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-france-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frCitroen 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. 

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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

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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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France October 2016: New gen Peugeot 3008 above Duster and Kadjar

peugeot-3008-renault-kadjar-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Peugeot 3008 II outsells the Renault Kadjar at home in October. 

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The French new car market disappoints in October with a 4% year-on-year decline to 155.201 registrations, seasonally adjusted to a meagre 0.5% gain as this month had one less selling day than October 2015. However as it has been the case for most of this year, the “real” story (read private sales) is more sombre still. Demo sales, at +17% in August and +21% in September, had masked the downward trend but it is coming back with a bang. Both private and demo sales are down 8% and company sales slide down 0.6% in October. This means private sales represent 50.6% of the total market this month vs. 52.8% in October 2015 and 47.7% year-to-date, their lowest ever ratio in France. According to the CCFA, October orders don’t even show a “Paris Auto Show effect” at -0.8% year-on-year to 178.098. Year-to-date overall registrations are still up though at +4.7% to 1.657.651.

citroen-c3-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frCitroen registered 2.175 demo sales for the new generation C3 in October. 

Market leader Renault has now firmly entrenched itself into a pattern of sales artificially boosted by tactical channels at the end of each quarter. As a result, it tumbles down 12% in October to just 17.9% market share vs. 20% year-to-date (+6%) and 17.5% for Peugeot, down 3%. That main culprit in Renault’s dismal performance is the 56% year-on-year imploding of demo sales while private sales follow the overall trend at -8%. Peugeot on the contrary benefits from a 66% surge of its demo sales thanks to the new generation 3008 (read below) for which 15.000 orders have already been taken. Peugeot drops 15% in the private segment though. As for Citroen, it falls slightly faster than the market at -5% but is back above the 10% share milestone after a three-month drought at 10.7%. This okay result hides a 23% plunge of its private sales, compensated by the demo sales activity of the new generation C3 (2.175 units).

audi-q2-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frAudi received 700 orders for the Q2 so far in France. It lands at #185 for now.

Volkswagen (+5%), Dacia (+4%) and Toyota (+3%) follow. Fiat (+10%) and Mercedes (+12%) post the largest gains in the Top 10 but Audi (-0.4%) reclaims the #1 premium spot at #8 overall. Further down, Nissan (-19%), Seat (-24%) and DS (-25%) struggle. If most Volkswagen Group brands lose ground this month, it is mainly due to a very high comparison base a year ago when sales were boosted by demo models. October order gains are all in double-digit figures: +10% at Volkswagen, +15% at Skoda, +20% at Seat and +25% at Audi starting to feel the Q2 effect: 700 orders for the small SUV, landing at #185 with just under 100 sales in October. Further down the ranking, great performing brands include Volvo (+22%), Infiniti (+22%), Alfa Romeo (+35%), Maserati (+56%) and Jaguar (+63%).

peugeot-3008-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe new Peugeot 3008 seems to have struck a chord at home.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio holds onto the pole position at 5.5% share vs. 5.1% for the Peugeot 208 with the 308 (3.7%) and 2008 (3.5%) making it three Peugeots in the Top 4 above the Renault Captur in freefall at -28%. The Renault Mégane IV is strong in 7th place above the Dacia Sandero (+16%) which drops to #3 in the private sales ranking below the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio but remains in the lead year-to-date at 42.279 (+26%). The real hero of the month however is the new generation Peugeot 3008 shooting up 37 spots on September to land just outside the Top 10 at #11 with 2.868 sales. Even though 60% of this figure (1.728) are demo sales, this still outstandingly places it as the best-selling C-SUV in France above the Dacia Duster (2.355), Renault Kadjar (2.341) and VW Tiguan (2.200), the latter posting another stunning month at #17 and +72%. Looking further down, the Renault Scenic IV stays at #33 for now with 1.196 demo sales, the Mercedes GLC is up 10 spots on September to #56, the Fiat Tipo up 5 to #64, the Seat Ateca up 27 to #90, the Hyundai Ioniq up 107 to #148 and the Peugeot 5008 II also up 107 ranks to #158.

