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France 1996: Renault Clio softer, Megane already #2

Renault Clio

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

Boosted by another row of scrappage schemes, the French new car market is up 10% in 1996 at 2,132.091 registrations, back above 2 million units for the first time since 1992. The Renault Clio keeps its title of best-selling model for the 5th consecutive year but in spite of a facelift during the year drops 4% to 163,696 sales and 7.7%.

Renault Megane

The big event of the year is obviously the thundering arrival of the Renault Megane in 2nd place at 136,688 units and 6.4%. Launched in November 1995, the Megane climbed to #2 as early as January 1996 with 6.2% share. The arrival in September of the MPV version, the Megane Scenic, enabled to Megane to take the lead of the market in November and December.

Peugeot 106

The facelifted Peugeot 106 lodges its best year so far with 129,017 sales and 6.1%, up 11%. It even threatened the Clio for the monthly #1 spot in April and May. At #4 the Renault Twingo continues to progress at +2% to 115,178 units and 5.4%, just above the Peugeot 306 down only 4% but 3 spots to 113,356 sales and 5.3%.

Daewoo Nexia

The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling imported car at #8 and 3.6%, up 16% ahead of the Opel Corsa (+18%) and Fiat Punto (+11%) for the first time in the year-end Top 10. Other good performers include the Peugeot 406 up to #12 and the Citroen Saxo up to #14, breaking into the monthly Top 10 for the first time in July at #7 and 4%.

Notice the Fiat Bravo/Brava at #19 and the Opel Vectra at #20. 1996 is the first year a Korean model ever ranked within the year-end Top 50 in France: the Daewoo Nexia is #39 with 9,541 sales and 0.4%, up 118% on 1995. The Ford Ka, which will give Ford’s design a new direction in the next decade, lands at #59.

Previous year: see the France 1995 Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1996 Top 100 and monthly Top 15 Ranking Tables below.

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