French car sales fall for 6th month: industry data

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French new car sales continued lower for a sixth month running in October, falling 18.7 percent compared with the level 12 months earlier, industry figures showed on Tuesday.

Adjusted for working days, October car sales were down 14.9 percent at 171,449, the French Automakers Federation (CCFA) said, falling steadily as government trade-in incentives were phased out.

The trade-in scheme, worth progressively less over the year, will end completely at the end of December after having buoyed sales through the worst of the industry slump in 2009.

The CCFA said the slide in sales reflected the ending of the trade-in bonus system, with October's sales back at October 2008 levels when the global economic slump began to really bite.

French automakers held 54.7 percent of the market in October.

For the 10 months to October, French auto sales were down 1.4 percent from the same period in 2010 at 1.83 million.

The CCFA expects total sales this year at two million, representing a fall of 10 percent over 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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