French car sales dropped by 11.4 percent in August, after a drop of seven percent the previous month, adding to the economic gloom hanging over the eurozone’s second biggest economy, AFP reports.
Sales of new cars in France slipped by 11.4 percent on the basis of unadjusted data and a 12-month comparison to 96,115 vehicles, the manufacturers’ organisation CCFA said.
Over the first eight months of this year, the fall was 13.4 percent, it said, noting that the French carmakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault suffered more last month than foreign competitors.
The key French sector has been weak for several months owing to the end of a cash-for-clunkers government bonus to support car sales at the height of the financial crisis.
The poor car sales came a day after French Labour Minister Michel Sapin said that the country’s unemployment had passed the symbolic number of three million registered jobseekers and would keep rising.
President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government is struggling to tackle rising unemployment after he took office in May amid the debt crisis that is dragging down European economies.
The government last month announced that it will boost support for environmentally friendly cars as part of a rescue plan unveiled amid growing concern for top carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen.
PSA Peugeot Citroen posted a net loss of 819 million euros (HK$7.7 billion) for the first half of this year, more than reversing a year-earlier net profit of 806 million euros.
The company, which employs 100,000 people in France but had already announced 8,000 job cuts there, said it will implement a 1.5-billion-euro cost reduction plan through to 2015.
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