Sales of new cars in Western Europe rose less than 1 percent in November from a year earlier.
ACEA, the European automakers' association, said sales inched up just 0.3 percent from November 1998, to 1.116 million units.
New-car registrations in Germany, Europe's largest car market, fell to 273,000 - down 8.1 percent from the same month last year. But ACEA pointed out that the German market enjoyed a particularly high November 1998.
The association also said the static European market was partly due to the fact that customers are waiting for the new millennium to register their cars.
ACEA analyzes the car markets in 18 Western European countries. It said that although the year-on-year rise was small, the figure was still above the average for November during the 1990s.
Sales in the United Kingdom fell 5.9 percent in November, to 143,323. The declines in Germany and the United Kingdom were balanced by growth elsewhere, particularly in Spain and France. The Spanish market climbed 12.8 percent to 115,791. France rose 2.7 percent to 183,590.
French manufacturer PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA benefited from the strong domestic market to continue its strong sales growth this year. PSA group November sales increased 12.4 percent. By contrast, November sales slipped 2.9 percent to 204,921 at Volkswagen AG, which includes the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands. Japanese automakers saw their combined sales fall 0.4 percent to 117,244.