French car orders fall 3 pct in Dec - survey

PARIS Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:33am EST

PARIS Jan 17 (Reuters) - French car orders fell 3 percent last month, led by declines at France's Renault and U.S. automakers, according to a dealership survey by trade publication La Lettre VN Auto K7 published on Thursday.

The rate of decrease slowed from November, however, when year-on-year car orders fell 10 percent, according to the survey of 34 dealership groups by La Lettre VN, which attributed the trend to the arrival of new models.

In December, Renault saw a decline of 18 percent in car orders, compared with drops of 2 percent for French rival PSA's Peugeot brand and 10 percent for its Citroen brand.

U.S. carmaker Ford's car orders fell 17 percent, while those for General Motors' Germany-based Opel brand tumbled 37 percent, according to La Lettre VN.

French car registrations fell 15 percent last month, leaving the full-year down 14 percent to 1.9 million vehicles - the lowest since 1997 - French industry group CCFA said earlier this month.

The French auto market is expected to decline by a further 2-5 percent this year.

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