PARIS (Reuters) -- French car and light commercial vehicle orders extended their slump last month, according to a dealership survey, falling 8.5 percent.
Light vehicle orders, which prefigure delivery trends, posted their fourth straight monthly decline amid weakening consumer sentiment in Europe's second-biggest auto market, the trade publication La Lettre VN reported on Wednesday.
"The drop in August was worse than expected," La Lettre VN said. "It confirms the downward trend of the past few months and deepens the price war in all categories."
Peugeot orders fell 9 percent, with sister brand Citroen recording a 5.3 percent decline, according to the publication's monthly survey of 34 auto distribution groups.
Renault saw orders fall 20 percent at its core brand, although a 28 percent gain for the smaller no-frills Dacia marque helped to offset the decline.
Fiat and Toyota orders were down 24 percent, Ford 16 percent and Volkswagen 5 percent.
Fleet managers also held off purchases amid concern that tighter emissions regulations may undermine residual values of diesel cars, according to the publication's survey.
Jean-Vincent Place, a senator with the ecologist EELV party that sits on France's Socialist-led government, called last week for tighter diesel restrictions in town centers, leading to an eventual ban.