New-car sales in western Europe fell 10.4 percent in September, according to J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting.
The UK-based market researchers now expect a 6.4 percent decline to 12.8 million in the region's car sales this year, followed by a 1.8 percent drop to 12.57 million next year as government austerity measures dampen large consumer purchases.
"The market continues to compare poorly year-on-year to a 2009 market that was inflated by government scrappage incentives," J.D. Power said in a statement.
The company said an annualized selling rate of 12.4 million is weak by historical standards -- western Europe's car sales reached a high of 14.8 million in 2007 -- "but at least it is an improvement on the past few months."