Car sales in France surged 1 percent in January 2014 to 125,477 from 124,798 in the same month in 2013, according to the CCFA industry association. In a statement, the association reiterated its forecast for stable-to-slightly higher car sales in France for 2014. The surge this month was the French market's fifth straight monthly gain, discounting a November drop that was blamed on two fewer sales days than in the same month a year earlier. Local carmakers Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen both logged surges in January 2014 as the car market continues to rebound from a mid-2013 low. Renault posted a 12-percent rise in domestic sales to 34,151 cars, boosted by its new Captur small SUV and no-frills Dacia models (you can also read our Dacia Duster Facelift test drive).
Since the growth was faster than the French market, Renault managed to widen its market share to 27.22 percent from 24.35 percent. PSA, meanwhile, logged a 6-percent leap in domestic sales. Toyota also posted an 11-percent hike in sales in France. On the other hand, Volkswagen Group posted a 9-percent fall in French sales in January to 15,286 cars while General Motors logged an 8-percent drop.
Hyundai-Kia recorded a combined 27 percent sales drop in France. Van sales in the country dropped 8 percent to 27,388 vehicles in January, according to the CCFA, which means that the total light vehicle registrations in France fell 1 percent to 152,865 units. The European auto market is rebounding slowly from a six-year slump with most industry analysts and executives forecasting a return to growth in 2014 at a low single-digit rate.