By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
The EU saw over 15 million new passenger car registrations in 2018, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) announced on Wednesday.
Last year's car registrations in the EU remained more or less stable compared to 2017, according to the association.
"Due to falling demand during the last four months of 2018, full-year growth was plus 0.1 percent," the ACEA said.
"Although this increase is very modest, it still marks the fifth consecutive year of growth, with almost 15.2 million cars registered across the EU," it added.
The manufacturers' association stated that the demand was mostly driven by the Central European countries with a 8.0-percent growth last year.
"Results were diverse among the five major EU markets," the ACEA said.
The passenger car demand in Spain (plus 7.0 percent) and France (plus 3.0 percent) grew in 2018, as Germany (minus 0.2 percent), Italy (minus 3.1 percent) and the U.K. (minus 6.8 percent) saw a contraction.
VW Group -- of which major brands are Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche -- was the top manufacturer last year by holding 23.8 percent of total passenger car sales in the EU.
VW Group was followed by PSA Group -- which owns Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel brands -- and Renault Group with 16.5 percent and 10.1 percent of sales, respectively.
The EU is the main automotive export market for Turkey, where the world’s prominent automotive manufacturers including Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Renault and Toyota are operating.
Turkey's automotive exports to the European countries totaled over $25 billion, amounting to 79.5 percent of Turkey's total automotive exports in 2018.