PARIS -- French registrations are set to be higher in August than in the same month last year on the back of a market rebound following the coronavirus pandemic, said two sources close to French automakers.
New-car sales usually reach their weakest level in August in France, as most individual customers and auto dealers take their summer break, but the slowdown has been less pronounced in 2020 than in previous years.
"New orders in August should be higher than a year ago... and (car) registrations are climbing fast," one of the two sources said, citing auto dealers' data over the first 12 days of the month.
"This confirms the third quarter is on track to be a good one," the source added.
There were 129,300 new registered cars in August of last year. Since the start of the month, according to provisional data, cumulative new registrations exceeded 33,000 vehicles on Wednesday evening, the source said.
"We are still below last year's levels, but sales always skyrocket towards the end of the month," the same source said.
Demand is particularly strong from customers who weren't able to buy a new vehicle during the coronavirus-triggered nationwide lockdown.
State support packages and scrappage schemes to encourage a shift towards less polluting vehicles continue to prop up the market, even if these have been scaled back since Aug. 3.
New car sales jumped by 21.4 percent in July, according to data issued by the country's industry association CCFA, continuing to bounce back in May and June following a steep fall in April and March.
Carmakers see sales plummeting by 20 percent to 30 percent in 2020, unless the fourth quarter is marked by a new unexpected downturn.