US, French auto makers report increased car sales

Washington, August 2 (IANS) Three auto makers in the US and two in France posted sales increase in July. In the US, GM was up 16.3 percent, Ford and Chrysler up about 11 percent, and in France, Renault's sales were up 4.7 percent and PSA Peugeot Citroen sold around one percent more vehicles compared to the same period last year.

General Motors Co. said it sold 234,071 vehicles in the US in July, 16.3 percent up year-on-year, driven by nearly 50 percent monthly sales increases for both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, Xinhua reported.

GM said full-size pickup sales were up 44 percent, the best July figure since 2007.

The Ford Motor Co. said its US sales of 193,715 vehicles in July jumped 11.4 percent, boosted by a 22.6 percent increase in Ford F-Series pickups.

Chrysler Group LLC said its July sales of 140,102 vehicles rose 11 percent as it posted its best July in seven years.

"We continue to see strong retail sales, particularly with our pickup trucks and SUVs, and that has helped propel Chrysler Group to our 40th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth," Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of US sales, was quoted as saying by the Detroit News.

Meanwhile, car sales in France rose 0.9 percent in July from the same period a year earlier, French car sales federation CCFA said Thursday.

A total of 150,248 new cars were sold in July in France, up from 148,924 units a year ago, the federation said in its monthly report, Xinhua reported.

At the end of July, sales of French brands were up by 2.5 percent boosted by improved performance of Renault.

Renault, France's second main carmaker, sold 34,850 new cars, up 4.7 percent year on year.

France's top carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen group also saw its sales inching up by 0.9 percent after registering 46,973 units, according to the CCFA statement.

"We are in a period of stabilization; we feel that the precipitous drop ends. The new things helped a lot with all what has recently been launched is working very well," CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier said.

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