Volkswagen and U.S. automakers lead French sales decline

PARIS Fri Feb 1, 2013 3:19am EST

The Volkswagen logo is seen on display at the New York International Auto Show in New York City, April 20, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The Volkswagen logo is seen on display at the New York International Auto Show in New York City, April 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

PARIS (Reuters) - French car sales dropped 15 percent in January, the country's main automakers' association said on Friday, with Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and U.S. carmakers suffering the worst declines.

Registrations in France fell to 124,952 cars last month from 147,046 a year earlier, the Paris-based CCFA said in a statement.

Sales of delivery vans also fell 13.9 percent, leading to a 9.1 percent drop for light vehicle registrations overall.

PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) recorded a 16.7 percent domestic car sales decline, the CCFA said. Smaller domestic rival Renault (RENA.PA) saw its registrations tumble a more modest 7.4 percent - softened by a 9.9 percent gain at its low-cost Dacia brand.

Sales by Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, plunged 23.9 percent to 16,846 cars, while combined sales by General Motors' (GM.N) Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall brands dropped 21.2 percent. Ford (F.N) registrations dropped 35.3 percent.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost)

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