The United Kingdom also recorded an increase in car sales between the months of January and August.
The figure for August shows the eighth consecutive month of growth, according to figures produced by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
However, sales fell by 1.9% in the important German market, where 2,296,649 units were sold in the first eight months of the year, compared to 2,341,501 during the same period last year.
France and Luxembourg were the only other European countries noting rises in new car sales, with figures up by 6.1% and 1.1% respectively.
Sales in western Europe dropped 1% between January and August this year to 10,297,081 from 10,399,212.
This figure, claims the ACEA, 'seems to keep the car industry climate stable'.
Among those who increased sales were Opel (up 0.5%), Ford (3.5%), Peugeot (7.8%), Citroen (10.0%), Mercedes (5.3%) and Audi (8.1%).
Those in the top 10 sellers who saw their sales fall during January to August when compared to the same period last year, were Volkswagen (down 0.7%), Renault (2.6%) and Fiat (6.4%). Toyota sold 116 fewer cars. (October 2001)