Italy (38.9%), France (32.0%) and Germany (28.8%).