French car sales drop in August image

The main automotive industry association in France announced this Monday that the country’s car sales slid 3% in August, considered to be a weak vacation month.

Renault’s sales went down 10.7% leading the low scores in auto sales from August, with registrations going down to 83,340 cars and with PSA Peugeot Citroen falling in line with the market. European sales data for July and August are due to be published in September. Until then, France seems to be recovering as a whole in Europe with car sales up 6.2% in the first half of 2014.

“Consumers are holding back before replacing their cars. The morose economic context is continuing to weigh, and while August is not very representative, we’re still 20% below pre-crisis levels,” said Flavien Neuvy, head of auto-market forecasting at Cetelem, a BNP Paribas sales financing division.

Volkswagen gained 11% in sales, remaining the European leader in car sales, with advances led by its no-frills Skoda brand, which was up 25%.

Delivery vans sales decreased 3.8% in August, with 3.2% in light vehicle registrations overall. The French registrations for the year so far are up 1.6%, and when adjusted to 2013, which had one extra selling day, they did actually grow 1.8%.

By Gabriela Florea