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France 1955: Citroen threatens Renault for #1, first podium for the 2CV, legendary DS 19 lands

The Citroen DS 19 is launched in October 1955.

It’s a second consecutive year of double-digit gains in France in 1955 with new car sales up 20.9% to 554.020 units including commercial vehicles. It is the first time in French history that the annual volume crosses the half-million mark. Imports add up to just 10.812, including 4.843 from the US, 3.316 from Germany and 1.416 from the UK. In the brands ranking, Renault (+7.6%) loses 3.5 points of market share to 28.6% and is again under threat from Citroen (+22.9%) improving to 27.7%, with less than 5.000 sales separating the two manufacturers at year-end. With Simca buying back Ford France’s Poissy factory, all Ford models previously produced in France are now labelled Simca and as a result the brand is up 59.2% to climb on the annual podium with 20.8% share, knocking Peugeot (+22.6%) down to #4. The aforementioned 4 brands hold a suffocating 94.1% of the French market in 1955 (!) and far, far below, Panhard (+49.3%) breaks into the Top 5 with 3% share. Hotchkiss has purchased Delahaye to become Hotchkiss-Delahaye.

Ove in the models ranking, the Renault 4 CV enjoys its 7th consecutive and last year atop the charts, ending the year less than 5.000 units below a symbolic 100.000 tally. The Simca 9 Aronde (+30.2%) continues to progress and reaches a record 13.4% share this year, while the Citroen 2 CV (+55.3%) climbs onto the French podium for the very first time, a full seven years after launch. The Citroen DS 19 makes an incredible splash at its presentation at the Paris Auto Show in October, securing 743 orders in the first 15 minutes of the show, 12.000 in the first day and 80.000 deposits after 10 days, a record that would only be broken 60 years later by the Tesla Model 3 in March 2016… For now Citroen combines sales of the 11 D Traction Avant and the new DS 19, allowing the tandem to already rank 5th over the Full Year 1955. The Simca Vedette (+213.1%) and Renault Fregate (+5.4%) are the only two additional passenger cars in the Top 10.

Previous year: France 1954: Renault 4CV holds onto top spot, Simca 9 Aronde up to #2

Full Year 1955 Top 23 All-brands and Top 120 All-models vs. Full Year 1954 figures below.

France 1955 – brands:

10Velam1,2190.2%new00.0% –
18Facel400.0%new00.0% –
21Ford France00.0%-100.0%12,3992.7%5

France 1955 – models:

