PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault led a 6 percent gain in French new-car sales in April as the European auto market recovery took a firmer hold in the region's third-biggest market.
Total registrations advanced to 166,968 cars last month from 157,749 in April 2013, the CCFA industry association said today. In the first four months, sales rose 4 percent to 613,577.
"It was mainly corporate buyers who carried the month, while consumer sales are down a little," CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier said. Consumer spending is still "marked by great caution," he added.
The registrations uptick was achieved despite April's Easter holiday, which had fallen in March last year, Citi analyst Philip Watkins said. Renault had "significantly outperformed" the market, he said.
The French market has shown signs of a stop-start recovery. Sales rose 9 percent in December then stagnated in the first two months of the year with a 1 percent drop in February ending almost five months of straight sales gains. In March, sales rose again by 9 percent.