PARIS -- New-car registrations in France rose 1.2 percent in May to 193,948, with Citroen, Seat and Toyota recording the strongest gains, industry association CCFA said.
There were 20 selling days for the month, compared with 19 in May 2018. Sales fell 3.9 percent on an adjusted basis.
Sales for the year are flat at 935,478, but down 1 percent on an adjusted basis to account for an extra selling day in 2019, CCFA said.
Diesel market share rose to 36 percent in May from 33 percent in April, and stands at 34 percent for the year, compared with 40 percent in the first five months of 2018. Sales of electric vehicles rose by 50 percent through May compared with the same period last year, to 16,510 from 11,215.
Citroen led all volume automakers with a gain of 23 percent, as the PSA Group brand benefited from the introduction last year of two SUVs, the C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross.
Seat, VW Group's Spanish brand, gained 18 percent, and Toyota sales rose 16 percent.
- Click here to download May and 5-month French sales by automaker and brand.
Sales at PSA increased by 9.2 percent, with Peugeot sales up 5.3 percent; DS down 0.8 percent and Opel falling by 2.9 percent.
Renault Group sales were steady, down by 0.4 percent, as Renault brand dropped by 0.6 percent and budget brand Dacia slipped 1.3 percent. Through the first five months of the year, Alpine recorded 1,499 registrations of its A110 sports car -- outselling Porsche, which recorded 1,441 registrations in the same time period.
At VW Group, the largest foreign automaker in France, sales were flat, at minus 0.1 percent. Volkswagen brand sales fell by 9.3 percent, Skoda increased by 4.4 percent and Audi sales rose 11 percent.
Sales at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has tendered a merger offer to Renault Group management, fell by 11 percent, with a 2.9 percent gain at Fiat offset by a 45 percent drop at Jeep, although volumes at the SUV brand remain small.
In contrast to the passenger-car market, sales of light-commercial vehicles showed strong gains, up 9.4 percent in May compared to a year earlier, and 4 percent on an adjusted basis. For the year, sales are up 6.9 percent, and 5.8 percent on an adjusted basis.