Fiat S.p.A, Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. led a sixth straight monthly drop in European sales as demand for new cars falls following the ending or phasing out of government trade-in incentives programs.
Registrations in the region fell 9.2 percent to 1.26 million vehicles in September from 1.39 million a year earlier, said ACEA, the European automakers association. Nine-month sales dropped 3.7 percent to 10.6 million.
Deliveries at Fiat group declined 21 percent to 86,773, hit by steep drops for the Italian automaker's Fiat and Lancia brands.
Combined Toyota and Lexus registrations tumbled 21 percent to 57,573, while Ford dropped 20 percent to 108,700 units.
Volkswagen group, Europe's biggest carmaker with a 21 percent market share, saw sales fall 4 percent to 262,624 with an 11 percent drop for VW brand offset by a 10.5 percent gain at Audi and a 5 percent increase at Seat.
General Motors Co.'s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary saw volume fall 5 percent to 104,938.
Premium car sales are rebounding after a poor 2009.
Daimler registered growth with 7 percent more Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Europe than in September 2009 and 2.5 percent more Smarts.
BMW brand sales grew 2 percent but the Munich company's Mini unit suffered a 4 percent decline.