The sale of new cars in France increased nearly three percent last year, but the market for diesels was markedly down, the French automakers’ association (CCFA) said Tuesday.
A total of 2,173,481 private cars were first registered last year, in line with automakers’ expectations.
France’s PSA and Renault saw sales jump by 8.32 percent over the previous year while foreign car sales dipped 3.44 percent.
Renault was up 2.48 percent, boosted by its Dacia low-cost subsidiary whose sales soared by 19 percent.
PSA with 698,985 new registrations was climbed 13.36 percent. Much of the increase was due to the takeover of Opel from US giant General Motors.
Toyota sales rose 9.93 percent, Fiat-Chrysler 12.67 percent and Hyundai 16.54 percent.
But the Germans Volkswagen and BMW were down 1.1 and by 3.21 percent respectively.
The CCFA estimated that the share of diesel cars was down from 47.3 percent in 2017 to less than 40 percent last year, a result of increasing fuel costs and possible future traffic restrictions in major cities.
In 2012, when diesel sales were at their peak in France they represented nearly three out of every four cars sold.
The sale of electric or hybrid cars increased by only six percent, with petrol-powered engines still very much leading the market.