Previous month: France September 2016: Artificial 2.5% gain, VW Tiguan hits record

One year ago: France September 2015: Peugeot 208 #1, Renault Kadjar leads segment

Full October 2016 Top 45 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France September 2016: Artificial 2.5% gain, VW Tiguan hits record

VW Tiguan France September 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe VW Tiguan smashes its ranking record in France this month to #15.

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The September French new car market gives us another false sense of security: on paper, sales are up 2.5% year-on-year to 168.827 units, leading to a year-to-date tally up 6% to 1.502.457, but this in fact hides a much more depressed picture. Private sales are down 5% to 79.731 units and 47.2% share vs. 50.7% a year ago, now nudging up just 0.8% year-to-date to 712.000 and 47.4% share. According to Renault France Commercial Director Philippe Buros interviewed by local publication autoactu.com, this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future: “the period preceding French presidential elections is traditionally weak for new car sales”. Company sales are also slowing down this month at just +3% to 40.058 units vs. +11% and 339.727 year-to-date. In fact, and as it has been the case for most of 2015 and this year, the sole channels responsible for the overall market’s growth are artificial: demo sales gain 20.5% to 33.543, hitting 20% share vs. just 17% a year ago. Similarly, long term rentals are up 12% and account for 6% of the overall market in September.

Renault Megane France September 2016. Picture courtesy largus.fThe Renault Mégane IV is getting closer to the Peugeot 308 in September.

Brand-wise, market leader Renault outpaces the market with deliveries up 7% to 36.777 for a strong 21.8% share vs. 20.2% so far this year, largely due to demo sales up 83% to 7.925 with the arrival of the new generation Scénic. Archenemy Peugeot on the other hand drops 2% to 27.840 sales and 16.5% share, slightly below the 17% it commands year-to-date. Citroen continues to suffer greatly at -13.5% to a historically low 8.6% share vs. 9.9% in 2016, but the brand’s drop is a lot worse with private buyers at -34.5% due in large part to the generation changeover of the brand’s best-seller the C3 (private sales at -31%) which has been handicapped by an absence of end-of-life rebates. After a difficult summer (-22% in July and -19% in August), Volkswagen is on the mend with sales up a robust 10% and the Top 3 best-selling foreigners: the Polo at #10, the Golf at #13 and the Tiguan up a spectacular 86% thanks to the new generation to hit a record-breaking #15 (previous best: #19 in July, November and December 2012).

peugeot-2008-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Peugeot 2008 is up 17% thanks to its facelift.

Dacia once again deliveries the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 at +13% to 5.1% share, with private sales (+13%) accounting for 85% of its total just as Renault and Peugeot both drop 8% with this clientele. The Sandero, up another 33% in September, is overtaken by the Peugeot 208 in the private sales model ranking at 4.316 sales vs. 4.652 after 5 consecutive months of reign. Nissan is back up 6 spots on August to #6 overall but loses 7% of its September 2015 score, followed closely by Toyota (+9%), Ford (-10%) and Opel (+10%). Mercedes takes the lead of the luxury race this month thanks to deliveries up a solid 9% to 5.613, edging past BMW at 5.296 (-1%) and YTD leader Audi at 5.259 (+14%), Kia (+14%), Hyundai (+17%) and Suzuki (+19%) are the other double-digit gainers in the Top 20. Further down, impressive performers include Maserati (+33%), Jeep (+37%), Alfa Romeo (+40%), Infiniti (+45%), Land Rover (+48%), Jaguar (+79%) and Tesla (+112%).

renault-scenic-france-september-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frNot yet launched to the public, the Renault Scenic IV ranks #32 based solely on demo sales.

The Renault Clio reclaims the top of the models ranking, following the market at +3% to 9.024 vs. 8.728 (-4%) for the Peugeot 208. The Renault Captur (-2%) edges past the Peugeot 308 (-4%) while the Peugeot 2008 surges 17% to #5 thanks to its facelift. The Renault Mégane IV steps up to #6 only 717 sales below the 308 but the Renault Talisman (#22) has taken a frank advantage over the Peugeot 508 (#29) now that the station wagon has well and truly hit dealerships. A handful of French new gen blockbusters are flexing their muscles with demo sales this month: the Renault Scénic lands at #32, the Peugeot 3008 ranks at #58, the Citroen C3 at #159 and the Peugeot 5008 at #265. Among recent launches (<12 months), let’s notice the Mercedes GLC at #66, the Fiat Tipo at #69, the Seat Ateca up 59 spots on August to #117, the Citroen C-Elysee up 9 to #119, the Alfa Romeo Giulia up 68 to #124 and the Jaguar F-Pace up 26 to #131. We also welcome the Volvo V90 at #202 and the Hyundai Ioniq at #255.

