France First Half 2017: Market lifted up 3% by tactical sales

The Renault Clio remains the most popular nameplate in France so far in 2017. 

* See the Top 40 best-selling brands, Top 280 models and Top 10 private sales brands and models by clicking on the title *

The French new passenger car market is up 3% year-on-year or 32.852 units over the First Half of 2017 to 1.135.281 registrations. Although private sales have shown some unusual dynamism in May and June, they only gain 0.2% or 953 units over the period to 529.747 to position themselves at a historically low level of 46.6% market share. The overwhelming majority of the sales increase so far this year is due to tactical sales – self-registrations, demo sales and short-term rentals (+24.463 sales) and company sales (+6.663).

The Peugeot 2008 climbs onto the French podium over the First Half 2017. 

Renault is up 0.4% to drop 0.5 points of market share to 20.3%, reversely Peugeot is up 6% to gain 0.5pp to 17.5%. Citroen evolves almost like the market at +2% to drop slightly at 10.1% share, while Volkswagen declines 5% to 6.4%. Dacia (+4%), Ford (+9%) and Toyota (+17%, the most dynamic in the Top 10) all beat the market, distancing Opel (+3%) and Nissan (+2%) with Fiat (+11%) delivering the 2nd biggest gain inside the Top 10 thanks to the new Tipo (#31). Audi remains the #1 premium brand in France but gains just 0.1%, with Mercedes catching up at +12%, overtaking BMW (-2%). Kia (+11%), Seat (+20%), Suzuki (+38%), Alfa Romeo (+38%) and Tesla (+56%) are among the biggest gainers in France so far this year.

The Peugeot 3008 II, Citroen C3 III and Renault Scenic IV all land inside the Top 10.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+4%) accentuates its advantage over the Peugeot 208 (+1%) to 0.9pp, but Peugeot places three nameplates in the Top 4 with the 2008 up 4% to #3 and the 308 down 14% to #4. Awaiting its facelift, the Renault Captur is down 10% to #5. We have no less than three all-new nameplates inside the 2017 French Top 10: the Peugeot 3008 II is the success of the year, landing directly at #6 and peaking at #4 in January and June. It’s a tremendous success for Peugeot with 70.000 orders since launch. Peugeot is hoping to replicate its success with the larger 5008, already inside the Top 20 in June. Citroen places the new generation C3 in 7th place and should be aiming at #3 by the time the year ends – a difficult task. Finally the Renault Scénic IV arrives at #10, less than 2.000 units below the Megane IV already down 25% in June.

The Dacia Sandero is 6.000 units above any other nameplate in the private sales charts.  

The Dacia Sandero is up 7% but down two spots to #8 overall but dominates head-and-shoulders the private sales ranking with just under 30.000 sales (+11%), almost 6.000 units above the Peugeot 208 (-8%) while the Peugeot 2008 outsells the Renault Clio with private buyers. Looking at the private sales brands ranking, Dacia manages a very impressive third place below just Renault and Peugeot and above Citroen and Volkswagen. Back to the overall models ranking where the VW Polo (#12) remains the most popular foreigner ahead of the Toyota Yaris (#16) while the VW Tiguan (+103%) spectacularly overtakes the VW Golf (-26%). The Nissan Qashqai (+4%), Fiat 500 (+9%), Opel Corsa (+11%), Ford Fiesta (-2%) and Opel Mokka (+11%) follow. Just below, the Toyota C-HR is an instant blockbuster, landing directly at #26. The Renault Zoe breaks into the Top 30 at #28, the Mercedes GLC is up 102% to #55 and the Audi Q2 lands at #60.

The VW Tiguan outsells the Golf for the first time in France. Picture largus.fr 

Previous post: France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

One year ago: France First Half 2016: Dacia Sandero triumphs with private buyers

Full H1 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 280 models and Top 10 private sales brands and models vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.

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France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

Record market share at home for the Peugeot 3008. 

* See the Top 40 best-sellng brands and Top 275 models by clicking on the title *

For the second month in a row, the French new car market displays a non-artificial gain with private sales beating the market. Overall, new registrations in June are up 1.6% year-on-year despite one less opening day to 230.940 units. Remarkably, this is the highest June volume this decade. Private sales are up 2.3% to 105.235 units, however remaining at a very low 45.6% market share. Company sales (including long-term leases) are up 8.1% to reach 21% share vs. 19.5% a year ago. For once, tactical sales decline this month in France – these include self-registrations, demo sales and short-term rentals. At 66.763 units, they drop 1.7 percentage point of market share, going from 30.7% in June 2016 to 29% now.

The Renault Captur is back up to #3 thanks to its facelift. 

A traditional fan of tactical sales towards the end of the quarter, market leader Renault drops 7% year-on-year on a particularly high base in June 2016, hitting 22.9% market share vs. 20.3% year-to-date. Peugeot on the other hand posts a spectacular 13% year-on-year improvement, catching up on a weak performance in June 2016 as its market share (17.8%), is only marginally higher than so far in 2017. Both Citroen (-2%) and Volkswagen (-6%) lose volume despite renewed best-sellers (the C3 and Tiguan) while Dacia gains 3%. The rest of the Top 10 brands are entirely in positive territory: Ford (+6%), Toyota (+9%), Nissan (+9%), Fiat (+1%) and Mercedes surging 32% to lead the premium race above BMW (+6%) and Audi (+4%). Opel (-5%) disappoints and slips out of the Top 10. Other great performers in France in June include Skoda (+13%), Suzuki (+25%), Seat (+16%), Alfa Romeo (+73%), Porsche (+55%), Tesla (+32%) and Maserati (+23%).

The new Renault Scénic remains inside the Top 5 for the second straight month.

