PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA and Renault SA were among the hardest hit in a European car sales decline in April, the region's 12th drop in 13 months. Registrations fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.13 million vehicles, according to ACEA, the European automakers association.
Four-month sales in Europe dropped 2.4 percent. The progressive withdrawal of scrappage payments has weighed on car sales even as the broader economy rebounds in countries such as Germany, Europe's biggest auto market.
France, which on Dec. 31 became the last major country in the region to scrap the payouts, bore the brunt of the hangover among the four largest markets with an 11 percent plunge in April deliveries. That contributed to Paris-based PSA's 18 percent slide to 132,949 European registrations, while smaller domestic rival Renault recorded a 13 percent decline to 105,799 units. Italy's Fiat S.p.A. posted 82,315 registrations, down 7.8 percent.
Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest carmaker, countered the regional decline with a 3.7 percent sales increase to 276,002 vehicles, helped by the 2.6 percent expansion of its home market of Germany. The country's government was one of the first to end incentives in 2009.
European sales of BMW AG's brands continued the positive trend from German carmakers, rising 5 percent in April to 66,450 cars, along with General Motors Co.'s European unit Opel/Vauxhall which sold 81,332 cars in April, a rise of 1.2 percent over 2010 figures.
Among the major German carmakers, only Daimler AG failed to grow sales in April, delivering 56,057 vehicles in the region, a fall of 2 percent from the year before.