Car sales in Germany continue to fall. In September they were down by two percent from the same month last year, taking into account the fact that there were two fewer working days in September this year.
On a straight month-for-month comparison, sales slumped 10.9 percent.
It was the third consecutive monthly decline in Germany, showing that Europe’s powerhouse economy is increasingly feeling the pinch from the eurozone debt crisis.
German sales slipped 1.8 percent in the first nine months of the year.
That comes hard on the heels of figures showing car sales dropped further in France, Italy and Spain last month.
They were down 18 percent in France, 25.7 percent in Italy and 37 percent in Spain.
The Spanish plunge was accentuated by a September 1 sales-tax increase, which had brought forward some sales to August.
Would-be buyers also held out for renewed scrappage incentives introduced on Monday.
Scrapping incentives offer car buyers a bonus for trading in old cars for a new model. Previous schemes in countries such as France, Germany and Italy helped Europe’s car market to withstand the last economic slump in 2008-2009.
European car executives at the Paris auto show warned last week that a rebound may be years rather than months away.
Italy’s dismal figures were the worst since a car-haulers’ strike wreaked havoc back in March. In September, there was no strike to blame.
Automotive research group Centro Studi Promotor said sales could be stabilising, however, after data it collected showed slightly higher showroom traffic and an improvement in dealer confidence.