The French car market declined by 13.9% last year to a little under 1.9m units, according to data issued by the CCFA automotive trade body.
The French car market was negatively impacted last year by adverse developments in the French economy which hit consumer confidence and spending. The annual total was the lowest since 1997.
The car sales data also showed that the two big domestic groups – Renault and PSA – lost market share at home in 2012. Renault's particularly poor showing – Group sales off 22% at 424,147 would have been even worse but for support from Dacia. PSA Peugeot Citroen was down 17.5% for the year with sales at 571,906 units.
Among the importers, there were strong gains again for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia.
To see car sales by Group, follow this CCFA link and scroll down to 'Immatriculations de Voitures Particulières Neuves'