The third largest European single market – France, advanced sales of new cars last month by 6%, with the auto industry recovery appearing to finally pick up pace.

According to the CCFA industry association, registrations in France gained 6% from last year’s tally of 157,749 cars to 166,968 units last month. Data also shows that for the first four months of 2014 new car sales went up by 4% to 613,577 vehicles.

“It was mainly corporate buyers who carried the month, while consumer sales are down a little, as their spending is still marked by great caution” CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier said.

Citi analyst Philip Watkins also commented that sales went up despite the Easter holiday, which last year fell in March, adding that Renault managed to thoroughly outperform the general average.

The French group’s sales, which is the country’s second biggest automaker behind PSA Peugeot Citroen, went up by 18% in April, thanks mainly to a great increase at the affordable brand Dacia – which grew by 46%. PSA only managed to increase sales by 5%, while Europe’s biggest automaker – the Volkswagen Group – only had a modest 15 increase.

So far, the French market recovery has hit a few bumps, after a December surge of 9% the first two months of the year brought a stagnation, followed by March which again managed a healthier 9% sales increase.

Via Automotive News Europe


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