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French carmakers gain ground in recovering home market

Peugeot 208 are seen at the assembly line at the PSA-Peugeot Citroen plant in Poissy, near Paris May 15, 2013. Picture taken May 15, 2013. R
Peugeot 208 are seen at the assembly line at the PSA-Peugeot Citroen plant in Poissy, near Paris May 15, 2013. Picture taken May 15, 2013. R

PARIS (Reuters) - French car sales rose for a second consecutive month in October, with PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault reclaiming some lost ground from Volkswagen , according to industry data published on Monday.

Registrations advanced 2.6 percent to 166,515 cars last month, building on September's 3.6 percent year-on-year gain, France's CCFA auto industry association said in a statement.

Paris-based Peugeot posted a 4.1 percent sales gain helped by recent models such as the 308 compact and 2008 mini-SUV. Renault sales rose 5.8 percent, boosted by its similarly sized Captur model.

"This is a strong showing by the French carmakers in a positive market," CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier said.

The association improved its French market outlook, predicting a 6 percent decline for 2013 - smaller than the 8 percent contraction previously forecast.

Over the past two years, Renault and Peugeot have seen their combined domestic market share decline 2.6 percentage points to 53.6 percent for January-October, as rivals such as Volkswagen and Hyundai <005380.KS> have grabbed a bigger slice of shrinking demand.

But Volkswagen lost ground last month with a 3.6 percent French sales decline as Renault, Peugeot and Fiat all benefited from the rebound. The Italian carmaker's sales rose 2.5 percent.

Hyundai and affiliate Kia <000270.KS> posted a combined 5.8 percent increase in French sales, with Japan's Toyota <7203.T> not far behind at 5.2 percent.

General Motors sales jumped 9.4 percent thanks to a 31 percent surge by its Chevrolet brand.

French delivery van registrations also advanced 3.7 percent last month, the CCFA said, taking the overall gain in light vehicle sales to 2.8 percent.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Geert De Clercq and James Regan)

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