Previous month: France August 2016: Dacia, Mercedes, tactical sales lift market up 7%

One year ago: France September 2015: Peugeot 208 #1, Renault Kadjar leads segment

Full September 2016 Top 45 All-brands and Top 275 models below.

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France August 2016: Dacia, Mercedes, tactical sales lift market up 7%

Dacia Sandero France August 2016. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Dacia Sandero outsells the Renault Clio 2 to 1 with private buyers in August.

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After dropping 10% in July, the French new car market is back in positive territory in August at +7% to 98.217 registrations, in fact a seasonally adjusted 1.9% increase (daily rate). Year-to-date, deliveries are up 6% to 1.333.636 units. If the first half of the year was characterised by a rather artificial growth triggered by tactical sales, the summer months haven’t been truly positive either. August’s small increase – when dealing with the same number of working days – has once again nothing to do with private sales, up just 3.5% but down 1.2% seasonally adjusted, and accounting for 50% of the total market in August, their lowest ever ratio for the month. Company sales remain the main engine of growth in France, at +8% to 24.133 or 24.5% share in August. Local publication autoactu.com notes: “This accelerating transfer from private to company sales isn’t the result of a misattribution of long-term lease to companies. If the end-buyer of the car is a private person, the sale is counted as private even if the financing is a long-term lease with or without purchase option (LOA or LLD in French).

Citroen C3 France August 2016. Picture courtesy Copyright William Crozes @ Continental ProdutionsCitroen private sales are down a harsh 20% in August – waiting for the new C3? 

Another resilient unhealthy aspect of the French market is the sharp increase of stock registrations – or self-registrations, the practice of registering a car to the manufacturer or dealer to then sell it as a “zero km” used car. Demo dealer sales are up 17% to 14.062 and manufacturer sales are up 12% to 3.578. Combined, this channel is the one gaining the most ground in August at +16%, accounting for an astounding 18% of the total market. The main culprits of this type of practice this month are Citroen (+54%) – meaning its overall paltry performance (see below) would have been disastrous without self-registrations, Peugeot (+30%), Opel (+56%), Kia (+40%) and Fiat (+61%). Jacques Rivoal, Volkswagen Group France president quoted by Autoactu.com, summarises the situation rather well: “The market is uncertain. After an uncharacteristically good first half, July and August were disappointing and sales remain very tactical – this is definitely not a frank restart.”

Peugeot 2008 France August 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Peugeot 2008 is boosted up 46% by its facelift and ends August above the Renault Captur.

Renault (+6.6%) is back to the brands pole position it holds year-to-date with 16.642 sales, edging past Peugeot (+6.7%) at 16.261. Very sensitive to quarter ends when it fills its data sheet with tactical sales to meet targets, Renault however retains a 40.000 unit-advantage so far in 2016 at 266.862 sales and 20% vs. 226.842 and 17% for Peugeot. Citroen is once again in difficulty at -6% and remains below the symbolic 10% market share barrier for the third consecutive month at 9.6% after 9.9% in June and July. Tactical sales up 54% have failed to compensate freefalling private sales down 20% year-on-year. The new generation C3 – landing in the August charts at #125 thanks to demo sales – couldn’t come quickly enough. Volkswagen for its part is tumbling down 19% on a very high August 2015 score (9.2% share) to 6.875 and 7%.

VW is now threatened by Dacia for the overall 4th spot: the low-cost access brand continues to build an implacable success in France. Its sales surge another 38% this month to 6.399 and 6.5% share of the overall market, its highest so far in 2016. In the private sales channel, Dacia has taken a considerable advantage over Citroen, holding a stunning 11.5% share this month vs. just 8.75% for Citroen, even starting to nudge market leaders Renault (14.1%) and Peugeot (13.7%). This feat enables Dacia to overtake Citroen in the YTD ranking also to rank #3 at 10.21% share vs. 10.14% while Renault (17.45%) and Peugeot (15.26%) remain leaders.

