French car sales drop 13.1 pct in February: trade

2nd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Sales of new cars dived 13.1 percent in February compared to the figure for the same month last year.

PARIS – Sales of new cars in France plummeted 13.1 percent in February compared to the figure for the same month last year, the CCFA French automobile manufacturers' group said on Monday.

French brands Citroen, Peugeot and Renault were hardest hit, losing 13.3 percent of the market. Sales of foreign cars dropped 12.9 percent last month.

It was one of the worst showings in recent months for French car sales after the devastating drops of 15.8 percent in December and 14 percent in November.

In January, car sales fell 7.9 percent, cushioned by a new government incentive of a bonus for car owners who turned in their old models for new, more environmentally-friendly automobiles.

Overall, Peugeot cars were losing the most sales, down 19.8 percent from February 2008, according to the CCFA figures.

Most foreign makes of cars were also losing market shares, with the exception of Japan's Suzuki, with sales up 10.7 percent and Korea's Hyundai, up 3.9 percent and Italy's Fiat at 0.3 percent.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced plans to lend PSA Peugeot Citroen, and Renault, EUR 3 billion each to help them weather the economic downturn.

Motor manufacturing is a pillar of French industry, directly employing one in 10 members of the workforce.

AFP / Expatica

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