New-car sales in Europe showed no sign of a hoped-for revival in August after registrations fell in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Registrations in Germany were down 6 percent to 214,044 units last month, the country's Federal Transport Agency said today. Eight-month German sales are down 7 percent to 1.97 million.
However, German industry observers remained optimistic that the worst is over.
Sales in Germany were almost flat last month when adjusted for one working day fewer than in August 2012, said Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel.
"There may be no turnaround yet but the German market keeps stabilizing," Gommel said, citing improving business confidence in Europe's No. 1 economy that could help underpin vehicle demand in the remainder of 2013.
Matthias Wissmann, chairman of the VDA German industry association, said domestic orders kept growing by 2 percent in August following a 3 percent gain in July.
France, Italy and Spain slump
Germany joined France, Italy and Spain in reporting monthly sales declines in August.
French sales were down 11 percent to 85,565 vehicles. In Italy, volume fell by 7 percent to 52,997. Spain's sales declined by 18 percent to 38,872.
August is a slow holiday month from which it is hard to extrapolate trends but there had been hopes that the slump in Europe's car sales was flattening out after some positive news in July.