Mercedes A Class France August 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frMercedes sales are up 43% year-on-year to rank #1 premium above Audi and BMW.

Further down in the overall ranking, Toyota impresses at +12% in 6th place while Mercedes soars 43% to overtake Audi in the premium race at 3.723 sales vs. 3.703 (+7%), BMW arriving third at 3.501 (+9%). Opel (+6%) is kept outside the Top 10 by the three German premium brands, Nissan and DS implode (both at -20%) but Fiat (+18%), Kia (+16%), Mini (+24%) and Hyundai (+28%) all outpace the market. Further down, Jeep (+82%), Smart (+33%), Land Rover (+60%), Jaguar (+127%), Infiniti (+163%) and Maserati (+264%) all lodge spectacular scores.

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 and Clio have now been #1 each for 6 out of the past 12 months. The 208 indeeds leads the way for the 2nd time in a row thanks to sales up 11% vs. a paltry -22% for the Clio in the midst of a changeover with the facelifted model. The 208 is boosted by a long-term lease promotion at 149€/month incl. maintenance on the Style trim accounting for 20-25% of the nameplate’s volume for the month. However a 2016 top spot for 208 still seems out of reach as it trails the Clio 65.999 vs. 71.760 so far. The Dacia Sandero is the gift that keeps giving, posting none other than the largest gain in the Top 30 at +65% to 3.627 units and 3.7% share, and stopping just 8 sales short off the Peugeot 308 (-2%) for a podium ranking. It also ranks #1 in the private sales channels as we detail further down.

Maserati Levante France August 2016The Levante pushes Maserati sales up 264% year-on-year in August. 

The Peugeot 2008 also signs an impressive month at +46% to 3.132 thanks to its facelift, overstepping its archenemy the Renault Captur at 2.917 (+7%). The Renault Mégane IV is still far off the segment leader the Peugeot 308 at 2% share vs. 3.7% in August, while the Renault Scénic III is discounted up 23% to #10 just as the 4th generation arrives in dealerships. The VW Polo (-20%), Toyota Yaris (-1%) and VW Golf (-26%) are the only foreigners in the Top 15, the Ford Fiesta is up 24% to #17, the Citroen C4 Cactus up 7 spots on July to #19, the Renault Talisman is up 6 to #28 and the BMW X1 is up 22 to #33 with 765 sales vs. just 11 for the previous generation a year ago. Other great performers include the Toyota RAV4 up 84% to #38, the Mercedes C-Class up 63% to #43 and the Dacia Lodgy up 70% to #53.

peugeot-3008-france-august-2016-picture-courtesy-autoplus-frThe new gen Peugeot 3008 has been spotted all across France over summer. It ranks #58 in August.

The new generation Peugeot 3008 makes its first appearance in the ranking at #58 with 460 demo sales, the new SUV has been spotted by numerous Auto Plus readers all throughout summer and these are the cars people spotted. The new gen Citroen C3 also appears at #125 with 140 demos. These two nameplates will launch in the coming months to the public. Further down, we welcome another three new nameplates: the Fiat Talento at #233, the Volvo S90 at #237 and the Tesla Model X at #261. Among other recent launches, the Fiat Tipo is up 8 spots on last month to #56, the Mercedes GLC up 3 to #63, the Citroen C-Elysée up 23 to #128, the Kia Niro up 8 to #131, the Fiat 124 Spider up 53 to #187 and the Maserati Levante up to #224 but the Jaguar F-Pace is down 15, the Seat Ateca down 47, the Infiniti Q30 down 92, Alfa Romeo Giulia down 34 and Citroen E-Mehari down 35.

Dacia Logo France August 2016Only Renault and Peugeot outsell Dacia with French private buyers so far in 2016. 

