(Reuters) -- Volkswagen Group's emissions cheating scandal began to hit vehicle sales in October, consultancy LMC Automotive said, with the automaker losing ground in Western Europe, where overall market growth slowed.
Registrations in the region rose to 2.7 percent to 1.06 million cars last month, LMC said, a slower gain than the 9.4 percent growth in September.
VW Group sales were down 2.7 percent in the five biggest markets - Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain - while industry registrations in those markets grew by 2 percent, LMC said.
"There is clearly a sign of some impact there," said LMC analyst Emiliano Lewis.
Because car deliveries typically occur several weeks after purchase decisions, however, the full sales repercussions of VW's Sept. 18 admission of diesel test-rigging will become more apparent in November registrations.
The October numbers equated to a seasonally adjusted selling rate of 13.05 million cars per year, LMC said, a 2 percent decline from September's 13.31 million rate - but still almost 1 million cars above the 2014 total.
LMC makes its forecast for Western Europe based on published national registration figures and smaller market estimates.