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

July 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Renault Kadjar France June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Kadjar climbs to 15th place at home in June.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 90 models by clicking on the title *

A breath of fresh air: that’s what new car sales in France are in June, traditionally the largest month of the year, up 15% year-on-year to 225.850 registrations and lifting the 1st Half total up 6% to 1.017.500 units. This is the largest year-on-year gain in four years in France, however to be mitigated by two additional selling days compared to June 2014, resulting in an adjusted growth of just 4.5%. June orders are up 23% year-on-year according to CCFA which is a good prospect for the rest of the year. At last, private sales are growing as fast as the market at +15% whereas they had been struggling since the start of the year, often in negative (-3% in February, -5% in April, -4% in May) or slight positive (+0.3% in January, +2% in March). Yet private sales are up just 1% so far this year vs. +9% for company sales.

Renault Captur France June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Captur is up to an all-time high #2 ranking this month.

In the brands ranking, Renault is king this month with a 23.7% market share and 53.471 sales despite lagging behind the market at +10% – to be compared with 20.5% year-to-date. Reversely, Peugeot is up 20% but with a particularly low base in June 2014 it lodges a market share (16.8%) slightly below its year-to-date level (17.3%). Citroen finally posts a satisfying month at +11% and 10.7% share along with DS in progression for the first time in 2015 at +15% to 3.707 units, benefiting from promotions related to the 60th anniversary of the original Citroen DS. Volkswagen continues to aggressively gain ground at a splendid +26% in June, Dacia is back on track in 5th place with 5.2% share ahead of Ford (+10%), Nissan (+19%), Toyota (+20%) and Opel (+14%). Audi (+23%), Skoda (+29%), Fiat, Mini (+32%), Hyundai (+52%), Volvo (+57%), Land Rover (+114%), Jaguar (+229%) and Jeep up 6-fold lodge spectacular performances.

The new generation lift the Renault Espace up to #32.

The Renault Clio remains the most popular nameplate at home but stable sales see its market share thaw to just 6.2% compared to 7.1% a year ago. After two months at a depressing 5th place, the Renault Captur surges 18% to outpace the Peugeot 208 and rank #2 overall for the 2nd time ever after June 2014 with 11.286 units and 5% share. This is the first time the Captur delivers a 5-digit monthly sales figure in France or any country in the world. The Peugeot 208 is kicked down to #3 despite sales up 29% year-on-year and distances the 308 (+25%) and 2008 (+44%). The Toyota Yaris (+39%), VW Polo (+43%), Opel Mokka (+51%) and Citroen C4 Cactus (+77%) also deliver impressive gains inside the Top 25.

Fiat 500X France June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Fiat 500X continues to climb the French charts: up to #31 in June.

Further down, the Renault Kadjar climbs 9 spots on May to #15 overall for its 2nd full month in market with 3.484 sales (including 2.121 demos), already outselling the Nissan Qashqai (#17), and the Renault Espace is boosted up 22 ranks on last month and 343% year-on-year to #32 by the new generation with 1.725 units (252 demos). Notice also the Fiat 500X up a further 3 spots to a #31, the Mini up 113% to #33, the Renault Zoe up 139% to #39, VW Passat up 78% to #41, Skoda Fabia up 92% to #49 and the Jeep Renegade once again just outside the Top 50 at #52,

Previous month: France May 2015: Peugeot 308 above 208, Renault Kadjar lands

One year ago: France June 2014: Renault Captur above 208, up to record #2 spot

Full June 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 90 models below.

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Categories: France

France May 2015: Peugeot 308 above 208, Renault Kadjar lands

June 5th, 2015 No comments

Renault Kadjar France May 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frDemo sales drop the Renault Kadjar at #24 for its first appearance at home.

