New car registrations in France rose 4.74 percent to over two million in 2017, carmakers report, but the share of highly polluting diesel fell to below half as the effects of long-term subsidies decline, reports RFI.
Although there was a slight fall of 0.51 percent in December, the number of new cars registered in 2017 rose nearly five percent to 2,110,751, according to the industry body, the CCFA.
November saw a leap of 10.3 percent, thanks to improving economic prospects and a rise in demand for SUVs, which are now produced nearly all companies.
The rise confirms a return to form that started in 2015 after being interrupted by the 2008-9 financial crisis.
And it took place despite the continuing decline in the share of diesel-powered vehicles to 47.29 percent, less than half for the first time since 2000.
Diesel had three-quarters of the French market five years ago, due to decades of tax relief to help French carmakers and subsidise commercial fleets.
But several French cities are now considering banning diesel vehicles because of their high level of fine particle emissions, which have been linked to a number of health dangers, including cancer.