France: New car sales up 8.9 pct in March image

New car sales in France rose 8.9 percent in March, the French automobile manufacturers’ association (CCFA) announced on Wednesday – after a decline in February.

Registrations of new vehicles advanced to 179,871 units last month – up from 165,162 in March 2013. The diesel share is 65.7 percent of the market – CCFA says.

According to the same source, for the first three months of 2014, new car sales in France are up 2.9 percent (446,615 units) compared to the first quarter of 2013.

French brands grew by 17.8% last month to 100,069 units (+13.5% for Citroën, Peugeot + 16.4%, + 14% and + 52 for Renault, 7% for Dacia). Foreign brands have, however recorded a 0.5% decline in to 79,802 units.

Light commercial vehicles: +1.6%
With 33,405 registrations in March 2014, the French market for new light commercial vehicles (Less than 5.1 tons) is up 1.6%.

Light vehicles: +7.7%
213,276 new light vehicles (passenger cars and light under 5.1 tons commercial vehicles) have been registered in March 2014, an increase of 7.7%.

Industrial vehicles: – 8.8%
With 3,242 registrations in March, the French market for industrial vehicles over 5 tons is down 8.8% compared to March 2013.


“A swallow doesn’t make a spring,” said Francois Roudier, spokesman for the car makers’ group, which is keeping its projection of a 1% increase in sales this year compared with 2013.

In addition, in France, unemployment jumped to a new record in February – with almost 3.35 million now out of work.