French new car sales grow 17.9% in March

21:37, April 01, 2010      

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French new car sales grew 17.9 percent in March, one percentage point higher than last month, the French Car Makers Association (CCFA) announced Thursday.

CCFA said in its monthly report 242,763 new cars were sold in March, with French brands accounting for 57.4 percent.

On a monthly basis, French automakers saw sales growth of 11.2 percent to 131,434 cars, slowing from February growth of 21.3 percent, while foreign carmakers sold 111,329 cars, up by 27 percent.

Among the French brands, Renault Group sales grew 27.6 percent with a volume of 69,819, while PSA Peugeot Citroen sold 78,233 new cars, up by 15.9 percent from last month.

For the first quarter of 2010, the French car market grew 17 percent from the January-March period of 2009.

Thanks to the weaker but still existing government subsidy scheme, the market experienced stable and continuous growth in the first quarter, with 594,776 new cars sold.

Peugeot France commercial director Olivier Veyrier confirmed earlier in the day that the ongoing growth was a result of the remaining car trade-in bonus scheme.

France, like its many European peers, launched a 1,000-euro (1,391 U.S. dollars) car trade-in bonus scheme to boost the auto market through 2009, but the subsidy has reduced to 700 euros from the beginning of 2010 and will continue sliding to lower level in the second half of this year.



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