European car registrations fall 0.9 percent in February

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Western Europe passenger car registrations fell 0.9 percent in February with demand falling in major markets like Italy and Spain as well as for volume brands including Fiat, Renault, Opel and Vauxhall.

Registrations dropped to 1.15 million cars in the markets of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), down from 1.16 million a year earlier, data released by the Association of European Carmakers ACEA on Friday showed.

Registrations of Opel and Vauxhall vehicles fell 3.4 percent, while rival Renault posted a decline of 1.7 percent, according to ACEA.

The European Union passenger car market contracted by 1 percent compared to one year ago, despite some large markets like Germany and France rebounding after five straight months of declines, with registration increases of 2.7 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Riham Alkousaa