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio (+0.2%) maintains a very comfortable advantage – almost two percentage points of market share – over the Peugeot 208 up 9%. The Renault Captur, although down 4% year-on-year, is starting to feel the effects of its facelift: back up 6 spots on May to #3, and sees its private sales shoot up 13%. The Peugeot 3008 II leaps to a best-ever 4th place (also hit last January) and breaks its market share record at 3.8%. It is the all-out best-selling SUV at home this month. The Renault Scénic IV remains inside the Top 5 at #5, distancing the Peugeot 308 (-7%) while the Citroen C3 III is down four spots on last month to #7. The Peugeot 2008 is struggling: down 6% to #8, and the Dacia Sandero also: down 1% and losing the private sales pole position to the Renault Clio this month. Rounding out the Top 10, the Renault Mégane is worryingly down 25% year-on-year, with the Kadjar (-30%) and Twingo (-36%) also posting paltry performances.

The new Peugeot 5008 breaks into the Top 20 at home. 

Among recent launches, the new Peugeot 5008 is up 33% on the previous generation and 9 spots on May to break into the Top 20 at #19, the new generation Nissan Micra is up 26 ranks on last month to #26, the Fiat Tipo up 183% to #29, the Toyota C-HR is down 10 ranks to #36, the Ford Ka+ up 41 to #51 and the new Renault Koleos down 15 to #79. Justifying the brand’s exceptional June performance, the Mercedes GLC is up 135% year-on-year to #48, with the C-Class up 22% and the GLA up 51%. Notice also the Ford Ecosport up 48% and the Suzuki Swift up 34%. Finally, the Opel Crossland is up 41 ranks to #109.

Previous month: France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France June 2016: Renault’s half-year run pulls market up 0.8%

Full June 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into the Top 5

The Renault Scénic IV frankly takes the lead of its segment in May. Picture largus.fr 

* See the Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

Finally, the French new car market shows a solid, non-artificial gain in May at +8.9% year-on-year to 191.419 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 3.3% to 904.344 units. Business sales gain 14% to 38.859 units but the good news is private sales for once frankly in positive at +6.7% to 87.478. This renewed dynamism could find its origin in a post-presidential election newfound confidence by consumers and companies alike. There are still signs of artificial gains though with the demo sales channel shooting up 26.8% to 25.226 units, and let’s not forget the private sales share is still declining at 45.7% vs. 46.6% in May 2016. Renault beats the market with a 13% gain to a strong 20% share, with business sales up 23%, demo sales doubling thanks notably to the facelifted Captur and private sales down 1.1%. Peugeot trails the market at +5.9% but its channel mix is solid with private sales up 10.7%, business sales up 32% and demo sales down 23.2%. Citroen is in the same situation with overall sales up 5.7% to 10.2% share but private sales up 21.2% thanks to the new C3.

First podium ranking at home for the new gen Citroen C3. 

Volkswagen is up 12% to deliver its highest market share so far this year at 7.4%, while Dacia remains very strong at +11% to 5.5% of the market and over 10.000 units sold. Ford surges 20% to reclaim the #2 foreign carmaker spot year-to-date off Toyota, up 12% this month. Opel is up 10% solely thanks to demo sales (+44.9%) whereas private sales are down 1.9% and Fiat also shines at +19%. Audi wins the luxury race but only gains 7% vs. +18% for Mercedes whose private sales shoot up 32.4% while BMW is distanced at +2% and private sales down 0.2%. Further down, Seat (+28% thanks to the Ateca), Volvo (+19%), Alfa Romeo (+58%) and Tesla (+181%) show significant year-on-year gains.

The Fiesta (+74%) helps Ford up 20% this month.

The Renault Clio is faithful to its traditional pole position in France but trails the market at +5% while the Peugeot 208, almost 1.000 units below, is up 12%. The new generation Citroen C3, which appeared last August,  breaks onto the French podium for the first time and lifts to #5 year-to-date, overtaking the Renault Captur. It is the first podium for the C3 nameplate (all generations) since October 2014. Despite a 16% drop, the Peugeot 308 remains by far in the compact car segment lead, with the Megane IV up 44% but only ranking 10th. The big news this month is the 5th place of the Renault Scenic IV, its first time in the Top 5 and finally above its archenemy the Citroen C4 Picasso (down 9% to #12).

The Peugeot 3008 II is now #6 year-to-date. Picture largus.fr 

Another excellent month for the new generation Peugeot 3008 in 7th place, it now ranks 6th year-to-date and continues to dominate its segment at 3.6% share vs. 1.8% for the Dacia Duster (+1%) and 1.6% for the Renault Kadjar (-13%). The Dacia Sandero is solid at +11% in 8th place, and both the Peugeot 2008 (-9%) and Renault Captur (-10%) seem to run out of steam, yet the 2008 remains at a splendid third place so far in 2017 vs. #7 for the Captur. Foreign models perform better than the market as a whole with a 9.9% gain, and it shows in the best-sellers: the VW Polo is up 32% on runout pricing for the outgoing generation, the Ford Fiesta is up 74%, the Fiat 500 up 40%, Opel Corsa up 34%, VW Tiguan up 84% and Opel Mokka up 24%.

The new generation Renault Koleos finally appears in its home sales charts. 

The Toyota C-HR continues to dominate recent foreign launches (<12 months) at #27 with just under 1% market share, with the Audi Q2 remaining inside the Top 50 – just – at #50 and the new generation Nissan Micra up 26 spots on April to #52. In the French ranks, the new Peugeot 5008 pushes the nameplate up 38% to #28 and the Renault Koleos reappears in the ranking – it’s the new model – at #64. Finally, this month we welcome the Opel Crossland at #150 and the VW Arteon at #175.

