FRANKFURT -- European new-car sales dropped to a 14-year monthly low in March, with Fiat, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault among the hardest hit as economic growth stalled because of the region's sovereign-debt crisis and falling consumer confidence.
Registrations in the 27-member EU states plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland fell 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.5 million vehicles, the lowest figure for March since 1998, industry association ACEA said on Tuesday.
Sales fell for a sixth straight month as the deepening slump in France and Italy outweighed a fragile recovery in Germany and Britain.
Fiat Group sales, including the Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands, declined 25.8 percent to 81,469. Fiat brand sales were down 27 percent, Lancia dropped 12.9 percent and Alfa was down 37.6 percent.
PSA, Europe's second-biggest carmaker after Volkswagen, fell 19.2 percent to 165,118 in the same period. Renault posted a 20.4 percent drop to 112,894 with Renault brand sales down 19.6 percent and Dacia down 23.8 percent.
Sales at General Motors Co.'s Opel/Vauxhall brand fell 11 percent to 111,285. Ford's March volume was down 7.6 percent to 131,410.
Only Volkswagen posted a gain during March, helped by a buoyant German home market. VW Group sales grew 1.7 percent to 352,455, boosted by a 3.4 percent rise at the core VW brand and a 7 percent rise at Audi. Skoda sales were flat while Seat fell 15.2 percent.