European Car Market Drops the Most in September image

Over the past year Europe’s new car sales reached the lowest level in September, with the majority of automakers reporting double-digit declines.

According to industry association ACEA, new car registrations in Europe fell 10.8% in September to 1.10 million vehicles, the UK being the only market to report material growth. VDA, the German industry group, said that the decrease was due to fewer working days compared with the same period last year, and the increase in value-added taxes in Spain, which made demand fall more than before.

“The continuing discussion about the debt crisis has also left its mark on Germany,” auto industry forecaster R.L. Polk & Co. said. “Even assuming that the situation in the EU calms down, western European new car registrations should decline slightly (to 11.63 million) in 2013.”

Volkswagen managed until September to gain market share, but last month it saw a decline of 13.8%, for Ford and Opel sales fell 15% and 16%, Renault was hit by a 33% decline, and BMW dropped 5.8%. Hyundai and Kia were the ones which managed to slowly improve sales, with a 3%-4% increase. But although GM’s Chevrolet imports the majority of its models from he U.S. carmaker’s Korean subsidiary, saw a 20% decrease.