French car magazine Argus
has published a French car market report since 1953 that has never shown negative figures. That is, from 1953 to 2007, the average car sold in France was always larger, more powerful, with more engine displacement and more expensive than the average car from the year before. 2008 ended that trend. According to Argus, the average French car is now 2cm (3/4 in.) shorter, 40 kg (three percent) lighter, with smaller engines (-58 cm³ or -3,5 percent). Another downward move: the average price is also down to €18,962, which is €2,683 less than the previous year; the same as in 2004. Argus offers two basic reasons for these reductions: the bonus/malus tax system that encourages automakers to sell less polluting (less powerful) cars and the increase of fuel prices at the pump.
[Source: Le Figaro