French car sales are expected to hit 2.27 million in 2009, the largest jump in sales in nearly two decades, due to the government's cash-for-clunkers programme, a minister said Monday.

Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said the figure represented a 10-percent jump from last year and is the biggest since 1990 when 2.3 million cars were sold.

The French government last year launched a subsidy scheme to encourage people to trade in an old car for a new more environmentally-friendly model.

Several governments have used such a measure to support their auto industries during the global downturn.

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