October new-car registrations fall 7.8 percent in France image

The French car market posted its 12th consecutive monthly fall in new car registrations as consumers avoid car purchases and unemployment reaches new highs.

French new car registrations fell 7.8 percent in October, with double-digit declines seen at Renault, the CCFA industry association said on Friday. Registrations fell to 162, 411 last month, contributing to a nine-month drop of 13.3 percent. Renault car registrations fell a massive 26.4 percent in October, while struggling home rival PSA Peugeot Citroen saw a drop of 5.0 percent.

Although the monthly sales decline was smaller than in September, the French car market shows few signs of improvement as the economy slows down and as the government raises taxes to meet deficit goals.

French carmakers are trying to adapt to new market conditions by slashing capacity and cutting costs. Peugeot is shutting down a car plant near Paris and is cutting more than 10,000 jobs in the country, while Renault will open productivity talks with unions next week.

Peugeot has asked for government help and has received a guarantee of 7 billion euros from the state so that its banking subsidiary, Banque PSA Finance, can continue to finance new-car purchases.