By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Demand for passenger cars in the European Union in January-August this year surged 6.1 percent year-on-year, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) reported on Wednesday.
In the eight-month period, passenger car registrations in the 28-member EU bloc totaled 10.8 million units, "largely boosted by the unusually strong performance during the summer months," the association noted.
"Looking at the major markets, demand went up in Spain [14.6 percent], France [8.9 percent] and Germany [6.4 percent], while car sales remained stable in Italy [down 0.1 percent] and contracted in the United Kingdom [down 4.2 percent]," the ACEA said.
This January to August, the lion's share -- 25.1 percent in passenger car sales in the EU -- was held by the VW Group, of which major brands are Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche.
Sales of the VW Group saw an annual hike of 12.9 percent, reaching 2.7 million units in first eight months of the year.
The VW Group was followed by the PSA Group -- which owns the Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel brands -- and the Renault Group with 15.9 percent and 10.9 percent of total passenger car sales, respectively.
In 2017, over 15 million new passenger cars were sold in the EU, up 3.4 percent from the previous year.
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.
Last year, nearly 80 percent of Turkey's total automotive exports were made to EU countries amounting to $22 billion, marking a 17 percent year-on-year rise.