Looking at the private sales channel only, the Dacia Sandero accentuates its domination with sales up 14% year-on-year and almost 1.500 more than the #2, the Peugeot 208 (-13%). The Peugeot 2008 shoots up 27% to round up the podium and still ranks #2 year-to-date above the 208. The Renault Clio (-15%) and Captur (-29%) struggle but the VW Polo (+26%), Citroen C3 (+33%), Renault Scenic (+83%) and Peugeot 3008 (+117%) all impress.

Previous month: France April 2017: Peugeot 2008 and 3008 lead their segments

One year ago: France May 2016: Market up 22%, Dacia #3 brand with private buyers

Full May 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France April 2017: Peugeot 2008 and 3008 lead their segments

The Peugeot 3008 frankly outsells the Renault Kadjar. Picture largus.fr 

* See the Top 45 best-selling brands and Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

The French new car market is down 6% year-on-year in April to 171.879 registrations, due to two less opening days than a year ago. Adjusted to the same number of opening days, the market is up 3.9%. Year-to-date, sales are up 2% to 712.933 with exactly the same number of opening days as in 2016. Looking at sales by channel, once again private sales fare worse than the market at -10.6% to 79.476 and a low 46.2% market share vs. 48.6% a year ago. Business sales on the other hand be at the market at -2.9% to 34. 532 and 20% share vs. 19.4% a year ago. Finally, demo sales shoot up 15.9% this month to 13.4% share and are up 18.7% so far this year, confirming the source of the year-to-date market growth is mainly artificial.

Brand-wise, market leader Renault trails the market at -9% to 18.9% share vs. 19.5% so far this year whereas Peugeot beats it at -2% to 18% vs. 17.5% in 2017. Citroen follows the overall trend at -5%, remaining above 10% share thanks to the new C3, Volkswagen tumbles down 15% just as the Polo (-14%) and Golf (-45%) await their facelift, and Dacia is down 5% but remains above its year-to-date level at 6.3% share vs. 5.7%. In the private sales channel, the rankings are overturned with Peugeot frankly distancing Renault at 13.106 sales vs. 11.876 and Dacia above Citroen at 9.072 vs. 8.097.

The new C3 keeps Citroen above 10% share. Picture largus.fr

Below, Toyota is up 2% thanks to the C-HR (#34), Nissan is stable thanks to the Qashqai (+15%) and the new Micra (#78), Fiat is up 4% thanks to the Tipo (#36), Kia is up 12% thanks notably to the Sportage (+21%), the new Rio (+43%) and the Niro, Seat gains 23% thanks to the Ateca (#71), Skoda is up 10% thanks to the Kodiaq (#127) and Suzuki up 16% thanks to the Baleno and Ignis. All three top-selling premium brands are down: Audi (-8%) ahead of Mercedes (-5%) and BMW (-14%). Among smaller brands, Alfa Romeo (+55%), Maserati (+57%) and Tesla (+63%) shine.

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio (-8%) remains in the lead for just 35 units above the Peugeot 208 (-10%), and we witness some more interesting duels below. The Peugeot 2008 (+9%) has taken a clear advantage over the Renault Captur (-23%), the Peugeot 308 (-15%) stays way above the Renault Megane IV (+16%), the Peugeot 3008 II (#6) outsells the Renault Kadjar (#16) and the Citroen C4 Picasso (#10) is above the new Renault Scenic IV (#11). Notice also the VW Tiguan (#15) up 160% to become the 2nd best-selling foreign model below the VW Polo and the Audi Q2 breaking into the Top 50 for the first time at #49.

Looking at the models ranking in the private sales channel, the Dacia Sandero remains by far in pole position despite sales down 2% year-on-year. It distances the Peugeot 2008 (+5%) once again outselling the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, both down 15% this month. The Citroen C3 (+2%) and Peugeot 3008 (+88%) follow, while the Renault Captur loses almost half its sales year-on-year at -47%.

Previous month: France March 2017: Peugeot 2008 settles at #3 in market up 7%

One year ago: France April 2016: Dacia Sandero overall best-seller with private buyers

Full April 2017 Top 45 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France March 2017: Peugeot 2008 settles at #3 in market up 7%

 The Peugeot 2008 ranks 2nd with private buyers at home this month.

French new car sales are up 7% year-on-year in March to 226.145 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 4.8% to 541.065 units. However yet again this growth is mainly artificial with inventory registrations up a whopping 26% on March 2016 whereas private sales only gain 1.7% to 106.733 and are up only 1% year-to-date to 257.568 or a historically low 47.6% market share. As per every end of Quarter, market leader Renault posts a strong 21.5% market share vs. 19.7% year-to-date but gains less ground than the market at +4%. Peugeot on the other hand is up 12% while Citroen gains 9% thanks to the solid score of the new generation C3.

Volkswagen is in trouble at -9% and holds onto the 4th spots overall for a mere 675 units above Dacia up 10%. Other manufacturers in great shape this month include Toyota (+34%), Suzuki (+22%), Fiat (+18%), Kia (+18%), Mercedes (+15%) and Hyundai (+14%) but DS drops 34% to #20. Among smaller brands, notice Alfa Romeo (+34%), Maserati (+65%), Jaguar (+83%) and Infiniti (+145%).

The Renault Clio continues to dominate the models ranking with just under 5.9% share, a full percentage point above the Peugeot 208 at #2. Slowly but surely, the Peugeot 2008 settles into third place, a ranking it holds this month (+10%) and year-to-date (+14%). Its archenemy the Renault Captur follows at #4 in March but ranks 5th so far this year below the Peugeot 308. Recent launches makes themselves noticed: the new gen Citroen C3 remains at #6, the new Renault Megane is up one spot on February to #8 and the Peugeot 3008 down 1 to #9.

