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French car registrations plummet 18% in September as firms left struggling

PARIS--French car sales dropped 18.3 percent year-on-year in September, signaling more gloom for domestic firms struggling with plummeting demand in their key European market and high production costs.

The manufacturers' organization CCFA said the plunge was less brutal if two extra working days in September 2011 were factored in, lowering the figure to 10 percent.

Sales of new cars showed a drop of 13 percent for the first nine months of the year, it said.

The sales of French carmakers suffered more than those of their European counterparts in the three quarters of this year at an average of 18.9 percent against 7.3 percent for the others.

Renault's sales in September plunged by a third in September to 31,929 vehicles.

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