VW, Opel, Ford suffer as German car sales drop 11%
Low-cost rivals buck downward trend
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen, Opel and Ford all suffered as new-car registrations in Germany fell 11 percent in September.
Opel was the hardest hit as the General Motors Co. unit's volume plunged nearly 26 percent, while sales of Ford cars dropped 22.5 percent. VW brand sales were down 20 percent.
In contrast, low-cost brands did well. Hyundai's sales rose 19 percent and sister brand Kia's volume was up nearly 15 percent. VW Group's Skoda brand had an 11 percent increase.
Among premium automaker, BMW brand, together with Mini, increased sales by 9.3 percent last month, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz both saw sales drop in their home market. Audi was down 5.9 percent while Mercedes slipped 11 percent.
Total German market registrations in September declined 10.9 percent to 250,082 compared with the same month a year earlier, the federal transport authority (KBA) said on Tuesday.
Nine-month passenger car sales in Germany were down 1.8 percent to 2.36 million.
France, Italy, Spain
On Monday, France, Italy and Spain reported steep car-sales declines for the month as austerity-hit buyers stayed away from showrooms.
In France, September car registrations dropped 18 percent while sales in Spain plunged 37 percent. In Italy, car sales fell 26 percent.
Reuters contributed to this report
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