Europe: French sales slightly up in January image

According to the country’s main industry association – CCFA – French car sales managed to rise 0.5 % in January, as the local auto market continues a positive trend thanks to local brands Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen good sales results.

The Paris-based CCFA said in a statement that French registrations rose to 125,477 cars last month from 124,798 a year earlier, and its forecast for a stable to slightly higher car sales market this year was reiterated.

Meanwhile, total light vehicle registrations were 152,865, a 1 % decline from a year earlier as the CCFA reported delivery van sales fell 7.7 % to 27,388 vehicles in January.

Renault posted very strong results, which outperformed the broader expansion, lifting the group’s market share to 27.22 from 24.35 %. The group sales for January were up 12.4 % to 34,151 cars, helped by the Captur mini-SUV and Romanian Dacia models.

Its larger rival, PSA Peugeot Citroen, recorded a 6 % rise in sales; while Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, posted a sales decline of 9.1 % to reach 15,286 sold cars. Sales by General Motors also fell 8.3 %, while South Korean carmakers Hyundai and affiliate Kia dipped a combined 27 %. On the other hand, Toyota managed to rise above the average, with a good 10.5 % registration increase.

The six-year slump in car sales has been particularly severe in France, Spain and Italy and these results point out to a slow and painful broader European auto market recovery.