There are no foreign models inside the Top 13 (vs. Top 12 last month) with the VW Polo (-19%) leader the way above the Toyota Yaris (+13%) and Nissan Qashqai (+8%). Just below, we find the VW Tiguan (+204% thanks to the new model), the Fiat 500 (+19%) and Opel Corsa (+21%). Other great gainers inside the Top 50 include the Opel Mokka (+24%), Ford Kuga (+35%), Renault Talisman (+37%), Renault Zoe (+45%) and BMW X1 (+45%). The Audi Q2 (#57) is now the 2nd best-seller for the brand below the A3 (#37), the new generation Nissan Micra breaks into the Top 100 at #93 and this month we welcome the Alfa Romeo Stelvio at #160 and the new gen Land Rover Discovery reappears at #203.

Private sales of the Dacia Sandero are up 30% this month. Picture largus.fr 

In the private sales aisle, the Dacia Sandero reigns supreme with deliveries up 30% year-on-year thanks to its facelift, and is now followed by the Peugeot 2008 up 8% to n2nd place, distancing the Peugeot 208 (-5%), Renault Clio (-16%) and Captur (-7%). A very different picture than the overall sales charts indeed. Year-to-date, the Peugeot 2008 is now only 4 units below the 208 for second place overall. Notice also the Peugeot 3008 up 124% on the previous generation to #7 private sales. The locally-produced Toyota Yaris (+16%) makes it to the Top 10.

Previous month: France February 2017: Citroen C3 and Toyota C-HR impress

One year ago: France March 2016: Renault impresses in healthy market up 7.5%

Full March 2017 Top 45 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France February 2017: Citroen C3 and Toyota C-HR impress

Citroen C3 – a first WRC win in Mexico coincides with a 2nd place in the French private sales charts. 

* See the Top 50 brands, Top 275 models, Top 10 private sales and Top 20 LCVs by clicking on the title *

1. Passenger cars market – brands

In January, French new car sales were up 10.6%, but just 0.5% once adjusted for daily rates. In February we witness the opposite: sales are down 2.9% but with one less selling day than in February 2016, this drop actually equates to a 2% annually adjusted gain. Renault fell to 2nd place in the brands ranking in January due to a now routine “start of period fatigue” after loading up on tacticals in December as per every quarter end. In February, Renault reclaims the brands top spot despite a 6% year-on-year drop, followed by Peugeot (-8%), Citroen (-3%) and Volkswagen (-9%), plunging the entire Top 4 best-sellers into negative territory.

The new generation Nissan Micra makes its landing in France.

In fact, Dacia (+6%) Fiat (+7%) and Toyota (+26%) are the only carmakers posting year-on-year gains in the Top 10, with Nissan (-19%) suffering the most. BMW snaps the luxury crown despite sales down 6%, ahead of Mercedes (+7%) and Audi (-13%). Further down, notice Kia up 12%, Suzuki up 22%, Seat up 27%, Volvo up 28% but DS down 34%. Among smaller brands, Infiniti (+28%), Jaguar (+30%), Maserati (+33%), Aston Martin (+133%), Tesla (+148%) and Lamborghini (+200%) all impress.

The Toyota C-HR ranks at #25 in France this month, up two spots on January. 

2. Passenger cars market – models

The Renault Clio remains sovereign in the models ranking despite deliveries down 7% to 8.656. The Peugeot 208 (-12%) stays in 2nd place while the Peugeot 308 (-19%) climbs back onto the podium above the Peugeot 2008 (+4%) – that’s three Peugeots in the Top 4 vs. three in the Top 8 for Renault (Captur at #5 and Mégane IV at #8). The third generation Citroen C3 nudges up one spot to #6 with 5.002 sales, but its performance comes to light after a further study of the sales figures: adding the second generation’s sales brings the C3 February total to 6.537 and allows the nameplate a third place overall behind the Clio and 208, a ranking the C3 nameplate had not held since October 2014. The C3 does even better with private buyers, as we detail further down.

The third generation Citroen C3 breaks into the Top 5 and ranks #2 with private buyers. 

Looking into a couple of long running rivalries among French nameplates shows dominance of the PSA Group: Renault Mégane IV – although up 114% year-on-year to #8 – remains well below its rival the Peugeot 308 at 4.052 sales vs. 5.465, the Peugeot 3008 II (3.976) dominates the Dacia Duster (2.959) and Renault Kadjar (2.108) and the Citroen C4 Picasso (3.234) reclaims the MPV lead off the Renault Scénic IV (2.339). The locally produced Toyota Yaris (+14%) is the most popular foreigner this month at #13 – meaning that just like in January the Top 12 best-sellers in France are all locals. The VW Polo (-24%) ranks 2nd foreigner above the VW Tiguan lodging another outstanding performance at +86% to #16 overall. Note the Tiguan brilliantly remains above the Golf (down 6% to #20) in the year-to-date charts at 4.768 sales vs. 4.396.

The new generation Kia Rio shows up directly at #102 in France this month.

Among further recent launches, the Toyota C-HR continues to impress and edges up two spots on January to a best ever #23 thanks to 1.734 sales, the Fiat Tipo is up 16 spots to obliterate its personal best at #27 – previously #43 hit last month and in November 2016), the Audi Q2 is up 8 ranks to #58, the Seat Ateca up four to #61, the Ford Ka+ up 17 to #67 and the Suzuki Ignis up 15 to #76. This month we welcome two new entrants inside the French new car sales charts: the new generation Kia Rio landing directly at #102 and the new gen Nissan Micra at #213.

The Dacia Sandero frankly dominates the private sales charts in France. 

3. Private sales

After being edged out of the annual pole position at the last minute in 2016, the Dacia Sandero reclaims the throne in 2017 with 4.410 private sales in February (+20%) and 8.704 year-to-date (+18%). Surprise in 2nd place: the Citroen C3 gains 10% to 3.818 sales and also ranks #2 year-to-date at 8.153 units (+15%), distancing its two arch-enemies the Peugeot 208 at 6.980 (-12%) and the Renault Clio at 6.584 (-2%). Back to the February charts where the Peugeot 2008 posts a splendid third place with 3.397 sales, outselling the 208, Clio and Captur. The Dacia Duster is the best-selling SUV with private French buyers at #6. The Peugeot 3008 ranks 10th.

