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

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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 (XE:VOW) and Porsche Automobil Holding SE (XE:PAH3) dropped over 2% each, while Daimler AG (XE:DAI) and BMW AG (XE:BMW) fell 0.8% each. Shares of Renault SA (FR:RNO) fell 1.3%.

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