PARIS – French auto sales remained positive in October, rising 2.8%, and deliveries were up 0.4% on the year with 1,837,474 new passenger cars registered.

Renault followed a good September with further gains in October, as sales increased 11.3%, compared with year-ago, with help from its Dacia brand of entry-level cars.

Dacia deliveries jumped 51.7%, led by the Duster SUV that found 5,083 buyers last month and is France’s No.10 nameplate year-to-date.

Renault-brand sales, which had been hurt by shortages of diesel engines in the year’s first half, rose 5.3% in October from year-earlier.

However, both brands’ totals through the first 10 months, remained well behind the 2010 pace, with Renault 40,000 units short of year-ago sales and Dacia trailing by 16,000.

Bernard Cambier, Renault sales director-France, credits the past two months’ success to the auto maker’s 5,200 French dealerships and aggressive pricing.

PSA Peugeot Citroen sales slipped in October, with the Peugeot brand off 3.2% and Citroen down 5.9%.

Citroen year-to-date deliveries crept up 1%, thanks to the success of its DS3 and DS4 as well as the Citroen C3 B-segment entry, which posted a 16% gain over like-2010.

However, the big winners in France after 10 months of sales are a few importers.

Imports as a whole gained 3 percentage points of share.

Volkswagen Group led the charge, with sales up 10.2% in October and 13.2% on the year.

The Nissan/Infiniti and Hyundai/Kia groups both continued with positive October results, remaining 36.1% and 15.9%, respectively, ahead of their year-ago sales.

General Motors’ Opel and Chevrolet also continue to see gains, although sales of each brand dipped in October.

Ford deliveries improved last month from year-ago but were down 0.4% for the year, 354 units behind 2010.