New car sales in Bulgaria fell 35.5% year-on-year for the first eight months of 2010.

Data from the automobile manufacturers' association showed that a total of 12,310 new motor vehicles were purchased between January and August this year in comparison with 19,188 a year earlier. Despite the slowdown, there have been fresh signs of pick-up.

"More and more companies are preparing to revamp their fleets, and are in talks for the purchase of between 20 and 80 cars. This sets off dealerships racing to offer the best possible conditions," Denyu Bostandjiev, Volkswagen car brand manager with Porsche BG, told Reuters. He said that after spending two years on the backburner, companies are going back to new car plans and the trend is poised to accelerate by the end of the year.

London-based Business Monitor International (BMI) said in an analysis released in early September that the Bulgarian new car market will make up the ground in sales it lost in the first months of the year in the second half. The report echoes the view by market leader Auto Union executive director Asen Asenov, who told Dnevnik in a recent interview that the decline will slow down on an average of 20% for 2010.