French auto sales drop: trade data

2nd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sales of new cars in France fell by 11.2 percent in April on a 12-month comparison with the ending of a bonus for scrapping cars, the CCFA association of vehicle manufacturers said Monday.

CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier told AFP: "We know that the market is going to contract sharply" and "return to its level before the bonus for scrapping."

This was a reference to a government scheme introduced in France and some other European countries at the height of the financial crisis to support car makers by offering subsidies to buyers who ordered a new car in return for scrapping an old one.

In France, the last cars to benefit from this scheme were delivered at the end of March.

French manufacturers suffered the biggest setback in April, according to the CCFA figures. Sales by PSA Peugeot Citroen fell by 21.1 percent and sales by Renault by 19.1 percent.

Roudier said: "The big beneficiaries of the scrapping scheme, Renault, PSA and Fiat, registered a sharp fall in comparison with the very good figures reported last year."

A total of 169,451 cars were registered in France in April when there was one fewer working day than in April last year.

On a comparable basis, sales fell by 6.8 percent.

"For the whole of 2011, we are still looking at a fall of 8.0 percent," Roudier said.

© 2011 AFP

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