Automakers are bracing for a tough 2003 in western Europe after another month of falling sales.

According to new data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), car registrations fell a worse-than-expected 5% in May compared with the same month last year, following a 6.5% drop in April.

Fiat Auto was worst hit last month, with sales falling 16% to 105,124. Elsewhere, Ford Motor Company was down 5.8% to 143,351, Volkswagen fell by the same margin to 241,754 and Bayerische Motoren Werke slid 9.9% to 56,653.

Three car firms outperformed the overall market: General Motors slipped 4.7% to 128,478; DaimlerChrysler declined 2.7% to 88,474; and PSA Peugeot Citroën dipped 2.4% to 183,196.

Over the first five months of 2003, registrations fell 3.8% year-on-year.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff