New-vehicle sales in Western Europe fell 5.7 percent in September.
ACEA, the European automakers' association, gave these reasons for the decline:
Disruption of transportation caused by fuel-price protests
Large stocks of quality used vehicles
Supply problems for several manufacturers
Consumers delaying purchases due to the Paris auto show.
Germany, Western Europe's biggest market, continued to suffer. It dropped 11 percent against September 1999 figures. For January-September, Germany was down 11.3 percent, to 2.6 million units, compared with the year-ago period.
Of the five main Western European new-vehicle markets, only Italy improved last month, up 8.9 percent. Among smaller countries, Greece showed a September sales increase of 40.8 percent; Sweden was up 2.1 percent. But the rest - including Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland - all declined.