* Now updated with the Top 40 best-selling brands and Top 270 models *

The French new car market is down 4% year-on-year in May to 143.059 registrations, its lowest May score in 17 years since the 137.258 units of 1998. However when adjusted to a daily rate the market is up 7%, bringing the year-to-date total to 791.143 units, up 4% on 2014. So is this good or bad news? It’s a mixed bag this month in France with sales to private buyers remaining at historical lows at 48% or 68.688 units vs. 49% and 388.365 year-to-date, however they follow the market at -4% whereas tactical sales (demo cars, short-term rentals and dealer sales) are down for the first time this year at -5% to 29% of the total. CCFA’s order barometer gives an adjusted May score at +10% year-on-year which should indicate a recovery over the coming months.

Peugeot 308 France May 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Peugeot 308 ranks #2 in France for the first time in the nameplate’s history.

May is traditionally a weaker month for Renault but contrary to last year it manages to stay #1 in the brand ranking with 18% share vs. 17.5% for Peugeot, down 7%. Citroen (-16%) and DS (-44%) post two of the three worst declines in the Top 20 along with Kia (-20%). It’s a very worrying situation for Citroen at home: now below 10% share at 9.9%, it is only 1.7 percentage points above Volkswagen this month (8.2%) vs. 2.8 percentage points year-to-date (10.5% vs. 7.7%). Ford is back above Dacia at #5 with the two manufacturers losing 10% year-on-year, making the Top 6 brands all in negative in May. Reversely, Mercedes (+4%), Opel (+5%), Fiat (+10% with private sales at +57%), Nissan (+13% and now above Toyota in 2015), BMW (+19%), Hyundai (+37% only due to tactical sales) and Mini (+47%) shine. Outside the Top 20, notice Land Rover (+47%), Smart (+153%) and Jeep up 5-fold.

Peugeot 2008 France May 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Peugeot 2008 is #2 overall with private buyers.

The Renault Clio remains the most popular choice at home but for the first time in the history of the nameplate the Peugeot 308 climbs into 2nd position, becoming Peugeot’s best-seller – also a first. Its sells 6.462 units vs. 5.962 for the 208 and manages to break a spell of 12 months spent at a previous best of #3 across two generations: 7 for the first gen in June to October 2008January and June 2009, and 5 for the 2nd gen in May, August and November 2014 and January and April 2015… Another momentous shift is potentially occurring before our eyes this month: the Peugeot 2008 frankly outsells the Renault Captur for the 2nd month in a row at #4 with 5.469 deliveries vs. 4.209. The only other time that happened was in October and November 2013, with the 2008 managing to rank above the Captur only in May and October 2014 since. Note the Peugeot 2008 is #2 overall with private buyers with 4.8% share just below the Clio at 5.1% but above the 208 at 4.3%.

Nissan Qashqai France May 2015. Picture courtesy of largus,frUnaffected by the Renault Kadjar for now: the Nissan Qashqai.

If the Captur has not cannibalised Clio sales as much as the 2008 did the 208, its current weakness could well turn out to be the start of a sales plateau as the larger Renault Kadjar lands directly at #24 with 1.370 demo sales. Interestingly the Nissan Qashqai, essentially the inspiration for the Kadjar, is totally unaffected for the moment: up 14% year-on-year and 4 spots on April to a brilliant 16th place overall and #3 foreigner below just the VW Polo (#9) and Golf (#14), passing the Toyota Yaris, Opel Corsa and Ford Fiesta that outsold it last month. The Opel Mokka has not stopped climbing the French charts since January: #29, #26, #25, #24 and a record #21 in May, also reached last November.

Jeep Cherokee France 1990The last Jeep to rank inside the monthly French Top 50 was the Cherokee in 1990.

