* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *
The French new car market maintains itself in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month with September sales up 1.1% to 170.652, the largest score for the month since 2009 (183.248), leading to a year-to-date total up 3.9% to 1.560.885 registrations. The market is in positive solely thanks to company sales up 8.1% while private sales remain stable at +0.9%. Tactical sales, for once, are in decline: short-term rental sales are down 11.5% to 5.85% share, carmakers’ self-registrations down 4% to 1.75% share and demo sales down 2.6% to a still very high 18.6% market share.
Renault is stable this month at -0.1% to a strong 21.5% share – as is its tradition for end of quarter sales, however its sales mix is completely reshuffled, with private sales up 11.9% to 17.541, company sales up 20% to 12.834 and demo sales down 47% to 3.650. Peugeot beats the market with a 4.7% gain to 17.1% share, helped by company sales up 15.9% to 9.271 whereas private sales are down 4.9% to 12.724. Despite the recent launch of the new gen C3 and the arrival of the C3 Aircross in demo sales, Citroen remains at a historically low level at 8.8% share of its home market, up just 3.3% on an already paltry performance in September 2016. Private sales are down 4.6% to 5.719, company sales down 10.4% to 3.471 and demo sales up 50% to 4.519, more than Renault. This month demo/tactical sales represent almost one in three registrations for Citroen… Clearly not the sign of a healthy brand.
After being outsold by Dacia for the first time last month, Volkswagen post another disappointing performance at -14.8% to 6.1% share with private sales down 11.1%. According to Thierry Lespiaucq interviewed by local outlet Autoactu, Volkswagen Group France President, this is solely due to the generation transition of the Polo. Dacia (+3.5%) returns to a more traditional 5.2% share after its exceptional performance of last month, while Toyota confirms it is now the #2 imported brand in France with sales up 2.8% to 3.7% share. Mercedes leads the premium segment for the second month in a row thanks to deliveries up 12.9% to an outstanding 3.7% share, distancing Audi at 3.2% (+4.3%) and BMW at 3% (-2.8%). Opel (+3.2%) returns inside the Top 10 at #10, Fiat is up 11.8% to #11 but owes its score to tactical sales. Kia (+7.1%), Skoda (+9.3%), Suzuki (+24.5%), Seat (+26.9%^) and Mazda (+32.6%) impress.
Volkswagen (-14.8%) is waiting for the new Polo (pictured) to get back in positive.
Model-wise, the Renault Clio celebrates 13 consecutive months in pole position thanks to sales up 9% to 5.8% share whereas its archenemy the Peugeot 208 is down 10% to 4.6%. The Renault Captur is back up 7 spots to #3 but down 8%, distancing its rival the Peugeot 2008, down 4% to 3.2% share in 4th place. The Peugeot 3008 is up one rank on August to #5 and remains #3 year-to-date. The new gen Citroen C3 hasn’t managed to stick to the top of the ranking near its rivals the Clio and 208: it is down four spots on last month to a disappointing 8th place. The Renault Twingo (#10), Scenic IV (#11) and Kadjar (#13) get a ranking boost due to Renault’s traditionally back-ended end-of-quarter sales, but don’t perform that well overall. With the VW Polo down 31%, the Golf is the best-selling foreigner this mont at a low #15, meaning the Top 14 best-sellers are locals. Finally, notice the new gen Peugeot 5008 maintaining itself inside the French Top 20 for the 4th month in a row.
Previous month: France August 2017: Dacia above VW to rank #4 for the first time
Full September 2017 Top 20 brands and models below.