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European car sales decline accelerates

European car sales decline accelerates
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Fewer car were driven out of showrooms around Europe in December as increasingly worried consumers held off making major purchases.

Vehicle sales tumbled 5.8 percent on an annual basis last month.

That following declines of three percent in November and nearly 1.4 percent in September.

The Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers said registrations ended the year 1.4 percent lower at 13.6 million.

Germany was the only major market to post growth in December.

Volkswagen, the region’s biggest automaker, bucked the market decline to consolidate its recent gains, with sales advancing 9.0 percent in December for a 7.8 percent advance in 2011. VW’s full-year market share rose by 2.0 percentage points to 23.3 percent.

PSA Peugeot Citroen — Europe’s second largest carmaker — was worst hit with sales down 19 percent.