Further down, the Mini is supercharged by its 5-door variant at +232% to #27 and sells 4 times as many as DS3 to private buyers, the Fiat 500X is up a further 7 spots on last month to improve its personal best to #34 thanks to 981 sales and is already Fiat’s best-seller with private buyers, the Renault Espace is back up 121% to #54  thanks to the new generation and the Nissan X-Trail is up 13-fold yoy at #59. At #51 with 736 sales, the Jeep Renegade is only 6 units off becoming the first Jeep to break into the French monthly Top 50 in 25 years, since the Cherokee did so in 1990, a vehicle actually co-engineered by Renault when it owned part of AMC-Eagle in the eighties and sold as the Renault-Jeep Cherokee along with the all-new Renault Clio… The Suzuki Vitara is up 21 spots on April to #99, the Opel Karl lands at #165 and the Mazda CX-3 at #170.

Previous post: France 1-18 May 2015: Peugeot 308 dominates

Previous month: France April 2015: Peugeot 308 and 2008 overtake Renault Captur

One year ago: France May 2014: Peugeot 308 on podium for the first time in 5 years

Full May 2015 Top 40 brands and Top 270 models below.

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Categories: France

France 1-18 May 2015: Peugeot 308 dominates

May 29th, 2015 1 comment

Peugeot 308 France May 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frCan the Peugeot 308 finish the month in pole position at home?

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

The French new car market is up a very shy 3% year-on-year so far in May but could end the month in negative given there are two less working days this month compared to May 2014. As usual, Peugeot (10.720 sales) and Citroen (6.333) front-load their month while Renault (6.116) does exactly the opposite, but this month Peugeot is up 9% year-on-year and Renault down 15%, so either the front- and back-loading is accentuating or Renault is having a particularly bad month on top of it. We’ll know early next week when the full May figures are published. Nissan and Toyota climb to #5 and #6 while Ford is up 26% to #7 and Dacia down 28% to a very unusual 9th place.

Peugeot 2008 France May 2015Peugeot 2008 sales are up 36% year-on-year so far in May.

The Peugeot 308 continues to post spectacular figures month after month and holds the pole position so far this month by a very large margin thanks to sales up 49% year-on-year to 3.787 vs. 2.562 for the Peugeot 208 (+13%) and 2.181 for the Peugeot 2008 (+36%), making the podium 100% Peugeot with all nameplates in frank improvement. The Renault Clio lags behind in 4th place with 2.030 units (-17%) which means the month-end will be a tight race for the top spot. The Citroen C4 Picasso is up to a brilliant 5th place whereas the Renault Scénic doesn’t make it (yet) into the Top 10, and the Peugeot 3008 reappears at #8 while the Renault Captur is down a worrying 34% at #10.

Previous month: France April 2015: Peugeot 308 and 2008 overtake Renault Captur

One year ago: France 1-22 May 2014: Peugeot 308 up 88% to climb on podium

Full 1-18 May 2015 Top 10 brands and models below.

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France April 2015: Peugeot 308 and 2008 overtake Renault Captur

May 5th, 2015 No comments

Peugeot 2008 France April 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frPeugeot 2008 sales are up 15% year-on-year at home in France.

* See the Top 80 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title *

After gaining 9.5% in March, the French new car market returns to significantly more timid growth rates in April: up 2.3% to 170.768 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 648.087 units, up 5.6% on 2014. Worryingly and as we already pointed out in our 1st Quarter report (France 1st Quarter 2015: Artificial recovery?), the market growth is solely due to a surge in sales through tactical channels (+13.6%) such as short-term rentals and dealer sales, with private sales down 5.1% year-on-year. Renault (+5%) and Peugeot (+3%) once again fare better than the market while Citroen (-0.5%) does worse. Below Volkswagen in difficulty (-4%), Dacia returns to equilibrium with a very strong 6.6% share thanks to 11.269 deliveries, the French-Romanian brands placing two models inside the Top 10 for the 3rd time in history after April and August 2014: the Sandero at #7 and the Duster at #9. Audi (+2%) is back inside the Top 10 most popular manufacturers in France at #10, above Mercedes (-4%) and BMW (+12%). Fiat (+17%), Hyundai (+41%) and Mini (+46%) take off but once again they are trumped by Jeep (+438%) with the Renegade now at throwing distance from its first French Top 50 (#54).

