New car sales France surged 5.8 percent in April to 166,968 cars, led by new Renault vehicles. The April surge helped French car sales to rise 3.7 percent in the first four months of 2014, according to industry association CCFA. The growth in the French auto market comes as the bigger European market slowly recovers from a six-year decline, although excessive capacity still goes hard against earnings outlook of carmakers.
The growth logged in France in April indicates brighter prospect for the country, which had been behind its counterpart markets in terms of sales. CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier said sales growth in April was mainly thanks to corporate buyers, as consumer sales were down a little.
He noted that consumer spending is still "marked by great caution." Citi analyst Philip Watkins said that the surge in French car registrations uptick was achieved despite April's Easter holiday, adding that Renault "significantly outperformed" the French auto market in the month.
Renault posted an 18.4-percent growth in sales in April, boosted by a 45.6 percent gain at its no-frills Dacia brand. Stronger demand for low-cost cars among cost-averse consumers clearly helped Renault grow in the month.
Local rival PSA/Peugeot-Citroen only saw its sales hike 5.1 percent, as it doesn’t offer a budget vehicle brand unlike Renault. Volkswagen, on the other hand, posted a 1.3-percent rise in April registrations.