European car registrations dropped 8.6% in August as volume brands Nissan, Renault, Fiat and Volkswagen posted double-digit sales declines, according to industry data published today. 

Last year, some markets saw exceptional sales increases as dealerships stockpiled cars ahead of the September 2018 introduction of WLTP emissions standards.

This distorted year-on-year comparisons, European car industry association ACEA said. 

Registrations fell to 1.07 million cars last month from 1.17 million a year earlier across the European Union and EFTA countries, the Brussels-based association said in a statement. 

Calendar effects from August being a slow sales month, particularly in Mediterranean countries, accentuated the decline. 

Sales dropped 30.8% in Spain, 14.1% in France and declined by 3.1% in Germany, ACEA figures showed. 

In Britain, registrations dipped 1.6% in August. 

Last month, Renault saw sales of its core brand drop by 38% while rival Fiat's registrations fell 26%. 

Alfa Romeo registrations plummeted by 60.1% year-on-year while Japanese brand Nissan sales tumbled by 47.5%, ACEA figures showed.

Among the premium auto brands, Mercedes-Benz sales rose 13.2%, outpacing rivals Audi and BMW, which saw their registrations drop 9.1% and 8.4% respectively, ACEA said.