Dacia Sandero StepwayDacia places two models inside the French Top 10 and ranks #3 overall with private buyers.

Looking into private sales in isolation shows a very different picture indeed. Peugeot is up 0.3% vs. -6.7% for Renault, bringing the two brand at almost exactly the same level – 13.582 sales for Peugeot and 13.579 for Renault. Peugeot places 3 models in the Top 6 private (208, 2008 and 308) vs. just one for Renault (Clio). More spectacularly and thanks to 88% of its overall sales being private vs. 48% average for the market, Dacia manages to overtake Citroen for the first time ever to rank #3 overall with private buyers with 9.949 sales or an astonishing 12% market share vs. 9.323 and 11.2% for Citroen. In April the Sandero is the #2 nameplate with private buyers at 5.5% market share above the Peugeot 208 (4.9%) with the Duster ranking #4 at 4.3%…

Nissan X-Trail France March 2015The Nissan X-Trail is up to #42 this month in France.

In the overall models ranking, the Renault Clio remains sovereign with 6.1% market share but is the only Renault in the Top 4 this month: the Peugeot 208 (+4%) resists in 2nd place while the 308 (+31%) and 2008 (+15%) both post strong year-on-year gains to overtake the Renault Captur (-2%) knocked down to 5th place. The Dacia Sandero (+16%) is up 4 spots on last month to #7 and returns to the year-to-date Top 10 (#9) and with the VW Polo ranking at #13 the entire Top 12 models are 100% French in April. Further down, the Mini III (#29) and VW Passat (#31) confirm their great shape, the Renault Zoe is up 46 spots on March and a gargantuan 209% year-on-year to hit its 2nd best-ever ranking at #33 with 1.237 sales (best is #32 last December), the Fiat 500X is up a further two spots on last month to #41, the Nissan X-Trail is up 16 to make its very first entrance inside the French Top 50 at #42 and the DS 4 is up 19 spots to #44,

Previous post: France 1st Quarter 2015: Artificial recovery?

Previous month: France March 2015: Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes lift market up 9%

One year ago: France April 2014: Citroen C3 past Captur, Peugeot 308 up to #6

Full April 2015 Top 80 models and Top 20 brands below.

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Categories: France

France 1st Quarter 2015: Artificial recovery?

May 4th, 2015 No comments

Peugeot 308 France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Peugeot 308 is up 61% year-on-year at home so far in 2015.

* See the Top 250 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the French new car market, stuck at two-decade-lows for the past couple of years. First Quarter 2015 sales are up 7% year-on-year to 477.326 units, however let’s keep in mind this improvement is artificial as it relies on strong demo, dealership and short-term rental sales. Private sales are stable at very weak levels with the private ratio to total market plunging below 50% for the first time in the history of automobile in the country. France is therefore not quite out of the woods yet.

Ford Mondeo France March 2015Ford sales are up 24% in France…

In this context, the two main local manufacturers perform slightly better than the market and thus improve their share to 20.2% for Renault (+8%) and 17.5% for Peugeot (+10%) while Citroen (+0.4%) drops to 10.5%. Below Volkswagen, Dacia, after a full decade of uninterrupted growth, takes a breather in the absence of any true new model (-14%), now threatened by Ford up a snappy 24% to 4.6% share thanks to strong gains from the Mondeo (+115%), Kuga (+60%), Ka (+31%), Fiesta (+20%), Focus (+15%) and the arrival of the Ecosport. Nissan (+14%) and Fiat (+10%) also shine in the Top 10.

Mercedes C Class France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.fr…while Mercedes sales are up an even more impressive 34%.

The race for the title of #1 luxury brand is getting very heated, as it is the case in a lot of markets curremtly. Audi keeps the lead but gains just 2% to 12.896 units whereas Mercedes (+34%) at 12.418 and BMW (+14%) at 12.102 are catching up fast. DS (-13%) at 7.418 is out of the race (for now?). Further down, let’s salute the excellent performances of Porsche (+129%), Hyundai, Smart (+64%), Mini (+59%), Lexus (+49%) and Mazda (+32%), but none better than Jeep, up 10-fold on its Q1 2014 score, going from 200 sales to 1,958 thanks to the Renegade (1.629 deliveries).

