New-vehicle sales in Western Europe slipped 3.5 percent in February compared with the year-ago month, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
After a 7 percent drop in January, sales are off 5.3 percent for the first two months of the year.
Each of Europe's Big 6 makers was lower for the month, but Fiat Auto took the biggest hit. The Italian automaker's sales slid 12.7 percent from a year earlier, slicing its share of the 18-country market to 8.9 percent from 9.8 percent in February 2002.
Industry leader Volkswagen Group was off 2.2 percent for the month, with only one of its volume brands, Spain's Seat, gaining over a year earlier.
No. 2 PSA Group was down 1.6 percent; General Motors, 3.5 percent; Renault, 8.4 percent; and Ford Motor Co., 3.5 percent.
Sales of Japanese brands rose 6.2 percent in February year-on-year, while Korean sales were up 10.8 percent. The gains yielded market shares of 11.6 percent for the Japanese and 3.3 percent for the Koreans.
Only five countries escaped the downward trend: Austria, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Italy, where sales rose 8.1 percent as the government reintroduced incentives to encourage new-car sales.
The United Kingdom, off 5.8 percent, registered the biggest decline among the major markets. With the February decline, sales are off 8.1 percent for the first two months of the year.