LONDON - Sales of new light vehicles in Western Europe declined 4.0 percent in October.
A total of 1,119,495 light vehicles were sold. October's results pushed the market to a 1.8 percent decline for the first 10 months of the year.
Europe's largest market, Germany, had the biggest impact on October sales. Sales there fell 11.3 percent. Spain's sales dropped by 12.2 percent and France's by 2.2 percent.
Among the other five main markets, Italy's sales rose 5.6 percent and the United Kingdom's improved 2.6 percent.
ACEA, the European automakers' association, found it difficult to interpret sales trends across the region.
It said in a statement: 'Increases in the prices of fuel may be encouraging consumers to delay car replacement. Uncertainty about future interest rates in Euroland may also be a factor.
'On the other hand,' ACEA said, 'the underlying economic statistics still show a quite favorable environment.'
Charles Young, auto industry analyst with J.D. Power-LMC in Oxford, England, said: 'The market slowed considerably in October. Many major markets other than Germany have now peaked - though coming tax cuts could boost some in the future.'