A car salesman outside a re-opened BMW car dealership, in Hook, southwest of London, on June 1, 2020. –

adrian dennis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Shares of European auto makers pitched lower on Thursday after data revealed a sharp fall in car sales for the region during August.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association said sales fell 18.9% in the month, following a July decline of 5.7%, which had sparked some hopes that the industry was starting to crawl out of the pandemic-induced slump.

The summer months brought a resurgence of Covid-19, with countries such as Spain and France particularly hard hit by outbreaks that are continuing into the autumn, sparking fears of a second wave.

Over the first eight month of the year, EU demand for passenger cars tumbled 32%, with 6.1 million new cars registered across the region over that period. That was 2.9 million fewer than the same period a year ago. Across the four big EU markets, Italy saw the best performance with a drop of 0.4%, while Germany and France saw declines of around 20% each.

Shares of Volkswagen AG VOW, -1.46% and Porsche Automobil Holding SE PAH3, -1.89% dropped over 2% each, while Daimler AG DAI, -0.88% and BMW AG BMW, -0.95% fell 0.8% each. Shares of Renault SA RNO, -1.12% fell 1.3%.

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