Sales of new cars in France are set to fall about 5% this year as a shaky world economy bites into consumer demand, Reuters said, citing French carmaking association CCFA.


According to Reuters, CCFA figures show that sales fell a sharp 9.4% in November to 164,872 units, but edged 0.1% higher when measured on a comparable business days basis with the same month last year.


This confirmed a recent trend in the French car market, bringing the year-to-date drop in sales to 5.2%, CCFA said, according to Reuters, adding that it expected sales for 2002 as a whole to decline 5%.


Reuters said that Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen saw sales fall 10.1 and 12.9% respectively during the month while Fiat brands slid 20.4%.


According to Reuters, foreign manufacturers fared better than French manufacturers, dipping only 5.6% during the month and maintaining market share for the first 11 months of the year, with sales of Korean brands up 24%.


Total sales by French manufacturers dipped 11.7%, but the CCFA said their share of the market for the first 11 months of the year had edged up to 60.6% from 60.4% in 2001, Reuters reported.