You might remember that France has a tax rebate system (bonus/malus) for vehicles depending on their CO2 emissions. As in the UK and in Spain, car sales in the first trimester of 2008 have been remarkably affected. For instance, 50 percent of car sales are of vehicles under four meters long.

The most remarkable increase has been found in the category which receives the bonus. Sales of cars that emit less than 130 g/km CO2 were up by 13 percent. Sales of larger cars in the medium-upper segment were down by 10 percent. The biggest lost came in the upper-luxury market, where sales plummeted 34 percent.

Coming from a French perspective, this is good news: French automakers have just released small attractive models (Twingo, 207) and, on average, their models are the most fuel-efficient. PSA and Renault account for 60 percent of small car sales. The two companies get 52 percent of market share of cars that emit between 121 and 140 g/km CO2 but only 32 percent for those in the 161 to 200 g/km segment..

[Source: Les Echos]

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