French ditch home car brands for Italy's Fiat

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Fiat is proving more popular in France. Fiat photo: Shutterstock
16:57 CEST+02:00
French drivers are ditching their country's own brands in favour of Italian car company Fiat, figures released on Monday show.

Fiat sales in France shot up by 4 percent last month, compared to the country’s own brands which fell out of favour with local buyers.

Sales of Renault vehicles in France were down by 13 percent last month, while Peugeot saw a 4.5 percent decline, La Repubblica reported.

The figures continue a positive trend for Fiat, registering 47.7 percent growth in the French market in the first eight months of the year. Overall new car sales were up 13.7 percent in France, the newspaper said.

Fiat’s recent success in France follows the company’s merger with US car giant Chrysler at the start of the year to create Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The deal, which will involve moving the company's headquarters to London, was approved by shareholders earlier this month.

READ MORE: Ciao! Fiat dumps Italy as HQ heads to London

Chief executive Sergio Marchionne in May laid out new plans to conquer the global auto market, although said the focus would be far from Europe.

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Over the next five years the company would develop its strongest markets, such as China and the US, Marchionne said.

READ MORE: Fiat Chrysler lays out global push

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