1Renault 4 CV95,20917.2%6.1%89,76719.6%1
2Simca 9 Aronde74,23413.4%30.2%57,01612.4%2
3Citroen 2 CV A-AZ67,29912.1%55.3%43,3219.5%4
4Peugeot 203/203L54,1189.8%2.1%53,00811.6%3
5Citroen 11 D-DS 1935,4126.4%new00.0% –
6Simca Vedette27,2924.9%213.1%8,7161.9%14
7Renault Fregate27,0614.9%5.4%25,6705.6%6
8Peugeot 203U (LCV)22,0874.0%10.9%19,9114.3%7
9Renault 2060-6/2161-618,6413.4%11.5%16,7113.6%8
10Citroen 2 CV AU-AZU (LCV)18,4603.3%28.9%14,3163.1%11
11Citroen H/HZ17,6813.2%13.6%15,5693.4%9
12Panhard Dyna16,1432.9%50.6%10,7162.3%12
13Peugeot 40314,3802.6%new00.0% –
14Renault Juvaquatre LCV (R 2100)13,0792.4%25.7%10,4092.3%13
15Simca U (LCV)12,9342.3%-15.6%15,3273.3%10
16Citroen 23R6,6811.2%4.0%6,4271.4%15
17Citroen 11 CV (Traction Avant)3,8310.7%-90.3%39,6998.7%5
18Peugeot D3A/D4A3,4010.6%-9.5%3,7590.8%16
19Renault Colorale2,5140.5%-20.7%3,1720.7%17
20Berliet GRL-GLM2,3960.4%14.4%2,0950.5%19
21Citroen 55U1,5350.3%-7.5%1,6590.4%21
22Renault 4153-81,4150.3%51.8%9320.2%25
23Citroen 15 CV (Traction Avant)1,2800.2%-49.5%2,5360.6%18
24Hotchkiss-Delahaye PL 251,2620.2%25.1%1,0090.2%24
25Velam Isetta1,2190.2%new00.0% –
26Berliet GLC 6/81,1820.2%new00.0% –
27Citroen 55UDI1,1290.2%6.2%1,0630.2%23
28Berliet GLB 5/6 b9610.2%new00.0% –
29Unic ZU 62/63/659240.2%84.8%5000.1%33
30Chausson AP/AS/AN/5227910.1%-9.1%8700.2%27
31Unic Zu81/101/1217650.1%new00.0% –
32Berliet GLA 55960.1%-19.8%7430.2%30
33Berliet PLA 19b4750.1%new00.0% –
34Berliet TLB/C/R/M4000.1%58.7%2520.1%40
35Citroen 55 long3940.1%-18.1%4810.1%34
36Simca Cargo3890.1%new00.0% –
37Latil Various3640.1%new00.0% –
38Renault 4191-2/4200-13560.1%53.4%2320.1%42
39Unic ZU 46/532970.1%11.2%2670.1%39
40Unic Zu81/101/1202930.1%new00.0% –
41Somua JL172320.0%10.0%2110.0%44
42Saurer 5CT3D2300.0%67.9%1370.0%54
43Simca Comète2220.0%new00.0% –
44Renault 42202120.0%-2.8%2180.0%43
45F.A.R. CM62-701950.0%-46.3%3630.1%36
46Panhard IE60-651920.0%0.0%1920.0%46
47Floirat B8-B9-GA1770.0%-3.3%1830.0%48
48Hotchkiss-Delahaye JH 1011700.0%new00.0% –
49Bernard 120/150 Tc1530.0%new00.0% –
50Saurer 4CTID/3D1450.0%-46.3%2700.1%38
51Unic ZU 351430.0%new00.0% –
52Somua OP51390.0%178.0%500.0%71
53Renault 4180-21370.0%-8.1%1490.0%52
54Berliet Vehic spec1350.0%-11.2%1520.0%51
55Willième LD410/6101290.0%new00.0% –
56Bernard 150MB1240.0%1.6%1220.0%56
57Simca Marly1080.0%new00.0% –
58Willième LD/RD980.0%new00.0% –
59Latil H1B4T910.0%-55.4%2040.0%45
60Saurer CT1/CT3890.0%new00.0% –
61Latil Vehic Spec790.0%19.7%660.0%65
62F.A.R. SD80-90780.0%136.4%330.0%76
63Salmson 2300710.0%-41.3%1210.0%57
64Isobioc (SACA) 648-652670.0%-11.8%760.0%61
65Latil H2NA1B9650.0%-9.7%720.0%62
66Bernard 120MC640.0%-28.1%890.0%59
67Berliet GLA 19 a640.0%73.0%370.0%74
68Berliet GBM 10b590.0%new00.0% –
69Somua JL17V570.0%-10.9%640.0%67
70Somua JL17CT550.0%-16.7%660.0%66
71Unic SF30490.0%new00.0% –
72Facel Vega400.0%new00.0% –
73Willième RD615/K115350.0%new00.0% –
74Bernard 9B 90290.0%-56.7%670.0%64
75Chausson AH260.0%-16.1%310.0%77
76Latil 4 44A4B3/4/6250.0%-13.8%290.0%79
77Labourier JL3-SUD180.0%-47.1%340.0%75
78F.A.R. CM22-23-24-25160.0%-63.6%440.0%72
79Somua MTP160.0%-59.0%390.0%73
80Willième TE215100.0%66.7%60.0%89
81Saurer 5DCS100.0%new00.0% –
82Latil H2NA1Y1290.0%-25.0%120.0%84
83Panhard ID2090.0%0.0%90.0%86
84Floirat HF6-1080.0%new00.0% –
85Renault 4 CV LCV (2070-71)30.0%-97.8%1380.0%53
86Saurer 3CTI30.0%new00.0% –
87Hotchkiss-Delahaye 23520.0%-84.6%130.0%83
88Berliet TLB 1920.0%new00.0% –
89Ford Vendome00.0%-100.0%1,8150.4%20
90Berliet GLR-GLC 6a/800.0%-100.0%1,1090.2%22
91Ford F22C-F52A00.0%-100.0%9200.2%26
92Delahaye VLRB00.0%-100.0%7590.2%28
93Berliet GLB-GLC00.0%-100.0%7580.2%29
94Ford F09W00.0%-100.0%6510.1%31
95Unic ZU 66/8000.0%-100.0%5770.1%32
96Berliet PL-PC00.0%-100.0%4240.1%35
97Ford F0Y4 WH00.0%-100.0%2900.1%37
98Unic ZU 10000.0%-100.0%2370.1%41
99Unic SU5200.0%-100.0%1900.0%47
100Willième S10-L1000.0%-100.0%1820.0%49
101Latil H16A4BH00.0%-100.0%1620.0%50
102Saurer 4CTI00.0%-100.0%1360.0%55
103Bernard 150MB 21T00.0%-100.0%1020.0%58
104Berliet GBM 19 a00.0%-100.0%860.0%60
105Latil A1B700.0%-100.0%680.0%63
106Hotchkiss Monceau00.0%-100.0%590.0%68
107S.C.C.F VSS-VSH00.0%-100.0%510.0%69
108Willième 115-61500.0%-100.0%500.0%70
109Panhard Dyna LCV00.0%-100.0%300.0%78
110Delahaye Vehic Spec00.0%-100.0%210.0%80
111Berliet GLB 19 a00.0%-100.0%180.0%81
112Citroen 45U00.0%-100.0%160.0%82
113Revin B/C00.0%-100.0%90.0%85
114Delahaye 16300.0%-100.0%80.0%87
115Ford F09TM00.0%-100.0%70.0%88
116Delahaye 163D00.0%-100.0%50.0%91
117Floirat fg incendie00.0%-100.0%50.0%90
118Citroen 45UDI00.0%-100.0%30.0%92

Source: L’Argus via CCFA

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