The selling rate for cars in Western Europe during August is estimated by J.D.Power-LMC at a stable 14.4 million units per annum. But in terms of national trends, it was another mixed month with one or two surprises. Although there had been warnings that French car sales would be somewhat sluggish in August as customers wait for the onslaught of new models released after the Paris Motor Show in September, the French market decline was worse than expected. New car sales in France were just 121,889 units, a slump of 17.8% compared to August 2001 and the lowest August figure since 1997.