Demand for passenger cars in the EU fell by 4.6 percent year-on-year in January, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) reported on Friday.
"Nevertheless, with nearly 1.2 million units registered in total, this still represents the second‐highest January volume on record since 2009," the association said.
The ACEA said that demand for new cars fell across almost the entire 28-member bloc, including the EU’s five major markets.
"Spain and Italy posted the strongest declines, down 8.0 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.
"... while percentage drops were more modest in the U.K. (down 1.6 percent), Germany (down 1.4 percent) and France (down 1.1 percent)," it said.
VW Group was the top manufacturer by sales with a 24.1 percent share in the first month of this year.
The group -- which owns Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche brands -- saw a 6.5 annual decline in sales, amounting 288,266 passenger cars.
PSA Group, of which major brands are Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel, and Renault Group had 17.1 percent and 9.7 percent market share, respectively.
Last year, over 15 million new passenger cars were registered in the EU.
The EU is the main automotive export market for Turkey, where top international automakers -- including Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, 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.
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas