FRANKFURT -- German new-car registrations dropped slightly by 0.4 percent to 210,195 in January, according to motor vehicle authority KBA.
This corresponds to a trend of falling sales in western Europe as consumer confidence continues to be dogged by debt problems in the eurozone.
Last year, Germany's new-car market grew by 8.8 percent to 3.17 million, according to KBA figures.
In January, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz had the biggest share of the German market with 23.8 percent and 9.1 percent respectively, according to KBA.
Western Europe's car market is seen stagnating in 2012 at best, as consumer demand eases amid weaker economic growth, though data in Germany has until now raised hopes that Europe's biggest economy and largest single European car market, might buck the trend.
France, Italy, Spain
In France, new-car registrations fell 21 percent last month compared with January 2011 as a depressed economy and an incentives phase-out hit demand. Some 147,143 cars were delivered in January, the CCFA automakers' association said.
Sales in Italy fell 16.9 percent last month to 137,119, Centro Studi Promotor said. "The negative trend of the second half of last year is continuing and intensifying," it said.
In Spain, sales rose 2.5 percent to 54,961, compared with 53,634 cars registered in January 2011, but the figure was still close to 17-year lows, according to industry association ANFAC.
Reuters contributed to this report