Renault Clio France March 2015. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frStill the favourite at home: the Renault Clio

The Renault Clio remains the most popular nameplate at home, even improving its market share to 6% thanks to sales up 15%. Reversely, the Peugeot 208 has peaked already (-1%) and is now threatened for the 2015 #2 spot overall by the Renault Captur (+31%) and most dangerously its big brother the Peugeot 308, up 64% thanks to a much improved 2nd generation and the success of the station wagon variant. The Peugeot 2008 is also still gearing up almost two years after launch at +22% in 5th place.

Citroën C4 Cactus France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frCitroen C4 Cactus

The Renault Twingo III (13.283 deliveries) is 27% above the previous generation at the same time last year, the VW Polo is the best-selling foreigner at #12 ahead of the VW Golf while the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris overtake the Nissan Qashqai, a little handicapped by the arrival of the X-Trail (+1603%). Notice also the VW Passat up 83% to #33, the Mini nameplate up 3-fold on 2014 to #35 thanks to the arrival of the 5-door variant, the Hyundai i20 up 195% to #41 and the Mercedes C-Class up 137% to #49. The French place 3 all-new nameplates inside their home Top 30: the Citroen C4 Cactus is the most popular at #22, followed by the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 II. The VW Golf Sportsvan and Toyota Aygo II also manage to fit within the Top 50 while the Fiat 500X (#65) and Jeep Renegade (#70) post very promising starts.

Previous post: France March 2015: Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes lift market up 9%

One year ago: France March 2014: Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 both in Top 4 for the first time

Full Q1 2015 Top 250 models and Top 40 brands vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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Categories: France

France March 2015: Renault, Peugeot & Mercedes lift market up 9%

April 24th, 2015 No comments

Renault Mégane France March 2015. Picture by largus.frThe Renault Mégane is back up to #6 overall this month.

* Now updated with the Top 250 best-selling models and Top 40 brands *

French new car sales are finally getting a significant boost this month: up 9.5% year-on-year in March to 196,572 registrations, partly thanks to one more opening day without which the market would be up just 4%. Year-to-date sales are now up 7% to 477,326 deliveries. Caveating this performance is the exceptional strength of tactical sales (+15%), including demo sales (+14%) and short-term rentals (+21%), while private sales are up 2% after -3.5% in February and +0.3% in January. On the plus side, orders taken by dealers in March are up 11%, on the negative side, the surge in short-term rentals seems to be the result of purchases brought forward in anticipation of the summer holiday season rather than a real activity growth and this means short-term rentals in the coming month will suffer, potentially pulling the market down with them.

Mercedes C-Class France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus,frMercedes overtakes Audi to become the #1 premium brand in France in March.

The 2 main manufacturers in the country, Renault (+13%) and Peugeot (+12%) both outperform the market to 21.4% and 17.2% share respectively while Citroen is up just 5% to 10% and its premium brand DS is down 15% to 1.5%. The rest of the brands ranking confirms trends are turned on their head this year: Dacia, usually displaying staggering year-on-year gains, is down 10%, Ford is up 19%, Toyota up 16%, Kia up 23% and Hyundai up 44%. Mercedes spectacularly takes charge of premium brands thanks to sales up 40% (and private sales up 61%) to 5,705 units at #10 vs. 5,437 (+5%) for Audi and 5,355 (+14%) for BMW. Also impressive is Mini (+61%) thanks to the new 5-door hatch, while Jeep is in a category of its own: multiplying its sales by 10 vs. March 2014 to 845 thanks to the Renegade (#69 with 681 units).

Fiat 500X France March 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Fiat 500X breaks into the French Top 50 for the first time in March.

