February 3, 2014 / 8:23 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-French car registrations up 0.5 pct in Jan - CCFA

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PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) - French car sales rose 0.5 percent in January, the country's main industry association said on Monday, with domestic automakers Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen both posting gains as the market continues to recover from a mid-2013 low.

Registrations rose to 125,477 cars last month from 124,798 a year earlier, the Paris-based CCFA said in a statement.

The association maintained its forecast for a stable to slightly higher French car sales market this year.

The January increase was the French market's fifth consecutive monthly advance - discounting a November dip attributable to the two fewer sales days in the month than a year earlier.

The broader European auto market is recovering slowly from a six-year slump that has been particularly severe in France, Spain and Italy. Most industry analysts and executives are cautiously predicting a return to growth this year at a low single-digit rate.

Renault's domestic sales rose 12.4 percent to 34,151 cars, helped by its new Captur mini-SUV and no-frills Dacia models. The sales gain outpaced the broader expansion, lifting the group's market share to 27.22 percent from 24.35 percent.

Larger French rival Peugeot, which is seeking a tie-up with China's Dongfeng as its struggles to halt European losses and expand overseas, recorded a more modest 6 percent rise in sales.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, saw its French sales decline 9.1 percent in January to 15,286 cars. Sales by General Motors fell 8.3 percent.

South Korea's Hyundai and affiliate Kia reported a combined 27 percent sales drop, but Toyota's registrations rose 10.5 percent.

French delivery van sales fell 7.7 percent to 27,388 vehicles in January, the CCFA, taking total light vehicle registrations to 152,865, a 1 percent decline.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Gilles Guillaume; editing by Geert De Clercq

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