BERLIN (AP) -- The number of newly registered cars hitting German roads sank 8 percent in October as the financial crisis prompted customers to hold off major purchases, the country's main auto industry group said Tuesday.
The VDA group said new car registrations last month declined to 258,800 from an "already weak" result in the same month last year. The group said it was cutting an "already cautious" full-year forecast from 3.2 million to 3.1 million at most.
It said consumers' increasing uncertainty in the face of the global financial crisis, high fuel prices and a lack of clarity over future car taxes and emissions regulations all contributed to holding back sales.
VDA said in a statement that orders for new cars in Germany -- Europe's biggest economy -- dropped 12 percent in October. It did not give an exact figure for orders.
German producers' exports declined 10 percent last month to 336,600, with U.S. and western European markets in particular suffering from the crisis. Orders from foreign customers sank 24 percent.
VDA chairman Matthias Wissmann said the industry is unlikely to reach last year's total of 4.3 million cars exported -- with the German auto industry instead facing the prospect of its first decline in exports since 2003.
Germany is home to car makers such as Daimler AG, Porsche SE, Volkswagen AG and BMW AG.