LONDON -- UK registrations fell 1.6 percent in August to 92,573 as demand for diesels continued to fall but there was a 378 percent increase in registrations of electric vehicles, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
"August is typically the new car market's quietest month so the huge increase in EV registrations is very visible but especially welcome," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said.
Sales of diesel vehicles fell 12 percent last month, giving the powertrain a 26.4 percent market share, while gasoline was up 1 percent to a 63.8 percent share. Full-electric vehicles now have a 3.4 percent market share.
Honda, Land Rover, BMW and Jaguar were among brands with steep declines last month, while winners included Porsche, Audi, Volvo, and Toyota.
Sales at the month's market leader VW brand rose 0.7 percent, while No. 2-ranked Ford dropped 3.9 percent. Sales at No. 3 Audi jumped 20 percent. No. 4 Mercedes-Benz saw its volume rise 3.5 percent. Vauxhall topped out the leading five brands despite a 4 percent decline.
Among brands with big gains were Porsche, whose volume gained 86 percent; Volvo, up 20 percent; and Toyota, up 16 percent.
Monthly losers included Honda, down 28 percent; Land Rover, down 24 percent; and BMW, which fell 19 percent. Jaguar registrations declined by 16 percent. Sales at Peugeot fell 9 percent, while Nissan volume was down 6 percent.
* Download file here for UK sales for August, 8 months
Through August, UK sales fell 3.3 percent to 1.51 million.
Reuters contributed to this report