French Car Makers Lose Market Share To Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota

French car manufacturers lost two percentage points of their share of a contracting French market in the first six months of the year to 55.8%, but Mercedes, the Volkswagen group and Toyota increased their sales volume sharply, trade data showed on July 3.

Sales of new cars in France rose by 0.2% in June on a 12-month comparison but fell by 1.6% in the first six months of the year, the French CCFA auto trade association reported. Overall sales in the French market in June amounted to 223,778 and in the first six months to 1,109,270 vehicles.

In the first six months, sales by Citroen fell by 6.1%, and its market share fell by 0.6 percentage points to 12.8%. Sales by Peugeot fell by 0.7% but its market share rose by 0.2 percentage points to 17.8%. Sales by Renault, including sales of the Logan made by Dacia, fell by 4.0% but its market share fell from 26.8% to 26.2%. Sales by Renault alone fell by 7.5% to a share of 25.2% from 26.8%.

Meanwhile Mercedes of Germany raised its volume of sales by 14.6% to a market share of 2.9% from 2.5% in the first half of last year. The Volkswagen brand increased its sales of vehicles by 14.1% to 6.5% of the market from 5.7%, and Toyota, with Lexus increased its sales by 11% to 4.6% of the market from 4%.

Other car manufacturers saw decreases in market share as well. General Motors fell by 5.1% to a market share of 5.7% from 5.9%. The Ford group had an 8.9% fall of sales to 5.8% of the market from 6.2%.

However, DaimlerChrysler's sales increased by 7.4% to 3.9% of the market from 3.5%

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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