NOVEMBER 4, 2004

The French car markets

The news that Peugeot and Citroen are going to leave the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005 is a blow for the series but the latest figures of French car sales, revealed a couple of days ago, give ample evidence of why such a move was necessary. The figures show a massive drop in the sales of private cars in the course of the last year with an overall drop of 8.1%. The two French firms Peugeot-Citroen and Renault have suffered most with drops of 13.3% and 12.6% respectively. In comparison the foreign car companies have suffered little, registering a drop of just 0.7% between them altthough some have done better than others. BMW, for example, has increased its sales by 9.9%. Ford and GM have managed to push up their sales by 5.4% and 5.1% respectively while others have suffered: Toyota is down 6.6%, DaimlerChrysler 5.8% and Volkswagen is down 4.1%.

The French companies are blaming the drop in sales on special offers from rival companies which despite selling cars are hurting the profits of the firms involved.