New car registrations in Germany, a key measure of demand in one of the most crucial sectors of Europe's top economy, fell sharply in September, official data showed on Tuesday.
Some 250,082 cars were registered last month, a drop of 10.9% compared to the same period in 2011, according to the official KBA agency.
This was the third consecutive decline and adds to mounting evidence that Europe's powerhouse economy is increasingly feeling the pinch from the near three-year eurozone debt crisis.
Over the first three quarters of the year, around 2.4 million cars had been registered, some 43,000 fewer than last year, the agency said.
Despite the crisis, high-end cars appeared to be selling better than models further down the range over the first nine months of the year.
New registrations of Porsches were up 13.6% during that period compared to last year while Audis were 8.4% higher.
In contrast, struggling carmaker Opel saw a 13.2% decline while Ford (IW 500/6) registrations were down 8.8% on the year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012