Sales of new cars fell five and a half percent in Europe last year.
The slump came with the end of government incentive schemes designed to get drivers to scrap their old cars and buy new models.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said a total of 13.36 million vehicles were registered in the European Union.
The biggest fall – twenty three and a half percent – was in Germany, the region’s largest market which ended its highly successful scrappage scheme in 2009.
Throughout Europe car sales were down 3.2 percent in December compared with the same month in 2009.
European carmakers have been looking to fast-growing markets like China and Brazil to boost sales
Earlier this week China confirmed its top ranking , after posting a 33.2 percent rise in car sales last year.