French car sales slump 11.5 percent in May: trade data

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Sales of new cars in France slumped by 11.5 percent in May on a 12-month comparison, the first decline in more than a year, data from French car manufacturers showed on Tuesday.

Based on a comparable number of working days, sales fell 16.1 percent, with 186,337 vehicles sold in the month.

Unadjusted sales in the first five months of the year were up 7.2 percent and 6.2 percent on a comparable basis.

The performance of French auto makers diverged sharply. Sales at PSA Peugeot Citroen fell 13.1 percent while at rival Renault they were up 13.8 percent, thanks largely its Romanian subsidiary Dacia.

Dacia sales more than tripled last month.

Overall, sales of French autos fell 8.8 percent in May, leaving them with a market share of 55 percent.

Sales of foreign brands declined 14.4 percent compared with May 2009.

Toyota suffered the sharpest slide, 45.5 percent, followed by 25.3 percent for Fiat, 26.6 percent for Mercedes, 18.3 percent for General Motors and 18.1 percent for Ford.

© 2010 AFP

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