Plug-in electrified passenger car sales were down six percent in July from the previous year, but market watchers predict it will rebound to a new record this year after September.

According to a newsletter by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO), While PEV sales were down six percent from July 2015, the yearly total was still up 19 percent over 2015. EAFO expects August to be soft, as is typical in summer sales months, with a rebound in September.

There were more than 100,000 new PEV registration in Europe through the end of July. EAFP expects to see 200,000 registered by the end of the year, which would reach a new sales record in Europe.

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Sales of plug-in hybrids led the market, up 13 percent year-over-year, while all-electric vehicles were down 28 percent over that same period from last year. The observatory thinks that has much to do with car buyers waiting for longer range all-electric models to roll out such as the Opel Ampera-e or Nissan Leaf.

For July 2016 registrations, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finished in first place. The Outlander was followed by Volkswagen Passat GTE, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Nissan Leaf, and Mercedes C350e, in that order. The Leaf dropped down two positions to fifth place; European sales have dropped 24 percent year-over-year, with significant declines in its most important markets including France, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

Belgium saw the highest PEV growth rate in Europe, up 135 percent year-to-date over the previous year, and Iceland followed with a 128 percent increase over that same period. The leading European countries for PEVs as a percentage of new vehicle sales were Norway at 29 percent, Iceland at 3.5 percent, and Sweden at 3.3 percent.

European Alternative Fuels Observatory