PARIS: The sale of new cars in France increased nearly three percent last year, but the market for diesels was markedly down, the French automakers’ association (CCFA) said on Tuesday.

A total of 2,173,481 private cars were first registered last year, in line with automakers’ expectations.

France’s PSA and Renault saw sales jump by 8.32 per cent over the previous year while foreign car sales dipped 3.44 per cent.

Renault was up 2.48 per cent, boosted by its Dacia low-cost subsidiary whose sales soared by 19 per cent.

PSA with 698,985 new registrations was climbed 13.36 per cent. Much of the increase was due to the takeover of Opel from US giant General Motors.

Toyota sales rose 9.93 per cent, Fiat-Chrysler 12.67 per cent and Hyundai 16.54 perc ent.

But the Germans Volkswagen and BMW were down 1.1 and by 3.21 per cent respectively.