French new car orders drop 60 percent in December image

French new car orders decreased by almost 60 percent from December 1 to December 21 over the year-earlier period, daily newspaper La Tribune reported.

The publication cited an unidentified person speaking in an official capacity. The significant drop in orders is partly due to the fact that December 2010 was the last month in which state incentives to scrap old cars were available.

The newspaper also wrote about European registrations of the best-selling French cars, which have decreased in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year. The Renault Megane saw a drop of 12 percent to 266,376 units sold in Europe. The Megane is Europe’s second best-selling compact car behind VW’s Golf. Sales of the smaller Renault Clio decreased 12.6 percent in Europe to 207,285 units, ranking sixth in its category. The Clio 4 will replace the aging model in 2012 and sales are expected to rebound.

The Citroen C3 recorded 19 percent decrease in sales, to 175,087 units. The drop in sales is big, even though the C3 is a relatively new model. The DS3 range is a real succes though. Peugeot 207 sales dropped even more, by 20 percent, to 173,409 units. The car will soon be replaced by the 208.