Renault Trafic

4. Light Commercial Vehicles

The LCV market goes against the grain in February with a 4.2% year-on-year gain (+9.4% annually adjusted) to 34.616 deliveries. The Renault Kangoo firmly holds onto the top spot with 9.4% share ahead of the Renault Clio at 7.5%. The Renault Trafic gains three spots on January to #3, the Renault Master is up one to #4. the Peugeot Expert also up one to #8 and the Ford Transit 2T up three to #14. The Mercedes Vito (#18) and Renault Mégane IV (#20) break into the Top 20 this month.

Previous month: France January 2017: Four Peugeots in Top 5, Citroen C3 III up to #7

One year ago: France February 2016: Dacia and Opel shine in market up 13%

Full February 2017 Top 50 brands, Top 275 models, Top 10 private sales and Top 20 LCVs below.

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France January 2017: Four Peugeots in Top 5, Citroen C3 III up to #7

The Peugeot 3008 II leaps up to 4th place at home in January. Picture largus.fr

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 brands, Top 275 models and Top 20 LCVs – see title *

Under a robust 10.6% year-on-year January increase for France with two extra selling days hides in fact a tiny 0.5% progression when adjusted for daily rates. Worse: as it was the case last year also, the majority of this “gain” comes from tactical channels, up a whopping 26.3% to 44.812 registrations. Private sales on the other hand continue their decline relative to the rest of the market – up 5.9% to 75.010 but down 3.7% when seasonally adjusted – and now representing just 49% of the French market vs. 51.3% a year ago. Business sales are up an even weaker 3.5% or down 5.9% adjusted. Looking into tactical channels in more detail, short-term rentals do the heavy lifting with a gargantuan 51% gain to 19.863 led by Citroen doubling its sales in this channel to 2.329 while Renault is up 78% to 3.000 and Peugeot up 52.6% to 3.709. Demo sales are up 12.5% to 21.224 or 14% of the entire market – a very concerning ratio indeed. The historically high level of tactical sales in the French market illustrate a macro-trend: dealerships are selling more and more of these vehicles at a much lower price as “new used”, finding here a necessary solution to weak private demand.

First ever podium ranking at home for the Peugeot 2008. Picture automobile-magazine.fr 

As we have already observed this month in two other major European markets (Spain and Italy), Renault now heavily loads its end-of-quarter and end-of-year sales with tacticals, and therefore suffers the following month. This situation is, logically, even more blatant at home in France. Like last year, Peugeot (+13%) takes the lead of the overall market with 18.6% share vs. 16.7% over the FY2016 whereas Renault (+17%) is at a weak 17.9% vs. 20.2% in FY2016. However a healthy caveat to these figures for Renault is its stunning progression with private buyers at +24.3% (13.017) where it is back above Peugeot (12.480) up just 10%. It’s worth noting though that both market leaders display private sales ratios that are even lower than the overall market at 47.4% for Renault and 43.7% for Peugeot. Renault is also #1 in the business channel including long-term leasing with a 13.3% gain to 7.872 vs. 7.752 for Peugeot.

The third generation Citroen C3 breaks into the Top 10 and ranks #2 with private buyers. 

In third place, Citroen can finally smile as it returns above the symbolic 10% market share at home (11%) after falling to a lowest-ever 7.5% in December and 9.7% over the FY2016. However these figures have a lot to do with short-term rental sales up 2.2-fold and demo sales up 39% whereas business sales freefall 16% and private sales are up just 2.6%, or down 6.8% seasonally adjusted. Volkswagen starts the year with a 5% decline to just 6.9% share while Dacia sees stable volumes send its market share down to 5.7%. Below, Toyota (+18%), Ford (+41%), Opel (+15%) and Fiat (+24%) comfortably beat the market and all punch above their FY2016 levels. However among these brands only Toyota posts a healthy gain with private sales up 29.2% to 4.337. Ford sees its demo sales up 2-fold to 1.112 and short-term rental sales up 8-fold (!) to 1.553 while Opel sees private sales down 8.1% and only owes its gains to tactical sales. Audi (+3%) reclaims the luxury crown but is slower than BMW (+8%) while Mercedes (-10%) crumbles down 9 spots to #15, the counter-effect of a fleet-strong December. Hyundai (+22%), Kia (+24%), Suzuki (+36%) and Seat (+48%) impress.

The VW Tiguan ranks at #2 among foreign models and #14 overall, a record. 

Thanks to sales soaring 45% year-on-year to 8.714, the Clio is the only Renault in the Top 7, with Peugeot placing no less than four nameplates in the Top 5, a first. The 208 (+9%) takes the 2nd spot overall while the 2008 (+35%) signs the first ever podium finish of a career now spanning four years (February 2013 launch). But the personal bests don’t stop here for Peugeot: the second generation 3008 climbs to #4 overall with 5.634 sales, equalling the first generation’s pb of #4 reached in March 2013. The Peugeot 308 (-17%) rounds up the Top 5 ahead of the Dacia Sandero (+11%). The Citroen C3 III finally blossoms, jumping 12 spots on December to break into the Top 10 for the first time at #7. The Renault Captur, Scenic IV and Megane IV compose the tail end of the January Top 10 in France.

The Toyota C-HR breaks into the French Top 25 and ranks #16 with private buyers.

