French car sales slump 12.6% in June: trade data

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

French car sales fell by 12.6 percent in June, after the end of a cash-for-clunkers subsidy, and sales by Renault dropped by 29.3 percent, trade data showed on Friday.

The figures, unadjusted for seasonal variations from the equivalent period last year, put the number of new cars sold at 210,236, the CCFA committee of French auto manufacturers said.

After allowance for a difference in the number of days worked in the month, the fall was 3.9 percent.

Sales by foreign manufacturers fell by 5.1 percent.

Sales by French manufacturers overall fell by 17.9 percent, but sales by PSA Peugeot Citroen fell by only 8.2 percent.

Sales by Renault have fallen particularly steeply in recent months after the ending in March of the government subsidy which was introduced to help the auto sector at the height of the financial crisis.

The company told AFP that it was cutting the price of its small-car model, the "Twingo", for the first time selling a Renault brand at less than the cheapest model under its low-cost Dacia brand, confirming a report in the La Tribune newspaper.

Within overall Renault group sales, sales under the main Renault name fell by 25.9 percent and under the smaller Dacia name by 44.0 percent.

A spokeswoman for Renault said that the company was suffering from a shortage of parts for diesel engines fitted to the "Clio", "Megane" and "Scenic" models, which are leading products for the group.

Sales by Renault had fallen by 12.4 percent in March, 19.1 percent in April and 18.2 percent in May, on a 12-month comparison.

Overall sales in France for the first six months of the year rose by 1.0 percent from the figure for the same period of last year.

The head of the CCFA, Patrick Blain, commented that the market had not collapsed with the ending of the subsidy and that "the French market is stabilising at levels before the (financial) crisis".

© 2011 AFP

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