PARIS -- New-car registrations in France rose by 3.9 percent in July, led by Renault brand, Kia and Nissan, driven by government incentives to combat the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
There were 178,982 cars registered in France in July, according to industry group CCFA, with 22 selling days in the month.
There were 23 selling days in July 2019; adjusted for the same number of selling days, sales this July rose by 8.9 percent, CCFA said.
For the year, sales are down by 33 percent, with small gains in June (+1.2 percent) and July beginning to offset sharp drops in March (-72 percent), April (-89 percent) and May (-57 percent) due to the coronavirus crisis.
A French government program to provide up to 5,000 euros for buyers who traded in an older, higher-polluting car for a new or used one that meets the latest emissions standards ended at the end of July after financing about 200,000 transactions. The scrapping program will continue in a more limited fashion, along with enhanced benefits for buying a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Sales in the retail channel increased by 6.9 percent, according to figures from analyst Autoways cited by the automotive news site autoactu.com. The scrapping program also influenced the used car market, with the number of second-hand vehicles registered up by 14 percent for July, according to CCFA.
Among French brands, Renault Group sales were up 33 percent in July, led by Renault brand with a 42 percent increase. Budget brand Dacia was up by 15 percent.
PSA Group sales fell by 5.3 percent, with a gain of 6.3 percent at Peugeot unable to offset a 20 percent drop at Citroen, 16 percent at DS and 12 percent for Opel.
- Download PDF of French sales in July by automaker and brand here.
Volkswagen Group sales fell by 13 percent, with a decline of 26 percent at VW brand, an increase of 22 percent for Skoda and a drop of 13 percent at Audi. Seat sales were flat for the month.
Fiat brand sales were down 1.3 percent and Ford sales increased by 4.6 percent. BMW sales fell 2 percent, with fellow group brand Mini down 5.4 percent. Mercedes sales fell by 16 percent, while Volvo sales increased by 21 percent to 1,999 units for the month,
Kia led Asian brands with an increase of 31 percent, with sibling brand Hyundai gaining 20 percent. Nissan sales also increased by 31 percent. Toyota sales rose by 15 percent.
French CO2 levels were at 98.6 grams per kilometer, compared with 11.8g/km in July 2019, as electric vehicles had a 6.1 percent market share versus a 1.8 percent share in July 2019. Hybrid vehicles of all types made up 12 percent of the market, with plug-in hybrids taking a 3 percent share. Diesel market share stood at 31 percent in July, and gasoline at 50 percent.