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Auto sales sag in France and Spain

PARIS, Dec 1 – Sales of new cars fell in France and Spain last month reflecting the end to a bonus scheme that had encouraged consumers to trade in their old vehicles for new models, data showed on Wednesday.

Sales fell for the seventh month in a row in France, dropping 10.8 percent compared with the performance in November 2009, the French Auto Makers\’ Committee (CCFA) said.

In Spain the manufacturers\’ association Anfac reported a 25.5-percent plunge in annual sales in November, the fifth monthly decline in a row.

French sales came to 193,970 vehicles last month, a sharp drop from the booming market of late 2009, just before the expiration of a cash-for-clunkers bonus, but were a third higher than in November 2008, the CCFA said.

"We are seeing the effects the end of the cash-for-clunkers scheme and the ecoology bonus, as well as substantial discounts offered by manufacturers," said CCFA spokesman Francois Roudier.

French new-car sales fell 2.4 percent to 2.023 million vehicles in the first 11 months of the year.

Sales fell 11.5 percent at PSA Peugeot Citroen and 10.6 percent at rival Renault.

Spanish sales came to 64,515 vehicles in November, down 25.5 percent from a year earlier.

But sales rose 5.9 percent in the first 11 months thanks to a cash bonus for customers that ended in June.

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