In the models ranking, all Top 7 nameplates gain more ground than the market, resulting in a trend-bucking de-fragmentation. The Peugeot 308 at #4 (+63%), Renault Captur at #3 (+41%) and Renault Clio IV at #1 (+27%) are the biggest gainers, with the Renault Mégane at #6 (+18%) also back in shape. The Peugeot 2008 (#5) is up 15% while the Peugeot 208 (#2) is up 11% and the Citroen C3 (#7) up 10%. The Renault Twingo III is down 4 spots on February to #9 and the Top 10 is 100% French for the 2nd straight month with the VW Polo at #12, VW Golf at #14 (both down a harsh 17%) and Ford Fiesta at #15 (+10%) the most popular foreigners.

Audi TT France March 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe new model lifts Audi TT sales 4-fold on a year ago in France.

Further down, the Peugeot 508 is up 49% at #19, the Citroen C4 Cactus maintains itself above the C4 at #21, the Opel Mokka is up 41% to #25, the VW Passat up a spectacular 86% to #37, the Toyota Aygo II (#42) and Fiat 500X (#43) both break into the monthly French Top 50 for the first time, the Nissan X-Trail is up 9 ranks on February to #58 and the Ford Ecosport up 24 to #65. Outside the Top 100, notice the Ford Mondeo up 123% year-on-year, the Nissan Leaf up 120%, Mazda6 up 135%, Audi TT up 331%, the Land Rover Discovery up 1144% thanks to the new Sport model, the BMW X6 up 245% and the Kia Sorento up 326%.

Previous post: France 1-16 March 2015: Renault Mégane back in shape

Previous month: France February 2015: Renault Twingo III breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France March 2014: Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 both in Top 4 for the first time

Full March 2015 Top 250 models and Top 40 brands below.

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Categories: France

France 1 to 16 March 2015: Renault Mégane back in shape

March 29th, 2015 No comments

Renault Mégane vs Peugeot 308 France March 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frBoth the Renault Mégane and Peugeot 308 are inside the French Top 8 so far.

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

Is this good news? The French new car market is up by an extremely shy 0.2% year-on-year in March after 16 days. Positive territory, granted, but on a slow base in 2014. Peugeot keeps the lead of the brands ranking for now despite sales down 3%, with Renault (+13%) and Citroen (+4%) behind. Toyota and Ford, both up 14%, also shine in the Top 10. Model-wise, the Renault Clio IV already holds its traditional top spot despite Renault always backloading its monthly sales and thanks to deliveries up a fantastic 38% year-on-year, the Peugeot 308 is up 36% to #3, the Renault Captur up 14% to #7 and the Renault Mégane is back in shape at #8 and +35%.

Previous post: France 1-9 March 2015: Nissan Qashqai in Top 10

Previous month: France February 2015: Renault Twingo III breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France 1-19 March 2014: Peugeot 308 holds onto podium spot

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France 1-9 March 2015: Nissan Qashqai in Top 10

March 22nd, 2015 No comments

Nissan Qashqai France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Nissan Qashqai is up to #9 in France so far in March.

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

March is traditionally the second biggest month for new car sales in France below June, so it is a critical time to shine for car manufacturers. Renault, traditionally backloading its sales across the month, comes third after 9 days into March with sales up an impressive 16% below Peugeot (-1%) and Citroen (+7%). Note French carmakers have been particularly helped by sales to rental companies, accounting for 22% of Renault totals so far this month and 26% at Peugeot… Toyota (+17%), BMW (+19%) and Ford (+8%) impress, whereas Dacia is down a harsh 35% year-on-year to #7 with 1,388 sales.

BMW X3 France March 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deFrench BMW sales are up 19% year-on-year so far this month, earning it a #9 spot.