France Private sales 

Less than a month before its facelift is unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, the Dacia Sandero has taken an insurmountable advantage in the private sales models ranking with sales up 67% year-on-year to 3.331 units and 6.8% share in August vs. 2.609 and 5.34% for the Peugeot 208 (+18%) and just 1.467 and 3% for the Renault Clio (-18%). Yes you have read right, this month the Sandero outsells the Clio 2.27 to 1 with private buyers. The Clio is also outsold by the Renault Captur (+12%) and Peugeot 2008 (+43%), while the Dacia Duster lurks less than 100 private sales below in 6th place… The Toyota Yaris (#9) and Renault Twingo (#10) dislodge the Peugeot 308 and VW Golf from the Top 10.

Previous month: France July 2016: Peugeot #1, Dacia and Mercedes shine, market at -10%

One year ago: France August 2015: Renault and Clio reclaim control

Full August 2016 Top 50 All-brands, Top 270 models & Top 10 private sales below.

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France July 2016: Peugeot #1, Dacia & Mercedes shine, market at -10%

Peugeot 208 France July 2016The Peugeot 208 is the best-selling car in France in July. 

* See the Top 45 best-selling brands and Top 270 models by clicking on the title *

With two less selling days than in July 2015, the French new car market stumbles down 10% to 132.999 registrations, meaning a 0.6% dip in daily sale rate. Whichever way you look at it, the market is down though. More bad news, according to the CCFA barometer of orders, these are down 17.5% in July which doesnt bode well for the coming months. The last unhealthy element of the French market is the continuing fall of private sales, down 15% year-on-year in July to 66.291 for a 49.8% market share vs. 53% a year ago. Fleet sales including long-term rentals, the main engine of growth in France so far in 2016, are also down in July at -1% to 33.855. Artificial channels on the other hand display insolent growth: self-registrations (aka manufacturer supply registrations) are up 10% to 3.159 and short-term rentals up 16% to 7.985, meaning that the “true” drop of the overall French market is in fact more substantial. Over the first 7 months of 2016 though, French sales are up 6% to 1.235 million units. Here too the weakening of private sales is clearly visible, falling below 50% for the very first time at 49.84% vs. 59% in 2013, 54% in 2014 and 51% in 2015.

Dacia Sandero Autocar.co.ukDacia goes against the negative grain once again and holds 11% of the private sales market.

Because Renault jam-packs June sales with demo vehicles and fleet to meet H1 targets, since 2012 Peugeot has been the best-selling carmaker at home in July and 2015 is no exception, despite deliveries down 12% to 23.573 and 17.7% share vs. 20.399 and 15.3% (-6%) for Renault. Citroen is in great difficulty at -26% to 13.175 sales, plunging below the symbolic 10% market share barrier, as is Volkswagen down 22% to 7% share. Dacia on the other hand dips just 1% to 8.234 and 6.2% share, the brand’s third time above 6% this year along January (6.3%) and April (6.2%). Dacia even hits 11% share with private buyers at 7.295 sales, well above Citroen at 9.5% (6.329) and threatening parent brand Renault at 13.5% (8.395). Year-to-date, Dacia is now teasing Citroen at 10.1% vs. 10.3%. Mercedes gains 10% to stop 100 units short off Audi, BMW is up 7% to #11, Hyundai up 21% to #14, Mini up 17% to #16, Jeep up 3%, Alfa Romeo up 7% thanks to the Giulia, Mazda up 25%, Lexus up 36%, Honda up 42%, Land Rover up 53%, Jaguar up 64% and Infiniti up 192%.

Seat Ateca France July 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Seat Ateca lands at #129 in France this month.

The Peugeot 208 is the best-selling car in France for the 5th time in the past 12 months thanks to sales up 1% to 6.656 and 5% share, distancing the year-to-date leader the Renault Clio down 16% to 5.500 and 4.1%. In fact, there is only one other vehicle gaining ground in the Top 10: the Dacia Sandero, going against the grain once again at +6% to 4.262 sales in 5th place. The Peugeot 308 (-19%) and 2008 (-1%) make it three Peugeots in the Top 4, the VW Polo is the only foreigner in the Top 10 at #10, the Renault Kadjar is up 16% to #12, the Megane IV falls back down 9 spots on June to #14 and the Renault Twingo is up 35% to #17.

