The sharpest drops year-to-date were to be found in Ireland (-63.7%), Czech Republic (-66.8%), Latvia (-80.2%), Lithuania (-69.4%) and in Romania (-59.5%).

Romanian car market slipped two positions in the EU in Jan-Aug 2009, now ranking 14th.

The EU auto market contracted by 7.9% in the period under review, to 9.32 million passenger cars, from 10,128,865 a year-ago period.

New car registrations fell 49.7% in Hungary to 54,097 units. Italy has seen a 7.4% decline to 1.42 million units while UK market dropped 21.5% to 1.1 mln units and Spain’s 32% to 600,000 cars.

Driven by fleet renewal incentives, Germany recorded a 26.8% plus. Austria increased 5.5% to 221,133 units, France upped 1.1% to 1,430,391 cars, Slovakia grew 22.3% to 57,571, Czech Republic upped 9.0% to 105,552 and Poland recorded a 1.0% increase to 214,536 units.

As for the number of new registrations of Dacia cars in Europe, it jumped 30.8% in the eight months into the year.