European new car registrations edged up 1.1 percent in September.
The rise was slower than in August. Germany was the region’s only major market where more vehicles were sold.
In the first nine months of the year total new car registrations are down by 0.8 percent on the same period last year.
Volkswagen – with its Audi marque – and BMW enjoyed the best sales gain.
Between the start of the year and September there were 10.46 million vehicles registered in the EU and European Free Trade Area (EFTA), according to figures from the European industry association ACEA.
Volkswagen was the biggest winner, helped by almost 20 percent sales growth at its luxury brand Audi, giving the group a market share in the region of 23.2 percent.
BMW sales rose 6.8 percent, while Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand lost some market share.
Korean brands Hyundai and Kia grew by 18.7 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively, falling short of Nissan’s 30.8 percent gain.
By comparison, Honda saw its sales drop by 14.8 percent, and Mazda was also badly hit. Toyota sales in the region dropped 9.2 percent.
Sales at GM’s Opel fell 5.9 percent in September, while Ford’s sales eased 0.3 percent.
The three French brands Renault , Peugeot and Citroen also all lost market share in September, and Fiat group sales fell 7.8 percent.