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 temporarily holds the pole position but is down 20% on the same period a year ago whereas the Peugeot 308 is up 37% to #2 and the Renault Clio up an even more impressive (and surprising given the model’s career stage) 41% to 1,455 units. Notice also the solid performances of the Citroen C4 Picasso at #5 (+14%), Peugeot 2008 at #6 (+13%) and Renault Captur at #10 (+31%). Finally, March seems to be the Nissan Qashqai’s favourite month in France: in 2013 it broke into the Top 10 for the first time over a full month and over the same period last year it made its reappearance among the country’s 10 most popular nameplates. It does so again in 2015 at #9 with sales up 14% to 720 units in 9 days.

Previous post: France February 2015: Renault Twingo III breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France 1-12 March 2014: Peugeot 308 up to #2, Nissan Qashqai in Top 10

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France February 2015: Renault Twingo III breaks into Top 5

March 4th, 2015 No comments

Renault Twingo III France February 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frRenault Twingo III

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 100 models by clicking on the title *

On paper the French market is trending up: +4% in February to 147,130 registrations and +5% year-to-date at 280,300 deliveries. However the reality of the market is much more depressing: like in January, the February growth is solely due to tactical sales (carmakers’ own registrations, demo vehicles and short term rentals). These are up 6,925 units on February 2014 whereas private sales are down 2,593 units or 3.5%, showing a negative trend whereas they were stable in January. As a result, private sales fall to a historical low in France in February at 48.5% of overall sales vs. 52% a year ago. Renault is up 12% to 20.2% share above Peugeot at 17.3% (+5%) and Citroen at 10.7% (-3%).

VW Passat France February 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe VW Passat is up 93% year-on-year in February in France.

Below Volkswagen (+2%) and thanks to a tripling of its short term rental sales, Ford (+35%) ranks 5th and passes Dacia, down 27% on an exceptionally high February 2014. Nissan and Fiat (+7%) outperform the market at #7 and #11 while further down BMW (+23%), Mercedes (+11%) run a tight race and benefit from very strong private sales (+30% and +28% respectively) Hyundai (+55%), Mini (+52%), Smart (+145%) thanks to the Forfour above the Fortwo at #88 vs. #96 and of course Jeep (+653%) thanks to the Renegade at #75, also impress.

Mercedes C-Class France February 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frMercedes private sales are up 28% year-on-year in February.

The Renault Clio IV remains the most popular nameplate at home thanks to sales up 4% to 5.5% share, above the Peugeot 208 at 4.8% (-2%), the Renault Captur at 4.1% (+32%) and the Peugeot 308 at #4 (+42%). The latter remains third year-to-date for now. The third generation Renault Twingo is starting to make itself noticed atop the French models ranking: it breaks into the monthly Top 5 at home for the very first time thanks to sales 2.5 times that of the previous generation a year ago at 5,387 units and 3.7%. Tellingly, the Twingo also outsells 2.2 to 1 the Peugeot 108/Citroen C1 combo (2.472).

Renault Zoe France February 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frA good month for the Renault Zoe in France.

With the Peugeot 2008 at #6 (+16%) followed by the Citroen C3, Renault Scénic, Citroen C4 Picasso II and Renault Mégane, the Top 10 is 100% French this month. The VW Polo is the best-selling foreigner at #11 above the VW Golf VII (#13), Ford Fiesta up 45% to #14 and Fiat 500 in excellent shape despite its age, also up 45% to #17. Illustrating the brand’s February drop, the Dacia Sandero (-29%) and Duster (-23%) are down significantly this month, whereas the Peugeot 508 is up an encouraging 30% to #19 and the Citroen C4 Cactus is now above the C4 year-to-date.

Nissan Pulsar France February 2015Nissan Pulsar

Further down, let’s salute the excellent performance of the VW Passat up 93% to #33 thanks to the new model, the Mini III up to #34, the Mercedes C-Class up 371% on a year ago to #46, the Renault Zoe up 259% to #47, the nameplate’s 4th best finish at home after March 2013 (#40), September 2014 (#37) and December 2014 (#32), the Hyundai i20 up 180% to #49, the BMW 2 Series lifted up to #56 by the Active Tourer MPV variant and the Ford Mondeo boosted up to #81 by the new model. Among recent launches, notice the Nissan Pulsar up 11 spots on January to #70, the Fiat 500X up 15 to #79 and the Ford Ecosport up 3 to #89.

