French, Spanish new car sales accelerate in May

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 1 (AFP) - Sales of new cars in France turned positive in May while those in Spain continued their robust growth, automobile manufacturers' associations in both countries said Tuesday.

PARIS, June 1 (AFP) - Sales of new cars in France turned positive in May while those in Spain continued their robust growth, automobile manufacturers' associations in both countries said Tuesday.

The French automakers' committee CCFA reported that new-car sales rose 4.8 percent in May from the same month last year to 169,591 registrations after contracting four percent in April.

Sales of foreign makes powered the turnaround, which came despite rising fuel costs.

Over the first five months of the year sales in France were down 1.6 percent from the same period of 2003, or 2.6 percent on the basis of comparable working days.

Sales of French models declined 0.3 percent in May to 99,154 vehicles from May 2003 for a market share of 58.5 percent against 61.5 percent 12 months earlier.

Peugeot Citroen sales fell 7.8 percent, reducing its market share to 29.5 percent from 33.6, while at rival Renault sales rose 8.8 percent for a market share of 28.9 percent, up from 27.9 in May 2003.

Foreign manufacturers saw their sales rise 13 percent in May to 70,437 vehicles for a market share that edged up to 41.5 percent from 38.5 percent in May last year.

Sales of new cars in May grew 32.5 percent at Volkswagen, 17.1 percent at Ford, 12.4 percent at General Motors, 8.6 percent at Toyota and 22.7 percent at Hyundai.

By contrast Fiat sales fell 6.2 percent from May 2003 while those at DaimlerChrysler declined seven percent.

In Spain new-car sales jumped 8.9 percent last month from May 2003 to 131,495 units, its second best showing for May.

In the first five months of 2004, there were registrations of 631,194 new cars, up by 14.5 percent from the same period last year.

A spokesman for the auto manufacturers' association Anfac attributed the May performance to the sustained strength of the Spanish economy, which is largely fuelled by domestic demand.

The association sees a three percent increase in new-car registrations in 2004 from 2003.

An Anfac spokesman noted that from January to April sales of new cars in the European Union expanded 3.1 percent in the European Union against 16.18 percent in Spain.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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