BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group lost market share in Europe for the 14th straight month, data from a industry association ACEA showed today. Much of the decline has coincided with the automaker's emissions-cheating scandal that erupted in September 2015, giving competitors a chance to take advantage of the company's damaged image.
VW Group accounted for 24.9 percent of passenger-car registrations in the EU and EFTA markets in October, compared with 25.3 percent a year earlier, ACEA said.
Industrywide European registrations slipped 0.3 percent last month to 1.14 million vehicles, burdened by one less selling day.
VW underperformed with a 1.8 percent sales decrease across the group. However, the company's Skoda and Seat brands performed well with rises of 4.2 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Meanwhile sales at the company's core VW brand dropped 7.8 percent. VW Group premium automaker Audi saw volume rise 2.1 percent last month, while registrations at Porsche fell 13 percent.
While Europe's biggest carmaker has made strides in emerging from the crisis, VW Group still faces criminal investigations and hundreds of investor lawsuits after admitting to rigging diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The revelations harmed the company's reputation for quality, helping Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Opel/Vauxhall, Daimler and BMW Group gain an advantage.
VW Group's 10-month European market share narrowed to 24 percent from 25.1 percent a year earlier.
European car sales have been increasing since 2013, rebounding from a two-decade low in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Growth has cooled in recent months as concerns about the UK's exit from the European Union cloud the region's economic outlook. LMC Automotive projects growth in Western Europe will slow to 1.3 percent in 2017 from 5.7 percent this year.
Industrywide European sales for the January-October period rose 6.9 percent to 12.7 million vehicles.
Despite uncertainty, Brexit has yet to have a major effect on UK auto demand, with registrations rising 1.4 percent in October and increasing 2.5 percent so far this year. Meanwhile, October sales in Germany, the region's biggest market, slumped 5.6 percent, while French sales were down 4 percent. Major southern markets fared better with Italian sales rising 9.7 percent and Spanish registrations up 4 percent.
Fiat Chrysler posted a 6.6 percent rise, boosted by an 8.3 percent increase in demand for its Jeep brand, a 3.2 percent jump at the core Fiat marque and a 21 percent gain at Alfa Romeo.
• Download PDF, above right, for Oct. and 10-month sales by automaker, brand and market.
Renault Group registrations were down last month by 2.1 percent as the core Renault brand fell 2.2 percent and deliveries at budget unit Dacia slid 1.9 percent.
Registrations at rival PSA Group dropped 7.4 percent, with Peugeot sales down 4.6 percent, Citroen's volume falling 8.9 percent and DS deliveries slipping 29 percent.
General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall unit sold 2.7 percent more vehicles in October.
Premium automakers fared better in the region as Daimler's registrations climbed 6.1 percent as the manufacturer expands its lineup of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. Mercedes sales were up 7.1 percent, while Smart deliveries dropped 0.6 percent.
BMW Group sales rose 3.5 percent, lifted by a 2.7 percent boost from the BMW brand and a 6.9 percent jump at the Mini brand.
The biggest winner overall last month was Jaguar Land Rover, whose Jaguar sales rose 62 percent and Land Rover's volume increased by 2.5 percent.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report