"We're still in red territory," Florent Couvreur, a Paris-based analyst at CM-CIC Securities, said. "When people say we've reached the bottom, I say, 'watch out,' because the market is still decreasing. The drop is a little less steep, but we're still falling because of the bad macroeconomic environment."
European sales by Volkswagen Group, the region's largest carmaker, fell 11 percent last month, dragged down by a 17 percent plunge at the namesake VW brand. The Audi division sold 6 percent fewer cars in Europe. Skoda and Seat brand sales declined by 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.
PSA, Europe's second-biggest carmaker, posted an 18 percent sales drop in August that eroded its market share to 11 percent for the first eight months, down almost a percentage point year-on-year. CEO Philippe Varin forecast at the Frankfurt show on Sept. 10 that there will be "slightly positive growth" in European auto-industry deliveries next year.