Sales of new cars in the European Union dropped year-on-year by 7.5 per cent in January, an industry group said Tuesday, blaming the fall on new taxes.

Just under 957,000 new cars were registered in the EU last month, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said in its monthly bulletin.

“Major taxation changes announced by some EU member states for 2020 pulled registrations forward into December 2019, explaining this January drop,” ACEA said.

“Other contributing factors included weakening global economic conditions and uncertainty caused by [Britain]’s departure from the European Union,” the group added.

In the first month of 2020, EU market leader Volkswagen accounted for a 26.6-per-cent share of sales, up from 24.7 per cent in January 2019.

French Groupe PSA and Renault retained second and third place in the sales rankings, with 16.6 and 9.6 per cent, followed by Hyundai on 7 per cent, Fiat Chrysler on 6.7 per cent and BMW on 6.4 per cent.

Source: (dpa/MIA)