PARIS -- French new car sales fell 10.1 percent in July -- giving up two consecutive months of higher sales -- though underlying sales so far this year showed that one Europe's worst-hit auto markets was stabilizing after nearly a year of steady declines, data published on Monday showed.
New car registrations in July totalled 168,461 units compared with 187,287 a year earlier, French automakers' association CCFA said in a statement.
On an underlying basis -- assuming the same number of working days in July versus the year-ago-period -- sales fell 5.8 percent.
"Certainly July does not confirm the trend of a stabilising market seen in May (+4.8 percent) and June (+6.3 percent) but in a market that remains erratic, the month of July weighs less and less heavily...," the CCFA said.
It added that car sales were typically less in the summer months compared with other months.
For the first seven months of the year, new car sales slipped 1.6 percent to 1,236,268 versus a year ago.
French carmaker Renault saw sales fall 18.9 percent in July, while sales at rival PSA Peugeot-Citroen fell 10.4 percent.