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European new car registrations fell by another 10.2 percent in March from the same month a year earlier, marking the 18th consecutive monthly decline, to 1.307 million vehicles, data released on Wednesday by the European Automobile Manufacturer's Association (ACEA) showed.
Almost all main automakers suffered declines, with the exception of two high-end brands, Jaguar with a leap of 21.2 percent and Mercedes with a much more modest gain of 0.6 percent, the association said in a statement.
The biggest drop was that of the French group PSA Peugeot Citroen, which sold 16.0 percent fewer vehicles, and US giant General Motors, which was off by 12.8 percent.
Renault sales were 9.6 percent lower, but were spared a heavier drop owing to its Romanian subsidiary Dacia, which reported a jump of 20.2 percent.
The Korean automaker Kia also posted a gain, turning in a rise of 3.7 percent while compatriot Hyundai fell by 9.5 percent.
A breakdown by country showed that the British market held up better then the rest, posting an increase of 5.9 percent on the year and 7.4 percent in the period from January through March from the same period a year earlier.
The biggest decline in March was in Germany, Europe's biggest car market, which was off by 17.1 percent, followed by France, which was down by 16.2 percent.
For the first quarter of 2013 as a whole, new car registrations across the 27-member European Union fell by 9.8 percent, to 2.989 million vehicles.
They have now been in a constant fall for a year and a half, and last year hit their lowest level since 1995, at 12.05 million units.
PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN