France: New car sales up 9.4 pct in December image

French new car sales rose 94 percent in December, following a 5.7 percent in increase in November, CCFA , the country’s industry association announced on Thursday.

Overall, for 2013, new car sales in France are down 5.7 percent compared to 2012.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, the country’s largest carmaker increased its sales by 10.6 percent in December, while Renault’s sales surged 37.3 percent. Both automakers managed to regain market share from foreign automakers in December, together accounting for more than half – 50.6 percent.

Volkswagen, the largest carmaker in Europe saw its French car sales up 9.9 percent.

Situation in Europe is still in the “red area” even if countries like France succeeded to increase its sales in the past two months.

Unemployment rate is still over 10 percent (10.5% – at 3.29 million) and the country expects another decline after 0.1% decline in third-quarter GDP.

“We’re still in a very weak market,” said CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier. The coming year should bring “stability at a very low level”, he said.