Further down, the Fiat 500X is up 19% to #24, the Audi A4 is up 92% to #29 thanks to the new model and the VW Touran is up 63% to #30. Among recent launches, the Fiat Tipo is up 22 ranks to #64, the Mercedes GLC is up 32 to #66, the Suzuki Vitara up 14 to #77 and the Infiniti Q30 is up 26 spots on last month to break into the French Top 100 for the very first time at #91. The Kia Niro is up 74 to #139, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is up 28 to #158, the Citroen e-Mehari up 18 to #180. Finally, we welcome the Seat Ateca directly at #129 with 182 sales.

Previous post (1): France 1-11 July 2016: Luxury brands shine in market down 7.5%

Previous post (2): France First Half 2016: Dacia Sandero triumphs with private buyers

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

One year ago: France July 2015: Renault down to historically low 14.7% share

Full July 2016 Top 45 brands and Top 270 models below.

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France 1-11 July 2016: Luxury brands shine in market down 7.5%

Citroen C3 France July 2016. Picture courtesy autoplus.frThe unveiling of the new gen Citroen C3 isn’t hurting the current gen yet. Picture Auto Plus 

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Courtesy of French magazine Auto Plus, we can share with you a little summer treat: the Top 10 most popular brands and models in France over the first 11 days of July. Keep in mind these rankings are always heavily biased by various sales strategy, notably by Renault – a company that always does most of its monthly volume during the last week of the month. Over the period, the market is worryingly down 7.5% year-on-year, a situation that may get worse as the month comes to an end, given July 2015 had two additional selling days as this month. Peugeot dominates the brands ranking above Citroen and Renault, with Audi (-4%), BMW (+32%) and Mercedes (+15%) faring particularly well. The Peugeot 208 is in the lead above the 308 and the Citroen C3, the VW Polo (#6), Golf (#9) and Toyota Yaris (#10) the only foreigners in the Top 10.

Previous post: France First Half 2016: Dacia Sandero triumphs with private buyers

One year ago: France 1-7 July 2015: Peugeot 308 leads, Fiat 500 in Top 10

Full 1-11 July 2016 Top 10 brands and models below.

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France First Half 2016: Dacia Sandero triumphs with private buyers

Dacia Sandero France June 2016For the first time ever, the Dacia Sandero is the favourite car of the French people. 

* See the Top 45 brands and Top 365 models by clicking on the title *

The French new car market is showing a very healthy outlook halfway through 2016 with sales up 8% to 1.102.442 registrations in six months. Although stuck at their lowest ratio ever (47%), private sales roughly follow the market which seems to have found a balance this year between company sales (22%), tactical sales – short term rentals, self-registrations and demo sales (29%) and ‘real’ – read private – sales this year. Local association CCFA predicts a Full Year 2016 up 5% to return above 2 million units for the first time since 2011. Market leader Renault outpaces the market with volumes up 10% or over 20.000 units on the same period last year to 229.830 and 20.8% share, whereas followers Peugeot (+6%), Citroen (+5%) and Volkswagen (-0.4%) all lose market share.

Renault Clio France June 2016The Renault Clio remains #1 when adding company and tactical sales.

Renault-owned low-cost brand Dacia continues its wild galloping to the top with sales up 14% to 61.925 units, breaking its 6-month record of 61.281 dating back to 2011 and reducing the gap with #3 Volkswagen to just 1.4 percentage point vs. 2.3 a year ago. Dacia even routinely ranks third overall below just Renault and Peugeot and above Citroen and Volkswagen with private buyers and the Sandero is the best-selling privately-bought vehicle in France this year – more on this further down. Below Ford stable at 4.1% share, Toyota (+8%) and Opel (+10%) overtake Nissan (-4%), along with VW the only declining marque in the Top 30. Fiat (+18%) returns to the Top 10 thanks to the success of the 500X and the refreshed 500.

Peugeot 208 France June 2016The Peugeot 208 is up 16% but can’t topple the Clio for overall pole position. 

Audi (+13%) remains the most popular luxury brand in France, improving its market share to 3%, but BMW is catching up at +22% to 2.8% while Mercedes is distanced at +7%. Skoda (+14%), Volvo (+16%), Mini (+17%), Hyundai (+18%), Kia (+19%) and Land Rover (+19%) all post robust gains among larger brands, but Smart (+26%), Honda (+41%) and Mazda (+45%) are even stronger. The best smaller performers are Infiniti (+223%) thanks to the Q30 and Jaguar (+264%) thanks to the XE and F-Pace.

