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December 29, 2009

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Strong year for French car sales

FRANCE is expected to post its strongest year for car sales since 2001 as drivers take advantage of government scrapping and other incentive schemes before the end of the year, according to French newspaper Les Echos.

Slightly over 2.25 million cars are expected to have been sold in France in 2009, the newspaper said, with registrations up 40 percent.

French brands benefited the most from increased sales, rising 12 percent, or double the rate of non-French rivals. The automobile market, however, remains driven by models built in low-cost countries, the paper said.

"Only flat note: if Renault's and Peugeot's factories are running more than at the end of 2008, the market remains driven by models constructed in low-cost countries," the paper said, meaning that car-scrapping schemes benefited auto makers but gave less of a boost to employment in France.

Car sales rose 48.4 percent in November in France and 7.6 percent in the first 11 months of 2009, car manufacturers' association, the CCFA, announced this month.


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