France 1949: 4CV ramps up, lifts Renault to 37% share
Registrations of passenger cars and light commercials in France in 1949 more than double vs. 1948 (+127%) to 114.060 units, the first year above 100.000 since 1939. Imports are down a further -19.3% to just 1.642 units including 1.343 private cars. They come from the USA (1.067 incl. 960 cars), the UK (252 and 154), Germany (130 and 77), Benelux (42 and 35) and Canada (21 and 20) plus 130 incl. 97 cars uncategorised.
Presented in September 1946 at the Paris Motor Show, the Renault 4CV started its production in August 1947 and 50.000 units had been produced by March 1949, 37.000 sold by mid-1949, making it the most popular car in France by far that year, and 100.000 produced by January 1950. It was nicknamed ”La motte de beurre” (the lump of butter) due to its shape and colour: early deliveries used surplus paint from the German Afrika Korps Army vehicles which were a sand-yellow color.
The success of the 4CV propels Renault up 375% (vs. Model Year 1948 data) to a stunning 36.9% share, to BSCB knowledge the highest share so far at home by the manufacturer. Citroen (+162%) falls to 20.1% share and Peugeot (+141%) to 16.9% whereas Simca (+313%) leaps up to 14.4%. Ford France is stable at 6.4% in 5th place while foreign, imported brand drop 45% to just 500 units and 0.4% of the market.
Full Year 1949 Top 10 brands ranking below.