Automotive manufacturers from the Midlands endured a bleak February as sales of new cars exceeded the Europe-wide downturn.
MG Rover suffered the biggest fall, with new registrations declining by a quarter compared with February 2004, while Jaguar registrations tumbled by a fifth.
Meanwhile Peugeot, which makes the 206 car at its Ryton plant in Coventry, saw sales drop by 5.2 per cent.
Only Land Rover survived the Europe wide slump, and buoyed by the new Discovery managed to increase sales by
0.8 per cent in the year to date.
Most brands suffered a downturn in sales during the month, which saw the total number of car registrations fall by 4.1 per cent.
A total of 1.05 million vehicles were sold in February, extending January's weak start, the Brussels-based carmakers' group ACEA yesterday.
Sales of MG Rover fell from 6,439 in February 2004 to 4,736 last month, a drop of 26.4 per cent.
In the year to date, the number of vehicles sold by the Longbridge company is down from 16,333 in 2004 to 13,049, a decline of 20.1 per cent. Jaguar saw new registrations fall
21.2 per cent from 2,748 in February 2004 to 2,166 cars.
The year to date decline was even more marked, with a 23.8 per cent drop from 7,717 in 2004 to 5,878 vehicles.
Its sister company Land Rover, which is a fellow member of Ford's Premier Automotive Group stable, saw sales go down by 1.2 per cent to 3,910 when compared with February 2004.
But the firm enjoyed a slight increase in year to date sales, which rose 0.8 per cent to 10,505.
The UK manufacturers were not helped by a sluggish home market, which saw car sales fell by 15.7 per cent in February, compared with the same month in 2004, to 77,092 cars.