The foreign model order is turned on its head this month: traditionally dominated by the VW Polo and Golf, these fall to 4th and 5th places respectively among foreigners in January. Instead, the Ford Fiesta is the most popular, boosted up 89% by runout discounts on the outgoing generation at #13 – also meaning the Top 12 best-sellers are all locals. The new generation VW Tiguan continues to take the nameplate to new heights and is #2 foreigner this month at a best-ever #14, beating the #15 it hit last September. The Toyota Yaris (-8%) follows, while the Fiat 500 (+29%) and Opel Corsa (+30%) lurk just below. But this order may be on the verge of being shaken up once again, with the arrival of the Toyota C-HR at a brilliant 25th place this month with 1.1% share, up 40 spots on December and even ranking #16 with private buyers at 1.154 sales vs. 1.304 for the Yaris (-10%). A handful of recent launches also shine: the Audi Q2 is up 27 to #64 and now the brand’s best-selling crossover, the Ford Ka+ is up 30 to #83 and the Suzuki Ignis up 64 to #88 – the latter two nameplates breaking into the Frenh Top 100 for the very first time.

The Dacia Sandero reclaims the #1 spot with private buyers in January. 

Zooming in on the private sales models ranking, the Dacia Sandero – having lost the title of best-seller for 2016 on the edge – reclaims the top spot in January with 5.7% share. But the #2 model is a surprise: the Citroen C3 up 44% to 5% share and stunningly outselling both the Peugeot 208 (down 5% to 4.8%) and Renault Clio (up 25% to 4.7%)… The Peugeot 2008 (+23%) for its part beats the Renault Captur (-5%) with the Peugeot 3008 shooting up to #7 and 2.388 sales, well ahead of the Renault Scenic (1.661) and Kadjar (936). Over in the LCV rankings, the Renault Kangoo and Clio continue to dominate, but the Citroen Berlingo (6.9%) and Peugeot Partner (5.8%) are now applying pressure. The Top 6 best-sellers are all French, with the Fiat Ducato (#7) the only foreigner in the Top 12. Helped by the new generation, The Peugeot Expert (#9) and Citroen Jumpy (#10) progress.

Full brands and models data will be uploaded to this post when available.

citroen-jumpy-france-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Peugeot Expert is up to #9 and 4.2% in the LCV ranking vs. #11 and 2.5% in 2016. 

Previous post: France Full Year 2016: Private sales under 50% for the first time in history

Previous month: France December 2016: New generation Renault Scenic up to #6

One year ago: France January 2016: Peugeot 208 and 308 lead market biased by tactics

Full January 2017 Top 35 brands, Top 275 models and Top 20 LCVs below.

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France Full Year 2016: Private sales under 50% share for the first time

renault-clio-france-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Renault Clio is #1 in France for the 6th year in a row. 

* See the Top 50 brands, Top 350 models, Top 10 private sales, Top 10 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models by clicking on the title *

Check out over 120 years worth of French Historical Data here *

New car sales in France gain 5.1% year-on-year in 2016 to get back above the 2 million mark for the first time since 2011 at 2.015.186 registrations, or almost 100.000 additional sales compared to 2015. This result ranks among the highest ever volumes in France, where roughly 2.2 million units were sold in 1988, 1990, 1991, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The big, symbolic news in France in 2016 is private sales falling under half of the market for the first time in history due to a meagre 0.9% gain to 993.795 registrations or 49.3% share vs. 51.4% last year. To give perspective to this situation, private sales represented 75% of total registrations in the nineties and were still at 66.4% in 2009. So what is happening in France?

Almost all sales gains for the year are due to business sales including long term leasing, short term rental sales, dealership self-registrations and demo sales. All of the above is label “artificial” sales channels as they can be easily manipulated by manufacturers to reach sales goals. Business sales are up 7.8% to 422.430 units or 21% share, representing one-third of the 2016 overall market gain and short term rentals are up 9.7% to 11% share. The one channel that has been the most effective at fuelling the overall French market gain is the artificial channel par excellence: demo sales, up a mammoth 13.7% to 301.828 units and 15% share vs. 13.9% in 2015. Of all trends affecting the French new car market in 2016, this is the core one: manufacturers and dealerships now self-register unsold cars to discount them as “zero km second-hand”. This enables them to satisfy demand from French customers affected by the reduction of their purchase power.

Peugeot 208 France 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Peugeot 208 is up 8% on 2015 but remains in 2nd place. It is #1 with private buyers. 

The second striking trend in France is a continuation of 2015: leasing. In French LOA (Location avec Option d’Achat – Leasing with Purchase option) and LLD (Location à Longue Durée – Long Term Leasing), this financing option is also is in line with the difficulty of French customers to follow the premiumisation of the car market, treating the car purchase as a subscription. A record 27.6% of all private sales or 274.148 units have been purchased through leasing in 2016, up 31.7% on 2016. 26.7% is LOA and 0.9% is LLD. In the business sales channel, 49.9% of total units are purchased through LLD and 26% through LOA, resulting in a 75.9% leasing market share. This way, the overall share of leasing in the total French market in 2016 stands at a record-high 35.4%.

In this changing context, Renault benefits from the renewal of its lineup, beating the market with a 7% gain to return above the symbolic 20% share mark (20.2%), while Peugeot is up just 3% to 16.7% share vs. 17.1% last year. Citroen struggles, down 3% to plunge below 10% for the first time in decades at 9.7%. Volkswagen manages to limit the effect of its emission scandal at -1% to 7.1% share but Dacia continues to gallop ahead at +13% to hit its highest ever annual volume in France, above 110.000 units. Ford (-2%) is getting caught up by Toyota (+8%) while Nissan (-7%) is threatened by Opel (+6%). Fiat (+15%), Kia (+16%), Hyundai (+17%), Suzuki (+12%), Mazda (+23%), Jeep (+16%), Honda (+25%) and Alfa Romeo (+15%) also shine.

audi-q2-france-2016Audi remains the #1 luxury brand, but Mercedes and BMW keep the pressure. 

