PARIS -- French car sales rose 18 percent percent in November, contributing to a stable full-year outlook and benefiting from comparison with a particularly poor performance a year earlier, data published on Wednesday showed.
New car registrations in November rose to 176,090 vehicles from 149,236 in November 2003, France's CCFA car makers' association said.
On an underlying basis, sales rose 12.1 percent, based on the same number of business days.
The comparison in November was favorable, given a particularly poor performance in November 2003 when sales tumbled 9.4 percent.
November's figures should lift spirits in France's car industry, and gain back some ground lost during disappointing months earlier in the year.
"The good level of registrations in November should be seen above all as a making up of lost ground," the CCFA said, adding that November's performance helped stabilize year-to-date sales.
The first 11 months of 2004 have seen sales slip 0.4 percent, or 1.7 percent on a comparable basis, an improvement on October, when year-to-date sales were down around 2 percent.
"This should allow us to finish 2004 at around the same level as in 2003," the CCFA said.
November sales at French manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen rose 13.3 percent while its rival Renault saw sales rise 22.8 percent.
Foreign manufacturers, which have been putting French makers under considerable price pressure, also made strong progress in November, with sales up 18.2 percent, taking their market share to 42.4 percent.