Peugeot 308 Renault Megane France June 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Mégane IV will be challenging the Peugeot 308 in H2. 

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio seems to be headed towards a 6th consecutive year on top despite a slim 3% increase to 62.206, yet keeping a safe distance away from the Peugeot 208 at 54.056 (+16%). The Peugeot 308 (+9%) increases the gap with the Renault Captur (+3%) and Peugeot 2008 (+5%), both still on the up 3 years after launch, but is now threatened in its segment by the Renault Megane IV, the most successful new launch over the period at #12 and 21.801 sales but #5 in June. There’s only two other all-new nameplates in the Top 50: the Renault Talisman (#38) and Hyundai Tucson (#39), and one more in the Top 100: the Mercedes GLC (#96).

Renault Kadjar Nissan Qashqai France June 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frVery solid first year of sales for the Renault Kadjar, eclipsing the Nissan Qashqai.

In 6th place overall, the Dacia Sandero gains 26% to 31.407 but the big news in France for this nameplate are to be found in the private sales ranking where something historical is happening. Thanks to a pole position in April, May and June the Dacia Sandero is the best-selling privately-bought vehicle in France so far in 2016 with 26.492 vehicles sold to private buyers or 5.2% share, distancing for the very first time the Peugeot 208 (26.070) and Renault Clio (24.905). The Sandero is up 25%, the 208 up 15% and the Clio down 11%. Dacia also places the Duster at #7. An exclusive Top 10 private sales models ranking is available below the jump.

Citroën C4 Cactus France June 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frCitroen C4 Cactus sales are still growing. 

The Renault Kadjar is brilliantly finding its way towards the French Top 10, stopping just 122 units short over the First Half at #11 and 22.322 sales and becoming the best-selling compact SUV in the country above the Dacia Duster (20.640), Peugeot 3008 (17.685) and the Nissan Qashqai (13.366) hurting at -12%. The VW Polo (#10) and Golf (#15) are the only two foreigners in the Top 15, the Citroen C4 Cactus is finding its audience at +13% to #20 and the Renault Espace more than double its sales year-on-year thanks to the new generation at #31. Other great progressions include the Renault Zoe (+32%), VW Touran (+39%), Fiat 500X (+54%), Nissan X-Trail (+57%), Audi A4 (+81%) and Opel Astra (+114%).

Mercedes Sprinter France June 2016The Mercedes Sprinter ranks #9 best-selling LCV in France so far in 2016.

The French Light Commercial Vehicle market (LCV) – the largest in Europe – is up 12% year-on-year to 216.019 units, dominated by Renault at 31.9% share (+14%), Peugeot at 16% (+15%), Citroen at 14.9% (+8%) and Fiat at 10% (+14%). Mercedes (+23%), Iveco (+23%) and Nissan (+32%) shine but Toyota (-16%) and Dacia (-49%) struggle. The Renault Kangoo is once again the most popular LCV in France, outpacing the market at +20% to 20.138 deliveries. The Renault Master (+16%), Peugeot Partner (+22%), Mercedes Sprinter (+20%) and Peugeot Boxer (+20%) also impress in the Top 10. The Ford Ranger (+42%) is the best-selling 1 tonne pickup with 2.431 sales, well above the Nissan Navara (1.087), Isuzu D-Max (961) and Toyota Hilux (957) just as the Fiat Fullback enters at #78 and 179 sales. The all-new Renault Alaskan should reshuffle this order shortly.

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

One year ago: France First Half 2015: Shaky recovery lifts market above 1 million units

Full H1 2016 Top 45 brands, Top 365 models, Top 10 private sales, Top 15 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full H1 2015 figures below.

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

Renault Megane France June 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Mégane IV breaks into its home Top 5 for the first time in June.

