PARIS, July 1 French and Spanish car sales rose
in June, according to industry data published on Tuesday, helped
by extra incentives and new models as Europe's vehicle sector
recovery picks up steadily.
French registrations were up 3.2 percent last month,
bringing first half gains to 2.9 percent, the Paris-based CCFA
carmakers' association said, raising its full-year growth
forecast to 2 percent from expectations for no change.
"Taking account of the current economic realities we
nonetheless maintain a certain prudence about the passenger car
market in 2014," association head Patrick Blain told reporters.
Europe is recovering from a six-year auto market slump that
took demand to a two-decade low and led to widespread losses for
vehicle makers and job cuts, as the industry struggled to cover
the huge fixed costs of its manufacturing base in the region.
France's Renault posted a 25-percent gain in
domestic sales last month on the strength of demand for its
Captur mini-crossover and no-frills Dacia Duster.
Rival PSA Peugeot Citroen's deliveries fell 2.3
percent, weighed down by an 8.6 percent decline at Citroen. Ford
, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen
also lost ground.
But French demand for luxury cars picked up, with BMW
and Daimler recording gains of 25 and 17
percent respectively in June after declines in previous months.
In Spain, new car sales surged 24 percent for a tenth
consecutive month of year-on-year gains as the market rebounds
from record lows with 18-percent first-half growth.
Registrations were boosted by the renewal of state-backed
sales subsidies for buyers who trade in older vehicles.
Peugeot, Citroen and GM's Opel all fared better in Spain
than in France last month, with sales growth outpacing the
broader market. Among major brands, Ford, Fiat, VW and
Renault led the advance with gains close to 50 percent.
Other major European markets are due to publish June
registrations data later in the week.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost, Gilles Guillaume and Paul Day;
Editing by Louise Ireland)