European new-car sales rose 5.5 percent in August, accelerating from an increase of 2.6 percent in July, according to industry data published on Thursday.
Registrations rose to 903,143 vehicles in the EU and EFTA countries in August and to 1.19 million vehicles for July, Brussels-based industry body ACEA said.
For the first eight months, registrations were up 4.4 percent to 10.56 million vehicles.
Volkswagen Group, which is still grappling with its diesel-emissions scandal, saw August deliveries rise 2.8 percent, helped by gains at its Skoda, Seat and Audi brands. Skoda sales grew by 15 percent, Seat's volume was up 12 percent and Audi gained 5 percent. This offset a 4.4 percent fall at VW brand and 10 percent decline at Porsche.
Among the volume manufacturers, Nissan, Renault and Toyota saw big monthly increases. Nissan's sales increased 17 percent, Renault Group was up 13 percent and Toyota Group 13 percent, followed by Fiat Chrysler with 9.8 percent growth.
At PSA Group, Peugeot brand sales increased 11 percent while Citroen's volume grew 5.8 percent and DS sales dropped 9.8 percent.
Ford's sales fell 3.5 percent, hit by the production ramp up and changeover to its latest Fiesta subcompact. "With production now running at capacity, we expect a strong forward sales outlook," Ford of Europe said in an emailed statement.
- Download PDF, above right, for sales by group, brand and individual markets.
BMW Group registrations increased 2.5 percent with a 3.8 percent rise at BMW brand and a 3.2 percent drop at Mini. Mercedes-Benz car group sales jumped 9.3 percent, with Mercedes brand registrations up 9.1 percent and Smart's volume up 11 percent.
Mixed markets performance
Performance was mixed for the region's two biggest markets. Germany saw a 3.5 percent increase, while Britain registered a 6.4 percent drop, continuing a 9.3 percent fall seen in July. French sales increased 9.4 percent, Italy was up 16 percent and Spanish registrations grew 13 percent.
In other markets Ireland saw a 21 percent decline in registrations as a flood of used cars imported from the UK hits new-car sales. The Belgium market was down 8.1 percent and Romanian sales declined by 3.3. percent.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report