Sales of new passenger cars during the first eight months of the year were up by almost 2% on the same period the previous year.
However, monthly sales for August dropped 1.3%, from 831,805 units this year to 843,059 units last year.
A spokesman for the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which produced the figures, said: 'The market figures for the summer months, traditionally one of the weakest periods, show a clear drop in July and an almost flat situation in August, reflecting current economic uncertainties in a number of countries.
'Among the EU-15, only five countries - Denmark, Luxembourg, Greece, Spain and Austria - posted increases in July, but the number rose to 10 in August, with the addition of Sweden, France, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland.
The spokesman added: 'Cumulative figures for the fist eight months of the year show an increase of 1.9% (+1.7% in the EU-15), pointing to a stabilisation of the market.
'In the EU-15, 10 countries contribute positively to these results. The increase is slightly higher in EFTA countries (+5.6%) and in the new EU member states (+2.2%).'
|Country||Jan-Aug 04||Jan-Aug 03||Variance|
|EU (new members)||572,477||560,197||+2.2%|