Car sales in France dropped 3 percent in August 2014 to 83,340 registrations, according to the country's CCFA industry body. Leading the decline is local carmaker Renault, which dropped 11 percent in August that is regarded as a seasonally weak vacation month.
Local rival PSA/Peugeot-Citroen posted a sales drop similar to that of the French market. However, when adjusted for the loss of one selling day compared with August 2013, car sales last month actually surged 2 percent, according to the CCFA.
Registrations for the first eight months of 2014 were up 2 percent, the CCFA disclosed. While Europe as a whole is slowly recovering from a recent crisis that saw car sales drop to lowest levels, France failed to keep up. In fact, car sales in Europe surged 6 percent in the first half of 2014.
Figures for July and August are still unavailable until September 17. Flavien Neuvy, head of auto-market forecasting at Cetelem, remarked that consumers are holding back before replacing their cars. He noted that the “morose economic context” will continue to weigh.
He quipped that while August results are not representative of the full year sales situation, the market is still 20 percent below pre-crisis levels. While local carmakers struggle, neighboring groups grow. For instance, Volkswagen Group grew 11 percent in August, while its Skoda brand jumped 25 percent.