The leasing trend has benefited premium brands in a big way in France, making their purchase a lot more digestible, with all Top 3 luxury brands improving by double-digits. Audi (+10%) remains in the lead but its advantage over Mercedes (+12%) is now just 2.626 sales, with BMW (+13%) lurking 4.165 units behind: the three Germans fit within 0.2% market share in 2016… Other luxury brands positively impacted by leasing – and new models – include Mini (+12%), Volvo (+12%), Lexus (+14%), Land Rover (+17%), Tesla (+33%), Maserati (+44%), Jaguar (+144%) and Infiniti (+189%).

With sales up 3% to 5.6% share, the Renault Clio posts a 6th consecutive year in the French pole position, now adding up to 18 annual wins in the past 26 years, the first one being in 1991. Make no mistake, the Peugeot 208 isn’t dead yet: it ranked first four times in 2016 (January-April-July-August) vs. three in 2015 and just once in 2014, and is up 8% to 4.9% share. The Top 5 best-sellers are unchanged with the Peugeot 308 (+0.04%), Renault Captur (-2%) and Peugeot 2008 (+4%) following. The Dacia Sandero surges 24% and 3 spots to land at a record 6th position, the Renault Mégane IV ranks 8th for its first full year of sales but remains far from the 308, the Citroen C4 Picasso (#9) leads its segment but will be outsold by the Renault Scénic IV in 2017 and the Renault Kadjar ends 2016 at a brilliant 12th place but was frankly outsold by the new gen Peugeot 3008 during the last two months of the year. Like in 2015, there are no foreigners in the Top 10: the VW Polo (#11), VW Golf (#14), Toyota Yaris (#15) and Nissan Qashqai (#18) dominate that ranking.

dacia-sandero-france-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Dacia Sandero was #1 with French private buyers for a large part of the year. 

The Clio only owes its pole position to fleet sales: private sales only represent 39% of the Clio’s overall deliveries and are down 9% this year to third place whereas the nameplate still comfortably dominated this channel in 2015. Instead, the Peugeot 208 takes the lead with private sales up 5% and representing 50.4% of its overall volume – in line with the market. The big surprise comes from the Dacia Sandero, which was the French favourite with private buyers for a large part of the year, only losing its YTD leadership to the 208 in the last weeks of December. 87% of Sandero volumes are realised through private sales. Like last year, the Peugeot 2008 (#4) outsells the Renault Captur (#5) with private buyers. Among the Top 10 private sales, notice also the Dacia Duster (#7), VW Polo (#9) and Toyota Yaris (#10).

The French Light Commercial Vehicle market is up by a robust 8% year-on-year in 2016 to 410.097 units and Renault up 6% remains the master in command with a market share (32.1%) superior to that of its two French competitors combined: Peugeot up 10% (16%) and Citroen up 5% (15.2%). Fiat (+14%) and Ford (+13%) outpace the market to lodge improved shares, with Volkswagen (+12%), Iveco (+18%) and Nissan (+39%) also in great shape. Model-wise, the Renault Kangoo (+9%) delivers a 19th consecutive year at #1, distancing the Renault Clio (+3%), Citroen Berlingo (+7%) and Fiat Ducato (+13%). Boosted by the new model, the Citroen Jumpy (+23%) posts the largest gain in the Top 10, with the Peugeot Expert (+38%), VW Transporter VI (+448%), Ford Ranger (+46%) and Nissan NP300 (+136%) also making sparks further down the ranking.

Citroen Jumpy sales are up 23% to break into the French LCV Top 10.

Previous post: France December 2016: New generation Renault Scenic up to #6

Previous year: France Full Year 2015: Fleet and rental sales push market up 7%

Previous year (LCV): France LCV Full Year 2015: Renault outpaces market to hold 33% share

Two years ago: France Full Year 2014: Renault Captur on podium

Full Year 2016 Top 45 brands, Top 350 models Top 10 private sales, Top 10 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full Year 2015 data below.

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France December 2016: New generation Renault Scénic up to #6

renault-scenic-france-december-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Renault Scénic IV shoots up to 6th place overall at home in December. 

* See the Top 42 brands, Top 300 models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

The French new car market ends 2016 on a dynamic 6% year-on-year increase to 194.381 registrations, lifting the final annual tally up 5% (detailed Full Year 2016 report will follow shortly). End-of-period months are always strong for Renault and December is no exception with a 22.2% share for the French carmaker (+2%) vs. just 14.1% for Peugeot (+5%). Citroen (-11%) worryingly falls to even lower market shares at just 7.5% this month, only 644 sales above Volkswagen (+15%). Mercedes also shoots up 15% to a splendid 6th place overall, outselling mass market players Toyota (+18%), Nissan (+14%) and Ford (-1%), as well as Audi (+19%) by over 3.000 units. It is however not enough for Mercedes to end 2016 at the #1 luxury spot, still held by Audi. Further down the ranking, Fiat (+30%), Kia (+26%), Suzuki (+49%), Skoda (+22%), Alfa Romeo (+30%) and Porsche (+100%) post very robust gains while among smaller brands Infiniti (+548%), Maserati (+337%) and Jaguar (+121%) deliver explosive growth.

nissan-micra-france-december-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Nissan Micra is up 69% year-on-year in December. Picture largus.fr

In the models ranking, both the Renault Clio (+14%) and Peugeot 208 (+10%) outpace the market and are followed by the Renault Captur (-13%). The Renault Mégane IV (+146%) finally outsells its Segment C rival the Peugeot 308 at 5.594 sales vs. 5.365 while the Renault Scénic IV shoots up 19 spots on November to land at #6, well above the Citroen C4 Picasso (#20). The Peugeot 3008 II holds strong at #7 with 2.6% of its home market. For the first time in many decades, there are no Citroens in the Top 15 this month, with the C3 transitioning between generations: the C3 II is down 30% to #16 and the C3 III is up one spot on November to #19. The VW Golf (+23%), Polo (-6%), Toyota Yaris (+13%) and VW Tiguan (+140%) are the best-selling foreign nameplates in France in December.

