PARIS -- French car sales rose 2.8 percent in August but fell on a sales days basis as a tentative recovery in one of western Europe's worst hit auto markets appeared to falter, data published on Wednesday showed.
New car registrations in August totalled 105,912 vehicles compared with 103,055 units. Based on the same number of business days versus the year-ago period, sales fell 6.6 percent, France's CCFA carmking association said.
Sales of new cars have fallen 1.3 percent in the first eight months of the year, or 3.6 percent based on the same number of business days, after a poor performance in 2003.
Business started to recover in May and June and analysts hailed a nascent recovery, but sales dipped again in July.
However, figures for July and August may be affected by the peak holiday season.
"The Summer period is traditionally much slower both for companies and individuals," said the CCFA in a statement.
Domestic manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen saw sales of its brands dip 5.4 percent while Renault boosted sales 14.6 percent as its Megane range continued to prove a hit with motorists.
Foreign manufacturers, particularly companies from Japan and Korea, continued their march on the French market stealing 41.7 percent of total sales so far this year.