BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Car sales in the European Union continue to recover significantly from last year's component bottlenecks. A total of 787,626 new passenger cars were registered in August, 21 percent more than a year earlier, the European industry association Acea announced in Brussels on Wednesday. In this context, August is usually somewhat weaker in terms of car sales. This year, however, the recovery has continued to gain momentum: Overall, car sales in the first eight months of the year have grown namely on average only by 17.9 percent to just under 7.1 million cars. However, that's still nearly 2 million fewer than in the pre-Corona year of 2019, when shortages of electronics chips and other components had slowed car production in 2022.

Registrations of purely battery-electric passenger cars again rose sharply in August. At 165,165 cars, more than twice as many were newly registered than a year earlier. In addition, the market share of purely electrically powered cars exceeded the 20 percent threshold for the first time at 21 percent. This was also the second time in one month that it exceeded the share of new diesel registrations. The share of battery-powered cars is rising particularly sharply in Belgium, but the increase was also strong in Germany at 170 percent.

Overall, passenger car registrations in most EU sales markets rose by double-digit percentages in August, the association further reported. Among the major markets, Germany posted the strongest increase at 37.3 percent, followed by France at 24.3 percent and Italy at 11.9 percent./knd/stw/jha/