The French light vehicle market fell 6.3% in April, but this was mainly due to the fact that there were two less working days this year than last.

April 2005 had 21 working days compared with 19 working days in April 2006. Taking this into account the market would have risen 3.6%. A total of 219,143 vehicles were registered.

Year-to-date the French light vehicle market has turned out flat compared to a year ago with 862,189 registrations (-0.8%). The number of working days in the first four months of 2005 and 2006 was exactly the same (84 days).

Cars accounted for 181,675 of the registrations in April, or 83% of the light vehicle market. In the first quarter 708,177 cars were registered, 1.8% down on a year earlier.

Light commercial vehicle (<5t) registrations totaled 37,468 units April, down 4.3% on a year earlier, but up 5.7% if adjusted for the reduced number of working days. Year-to-date the light commercial vehicle market was up 3.7% to 154,012 units.

Heavy truck (trucks >5t not including buses or coaches) demand was up 32.1% in April 2006 (5,713 registrations), compared to a year earlier. Year-to-date, however, demand is down 8.2% (17,553 registrations).

French marques are continuing to lose share but year-to-date still had 56% share of the passenger car market with sales of almost 420,000 units.

Toyota saw the biggest gain in the passenger car market in April with sales up 16.2% to 9,111 units, giving it a market share of 5%.

Biggest losers were Nissan (-24.2% to 3,358 units), Hyundai (-19.6% to 2,084 units), GM Europe (-16.4% to 9,178 units), DaimlerChrysler (-14.1% to 6,647), and Seat (-13.6% to 3,038 units).