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French car market slips in February

From Reuters| March 02,2007

French new car registrations slipped 1.8 percent in February from a year ago, and French carmakers suffered a further erosion of their market share as foreign firms posted gains, data showed today.

French car market slips in February

The CCFA French car industry body said 157,681 passenger cars were sold in February. For the first two months of 2007, new registrations were 329,332, up 0.1 percent.

The French market has been in almost continuous decline since 2001, and French carmakers Renault SA and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are both grappling with model launch problems and production cuts.

In February, Renault group sales fell 14.2 percent, while PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's rose 0.7 percent. The two French groups had a combined market share of 54.2 percent in February, down 6.9 points on a year ago. The Renault brand sales were down 16.7 percent as the company gears up for a product offensive starting later in 2007. Sales of its Dacia unit, which makes the no-frills Logan, jumped 60 percent to 2,212 units.

The biggest percentage gain in the month was for BMW, up 14.4 percent, while Ford Motor Co. rose 11.9 percent and GM Europe gained 10.3 percent.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. fell 18.7 percent and DaimlerChrysler declined 10.1 percent.

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