French new-car sales rise 1% in January

Renault's domestic sales rose 12 percent, helped by demand for its Captur small SUV.
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PARIS (Reuters) -- French car sales rose 1 percent in January, the CCFA industry association said, with domestic automakers Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen both posting gains as the market continues to recover from a mid-2013 low.

Registrations rose to 125,477 cars last month from 124,798 a year earlier, CCFA said in a statement today.

The association maintained its forecast for stable to slightly higher French car sales this year.

The January increase was the French market's fifth consecutive monthly advance - discounting a November dip attributable to two fewer sales days in the month than a year earlier.

Renault's domestic sales rose 12 percent to 34,151 cars, helped by its new Captur small SUV and no-frills Dacia models. The sales gain outpaced the broader expansion, lifting the group's market share to 27.22 percent from 24.35 percent.

PSA recorded a more modest 6 percent rise in sales.

Volkswagen Group saw its French sales decline 9 percent in January to 15,286 cars. Sales by General Motors fell 8 percent. Hyundai and affiliate Kia reported a combined 27 percent sales drop, but Toyota's registrations rose 11 percent.

French van sales fell 8 percent to 27,388 vehicles in January, the CCFA said, taking total light vehicle registrations to 152,865, a 1 percent decline.

The broader European auto market is recovering slowly from a six-year slump that has been particularly severe in France, Spain and Italy. Most industry analysts and executives are cautiously predicting a return to growth this year at a low single-digit rate.

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