Toyota C-HR HybridThe Toyota C-HR already ranks inside the French Top 70. Picture largus.fr 

Notice also the Mercedes A-Class up 33% to #23, the Renaut Zoe up 21% to #24, Opel Mokka up 26% to #25, Nissan Micra up 69% to #30 thanks to the new model, Renault Talisman up 51% to #33, BMW X1 up 48% to #38, Mercedes GLC up 49% to #41 and the Hyundai i20 up 56% to #50. The Toyota C-HR is already a blockbuster for the brand, ranking #65 this month, the Audi Q2 breaks into the Top 100 at #91 and the Suzuki Ignis is up 108 spots on November to #152. In the private sales ranking, the Peugeot 208 surges 18% to #1 and clinches a last minute annual win off the Dacia Sandero, with the Renault Clio (-12%) in 2nd place and the Peugeot 2008 (+8%) rounding up the podium. The Citroen C3 is up 30% to #6 (both generations combined).

Previous month: France November 2016: New Peugeot 3008 soars to 7th place

One year ago: France December 2015: Renault and Dacia tank up on sales

Full December 2016 Top 42 brands, Top 300 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France November 2016: New Peugeot 3008 soars to 7th place

peugeot-3008-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frPeugeot 3008. Picture largus.fr

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 brands, Top 275 models & Top 10 private sales *

New car sales in France are back in positive territory in November with a vigorous 8.5% year-on-year improvement to 163.170 registrations, bringing the year-to-date tally up 5% to 1.820.814. However, these gains are once again almost exclusively the work of tactical channels with private sales up just 2.8%. If company sales are up 14.6%, the main boost this month is coming from – totally artificial – demo sales, up a whopping 43.4%. In fact, out of 12.836 overall incremental year-on-year sales in October, almost half (5.665) are demo sales.

Renault doubles the market growth with an impressive 17% gain to 33.297 registrations and 20.4% share, just above the 20% it commands year-to-date. Demo sales account for 22% of this total vs. just 8% last month and 14% year-to-date. All the while Peugeot underperforms with a meagre 1% gain to 26.721 units and 16.4% share vs. 16.9% so far this year, despite demo sales up 28%. Peugeot remains leader with private buyers at 13.340 sales (-4%) vs. 13.257 for Renault.

vw-tiguan-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe VW Tiguan is up 106% on the previous generation in October 2015. Picture largus.fr

Citroen (-6%) continues to struggle with a slim 8.9% market share, its lowest so far in 2016, with private sales freefalling 17% and despite demo sales up 59% due to the new C3. Below Volkswagen (+1%), Dacia surges 60% to 4.9% share which is however still below its YTD level of 5.5%. Toyota gains 20% in 6th place, remaining above Ford (-4%) while in the luxury race Mercedes at 5.788 deliveries (+27%) overtakes Audi at 5.637 (+16%) while BMW at 5.017 (+3%) is shy. Notice also Jeep up 29%, Kia up 31%, Hyundai up 48%, Alfa Romeo up 49%, Jaguar up 108%, Maserati up 152% and Infiniti up 175%.

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio jumps up 35% year-on-year to 10.163 sales, almost 3.000 units above its rival the Peugeot 208 in difficulty at -7%. The Clio’s advantage over the 208 year-to-date now stretches to just under 10.000 units. The Renault Captur (+6%) climbs back past the Peugeot 308 (-5%) and Peugeot 2008 (-11%) while the Renault Mégane edges up one spot on October to #6 overall. The best performance of the month is once again the work of the new generation Peugeot 3008, now fully embracing its SUV status and flying up to 7th place overall thanks to 4.476 sales, way above its segment competitors the Renault Kadjar (3.168), Dacia Duster up 43% (2.912), VW Tiguan up 106% (2.445) and Nissan Qashqai (2.232). For reference, the first generation Peugeot 3008 has a personal best of #4 in France dating back to March 2013. Peugeot says it received 22.000 orders for the new 3008 since launch.

citroen-c3-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frStill waiting to pounce: the new Citroen C3 (#20).

Among the other star French launches of the past few months, the Citroen C3 III drops back 3 spots to #20 and the Renault Scénic IV is up 8 to #25. Notice also the Dacia Sandero up 89%, the Toyota Yaris up 27%, the Ford Fiesta up 19%, Opel Mokka up 32% and the Renault Talisman (#23) taking its distance vs. its rival the Peugeot 508 (#29). Further down, the Fiat Tipo is lifted by the arrival of the station wagon, up 21 ranks to #43, the Seat Ateca is up 19 to #71, the Kia Niro up 34 to break into the Top 100, the Audi Q2 up 79 to #106, the Ford Ka+ ranks at #133, the Suzuki Ignis at #260 and the Ferrari GTC4Lusso at #274.

In the private sales ranking, the Peugeot 208 is #1 for the second month running despite dropping 17%, it distances the Renault Clio (+13%) and the Peugeot 2008 (-10%). The Renault Captur surges 21% while the Dacia Sandero is down to 5th place but shoots up 60% to 3.007 sales. The Sandero remains the overall best-seller with French private buyers so far in 2016 with only one month to go. If the low-cost hatch cements this leadership into an annual win – its advantage over the Peugeot 208 is 824 sales – this would be a historical win for Dacia as never before the brand has managed to place a nameplate in pole position. The Dacia Duster comes in at #7 year-to-date, and the Peugeot 3008 jumps 63% to rank #10 in November.

Previous month: France October 2016: New generation Peugeot 3008 above Duster and Kadjar

One year ago: France November 2015: Peugeot 208 on top in market artificially up 11%

Full November 2016 Top 50 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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