New Car Registrations in France Down 19.2% in November image

New car registrations in November dropped 19.2% to 144,694 units, according to sector group CCFA.

The adjusted annual decline was 23%, if we are to take into account the additional working day last month. From January to November new car registrations dropped 13.8% on the year or 14.5% in workday-adjusted terms. With the economic crisis still keeping customers away from dealerships, this is the worst year for the domestic market, even compared with the crisis from 2008-2009.

CCFA President Patrick Blain said that the results for the entire year are expected to be worse than the CCFA’s most recent projection for a 12% decline. Although the government offered this summer subsidies to boost sales, they focus mainly on electric and hybrid car purchases, a segment which is still too tiny to make up for the drop caused by the crisis.

The sales drop has been limited to small cheap cars, which account for almost half of the domestic market. French automakers are also losing ground to imports from lower-cost producers, especially from the dominant German car makers.

The hardest hit automaker in November was Renault, which saw sales drop 33.5% on the year, PSA followed with 28%, contrasting with Hyundai and Mercedes which reported double-digit annual sales and Volkswagen up 2.5%.