PARIS -- France joined Italy and Spain in recording higher new-car sales in the traditionally slow month of August.
French registrations rose 9.4 percent to 107,455, with gains by mass-market brands outpacing the premium segment, according to industry association CCFA. August had 22 selling days, the same number as in 2016.
Renault Group topped French automakers with sales growth of 12 percent. Sales rose 22 percent at the budget brand Dacia and 8.7 percent at Renault. PSA Group recorded an increase of 7 percent, with 11 percent growth for Peugeot, 1.9 percent for Citroen, and a drop of 5.8 percent at upscale brand DS.
Among other European automakers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sales rose 18 percent for the month, with Fiat up 21 percent. Opel, whose acquisition by PSA Group was finalized July 31, rose 10 percent. Ford saw its volume fall by 5.7 percent.
VW Group led German manufacturers with 6.2 percent growth, led by an increase in Skoda brand sales of 33 percent, followed by Seat at 11 percent and Volkswagen at 7 percent; sales at premium brand Audi fell 1.9 percent.
Daimler sales were up 1.9 percent, with Mercedes gaining 3.5 percent and Smart down 13 percent. BMW Group recorded growth of 1.7 percent with a 6.1 percent gain at Mini offsetting a 0.1 percent dip for BMW.
Nissan Group led Japanese automakers with 51 percent growth, followed by Toyota Group at 16 percent. Hyundai Group was up 6.9 percent, with Hyundai increasing 18 percent and Kia down 0.9 percent.
Industrywide, new-car sales are up 4.2 percent to 1.39 million in the first eight months, or an adjusted 4.9 percent to account for an extra selling day in 2016.
Registrations of light commercial vehicles were up 16 percent in August and 7.8 percent for the year. PSA Group registrations increased 30 percent for the month, with Peugeot up 33 percent and Citroen up 27 percent. Renault brand LCVs were up 9.8 percent.
• Download PDF, above right, for France sales in August and first 8 months.
Other statistics showed that SUV market share has grown to 31 percent through August, compared to 27 percent in the same period last year. Diesel's share fell to 47.8 percent, from 52.7 percent, while gasoline-engine share rose to 47.3 percent from 43.4 percent in the same period.
CCFA also released figures showing that orders from dealers rose 12 percent in July over last year. Orders for the year-to-date were up 6.8 percent through July.
Italy, Spain gains
Italian sales increased 16 percent in August year-on-year while Spanish registrations rose 13 percent.