* Now updated with the Top 45 brands and Top 275 models – click on title to see *

After surging 22% in May, the French new car market returns to greyer improvement rates at just +0.8% in June to 227.366 registrations while the year-to-date total halfway through the year is still up by a vigorous 8% to 1.102.442 units. Worryingly, private sales freefall down 8% in June to 100.502, now accounting for a record-low 44% of the market. French new car sales owe their positive stance in June solely to long-term rentals (i.e. leasing) up 15% to 19.652 with business sales up 4% to 28.276 and short-term rentals up 3% to 26.704. As it has become customary, Renault loads up its score sheet to the brim with demo and garage sales before the end of the half-year mark, even outpacing the market at +7% to 57.121 units, including 12.379 demo cars (+35%). According to Renault France’s Philippe Buros, quoted by Autoactu.com, Renault posts its biggest month since 1999 when including LCV sales.

Hyundai i20 France June 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frHyundai is up 33% in June in France.

At 25.1% share in the passenger car market, Renault is almost ten percentage points above archenemy Peugeot, in difficulty at -4% to 15.9% share, as is sister-brand Citroen down 7% to 9.9% and Volkswagen down a harsh 14% to 6.3%. However PSA Peugeot-Citroen announced on July 1 that a computer glitch has delayed the processing of 2.000 new car sales in June into July, denting the group’s performance this year. Dacia for its part also shows implacable shine with volumes up 8% to 12.519 and 5.5% share. The rest of the Top 10 sees declines by Ford, Toyota, Opel and Nissan whereas Fiat gains 10% to #8. BMW takes the lead of the luxury race thanks to deliveries up 10% to 6.289, overtaking Audi at 5.924 (-7%) and Mercedes at 5.440 (+9%). Kia (+18%), Hyundai (+33%) and Mini (+21%) all take off.

Renault Clio France June 2016. Picture-courtesy-largus.frThe Renault Clio posts the largest month for any nameplate in France since September 2011.

Model-wise, it’s a proper Renault tsunami in the ranking. In pole position, the Clio is up 7% to 14.841 sales and 6.5% share. This is the Clio IV’s biggest month ever and the largest monthly volume of any nameplate in France in almost 5 years, since September 2011 when the Clio III sold 15.707 units. This month, the Clio is over two percentage points of market share above any other nameplate sold on the market, increasing its year-to-date advantage over the Peugeot 208 to 8.150 units at 62.206 (+3%) vs. 54.056 (+16%). Despite declining sales (-14%), the Captur manages to snap the #2 spot for only the third time ever after June 2014 and June 2015.

Renault Talisman France May 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Talisman leads its segment in May above the Peugeot 508 and VW Passat. 

The Renault Mégane IV breaks into the Top 5 for the first time at #5 and 7.724 sales, now challenging the Peugeot 308 (8.125) for the compact segment leadership. Thanks to sales up 69% on June 2015 – when it was still gearing up – to a record 5.877 and 2.6% share, the Renault Kadjar returns inside the Top 10 (#9) for the 4th time in the past 8 months. Finally, the Talisman is up 10 spots on May to land at a best-ever #25 with 1.975 sales, for the first time topping its segment above its main competitor at home: the Peugeot 508 (1.938). In other models news, the Dacia Sandero is up 11% to #7 but manages a third consecutive month at #1 with private buyers, earning the H1 2016 pole position for the first time as we will detail in a separate update. The VW Polo is down 24% to #14 and the only foreigner in the Top 15 and the VW Tiguan is up to #31 thanks to the new generation.

Maserati Levante France June 2016The Maserati Levante makes its first appearance in the French charts in June. 

Further down, the Infiniti Q30 is up 48 spots on May to #117 with 351 sales, the Jaguar F-Pace is up 11 to #142, the Citroen C-Elysée up 22 to #153, the Fiat 124 Spider soars to #164 with 149 units sold, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is up 62 ranks to #186 with 107 sales and the Kia Niro is up 55 to #213. We welcome four new nameplates in the French charts in June: the Ford Edge at #158, Infiniti QX30 at #237, Maserati Levante at #251 and Ssangyong XLV at #269.

Previous month: France May 2016: Market up 22%, Dacia #3 brand with private buyers

One year ago: France June 2015: Renault Kadjar, Captur and Espace fuel up

Full June 2016 Top 45 brands and Top 275 models below.

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