Previous month: France January 2015: Market pulled up 6% by foreign carmakers

One year ago: France February 2014: Citroen C4 Picasso II at best-ever #4

Full February 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 100 models below.

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France January 2015: Market pulled up 6% by foreign carmakers

February 4th, 2015 No comments

Hyundai i20 France January 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe i20 enables Hyundai to double its sales year-on-year in France.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 100 models by clicking on the title *

The French new car market halts a streak of three consecutive months of year-on-year declines in January by improving 6% on a catastrophic month in January 2014 to 132,824 registrations. The gain mainly benefits foreign manufacturers who increase their sales by 14% to see their market share take off from 40.7% a year ago to 44.1% this month. Renault (-3%) only keeps the brands pole position off Peugeot (+11%) by 270 sales and Citroen disappoints at -5%. Volkswagen (+11%) extends its advantage over Dacia (-4%) for the 4th position overall while Nissan (+27%), Ford (+18%), Opel (+35%), Mercedes (+61%), Hyundai (+103%) and Mini (+65%) all lodge very dynamic results as opposed to DS in free fall at -20%.

Renault Koleos France January 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frSwan song for the Renault Koleos?

After being dominated by Peugeot for a large part of the month (see France 1-19 January 2015: Podium 100% Peugeot), the French models ranking returns to normal just in time for the end of January, with the Renault Clio IV in the lead (+11%) above the Peugeot 208 (-14%), Peugeot 308 (+96%), Renault Captur (+17%) and Peugeot 2008 (+41%), all confirming their long-term evolution witnessed across 2014. The Dacia Sandero is back inside the Top 10 at #7, the Citroen C4 Picasso (#8) beats its archenemy the Renault Scénic (#11), the Renault Twingo III lodges a 2nd consecutive month inside the Top 10 and the Renault Mégane crashes down 19% to rank below the VW Golf…

Jeep Renegade France January 2015The Renegade lifts Jeep French sales up 1364% year-on-year!

Lots of movement further down: helped by reduced tariffs in the wake of the unveiling of the Renault Kadjar – which will not replace it but will put a significant dent in its sales, the Renault Koleos flies up to #30, quite simply and frankly its best-ever ranking at home (previous best: #50 in January and February 2014). Boosted by a new generation much more adapted to French customers’ taste, the Hyundai i20 jumps 239% year-on-year to #37, the nameplate’s first-ever Top 50 ranking (previous best: #53 in February 2013). Notice also the Toyota RAV4 up 10 spots on December to #39, the Nissan Micra up 46 to #40 and Nissan X-Trail up 17 to #59. Now each armed with a Stepway variant, the Dacia Lodgy (+38%) and Dokker (+105%) climb back the ladder.

Fiat 500X France January 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frFirst Top 100 ranking for the Fiat 500X in France.

Among recent launches, let’s salute the Jeep Renegade up a further 12 spots on December to #61 and single-handedly lifting Jeep sales up… 1361% on January 2014, the Nissan Pulsar up 23 ranks to #81 and the Fiat 500X taking off: up from #381 in December to #94 with 281 units sold in January, its first-ever Top 100 ranking in France. In the Light Commercial Vehicle ranking, the Renault Kangoo is faithful to its traditional pole position, followed this month by the Renault Master III and Clio IV, with the Citroen Berlingo and Renault Trafic rounding out the Top 5.

Previous post: France 1-19 January 2015: Podium 100% Peugeot

Full Year 2014 post: France Full Year 2014: Renault Captur on podium

Previous month: France December 2014: BMW and Mercedes finish on a high

One year ago: France January 2014: Peugeot 208 #1 for the first time since May 2013

Full January 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 100 models below.

Full January 2014 Top 12 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models below.

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Categories: France