A recent survey shows that French auto orders have dropped 0.5% in April, a sign of the auto market stabilization.
The survey was made by trade publication La Lettre Auto K7, and shows auto orders in France down 0.5% in April, from a drop of 6% in March, 5.5% in February and 3.5% in January. French auto orders saw an increase thanks to the new models launched by Renault in April, such as the Captur compact crossover, but an important role was also played by the Peugeot 2008 and VW new Golf. Renault’s orders increased 23% in April, while PSA fell 9% and VW dropped 7%, according to the survey made on 34 dealerships. Citroen orders fell 12% and GM dropped 22%.
Auto sales in France dropped only 5.2% in April, a slight hope that auto demand might stabilize. Last month new vehicle registrations dropped to 157,859 units from 166,552 units in April 2012, according to CCFA industry association. Sales from January to April dipped 12.3%, after a 16.4% fall in March.
“When do we bottom? Not this month,” Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold said in a note to investors. An additional day of French sales in April masked a bigger underlying slump, he said. “Adjusting for selling days, the decline is more severe.”