By Christoph Rauwald
FRANKFURT—Registrations of new cars in Europe fell 9.2% from a year earlier to 1.26 million vehicles in September, marking the sixth consecutive month of declines after the expiration of state-backed scrapping incentives.
"In September, all major markets contracted," the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a statement Friday.
In the first nine months of the year, the European car market was down 3.7% compared with the same period a year earlier at 10.6 million vehicles.
Scrapping initiatives revived demand in Europe last year after demand deteriorated during the economic turmoil. Typically, the plans offered discounts to car owners who traded in old, gas-guzzling cars for new, fuel-efficient vehicles.
Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/206736865/delayed DE:VOW +0.41% AG, Europe's largest auto maker by sales, posted a 4.3% fall in new-car registrations in September to 262,624 vehicles. An 11% rise at premium unit Audi /zigman2/quotes/207972355/delayed DE:NSU +0.63% AG and a 5.4% gain at Seat failed to offset drops of 11% at the core VW brand and 1.3% at the Czech Skoda marque.
The region's second-largest car maker, PSA Peugeot-Citroen /zigman2/quotes/203546414/delayed FR:UG +3.63% , saw European registrations shrink 6.6% on a year-to-year basis to 153,656 cars. French peer Renault /zigman2/quotes/200919924/delayed FR:RNO +2.66% SA posted a 8.7% decrease to 108,645 cars.
New-car registrations at General Motors Co.'s European division were down 6.1% at 121,686 vehicles, with the core Opel and Vauxhall brands posting a 4.6% fall to 104,938 cars. Detroit rival Ford Motor /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -1.31% Co. suffered a 20% decrease to 108,700 new-car registrations in Europe.
Italy's Fiat SpA posted a 21% slump in new-car registrations last month to 86,773 vehicles. German luxury-car maker BMW /zigman2/quotes/209548467/delayed DE:BMW +0.11% AG eked out a 0.4% gain to 74,941 cars, with its core brand accounting for 58,442 cars, up 1.7% year-to-year. The scrapping schemes last year mainly revived demand for smaller vehicles, so luxury car makers have little exposure to the current market downturn in Europe.
Daimler /zigman2/quotes/205332368/delayed DE:DAI +1.05% AG's registrations in Europe rose 6.2% year-to-year to 70,335 vehicles. Registrations for the company's Mercedes-Benz brand were up 6.7% at 62,228 cars in Europe last month. Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +0.78% Corp. posted a 21% decline to 57,573 cars, compared with a 7.6% fall to 38,691 cars at Japanese peer Nissan Motor /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 -3.15% Co.