The Volkswagen group strengthened its position as the No. 1 automaker in Europe in August.
VW sold 2.1 million cars and grabbed a 20.0 percent market share in the first eight months of the year, according to ACEA, the Brussels-based European car manufacturers association. VW's market share was 19.0 percent a year earlier.
The gain came from the VW brand. Sales of VW-badged cars rose 10.2 percent to 1.1 million units during the period.
The VW brand's share rose to 10.7 percent from 9.7 percent, propelled by strong sales for the Passat, Polo and Fox.
All other European volume brands lost share except Fiat Auto, which grew to 7.6 percent from 6.5 percent.
The two fastest-growing brands are at opposite ends of the market:
Overall, European sales fell 1.4 percent in August, the third consecutive monthly decline.
During the eight-month period, sales in 23 European Union countries plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland were up 0.4 percent to 10.4 million units.
The trend marks a slowdown from the first half of the year, when sales were up 1.3 percent from a year earlier.
Said Arndt Ellinghorst, head of European automotive research at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt: "We expect the European market to recover from September on and to close the year up about 2 percent, from 15.22 million units last year to 15.53 million units."
You may e-mail Luca Ciferri at [email protected]