New car registration declined by 32pc in the European Union (EU) during the first eight months of 2020, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). 

 

In January-August this year, 6.12 million cars were sold in the EU, 2.9 million less than the same period in 2019. Among the member nations, Sales in Spain decreased by 40.6pc, the most across the EU, followed by 38.9pc, 32pc and 28.8pc declines in Italy, France, and Germany, respectively. 

 

The ACEA noted that sales had recovered to their best levels in July to a decline of 5.7pc but dropped further to previous levels in August decreasing by 18.9pc. In August, Italian sales improved considerably and were 0.4pc lower than the same month in 2019. 

 

In the UK, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sales increased by 157pc in the first eight months of the year rising to 44,708 units from 17,393 cars in the prior year, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data. Plug-in hybrids also saw a 37.7pc rise in volumes during the same comparative period at 29,877 cars over 17,818 units. 

 

Sales of mild hybrid EV (MHEV) units in the diesel and petrol segments also increased by 126pc to 30,867 units and by 80.5pc to 47,041 units, respectively, during the January-August period. In comparison, 13,360 units of diesel MHEV units and 26,064 petrol MHEV cars were sold in the UK during the same period last year. 

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