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France 1997: Renault Megane snaps up pole position!

Renault Megane Scenic

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Catastrophic year for car sales in France: down 20% at 1,713,030 registrations, the worst total since 1975. Massive change in pole position: the Renault Megane puts an end to 5 years of uninterrupted Clio domination to become the best-selling car in France with 143,821 sales and 8.4% share, peaking at 10% in January. It is the first time in 24 years (since the Renault 12 in 1973) that the French best-seller is not a ‘mini’. However Megane figures include the Scenic MPV version accounting for 60% of total sales, as for now the two models are considered part of the same range.

Peugeot 406

The Renault Clio drops 27% to #2 and 119,844 units, its weakest full year result since the launch of the nameplate in 1990. It fell to a worst-ever 4.8% market share in June. All four following models drop significantly: the Peugeot 306 (-15%), Renault Twingo (-29%), Peugeot 106 (-37%) even though it ranked #1 for the first time in June, and Renault Laguna (-23%).

VW Polo

There are 3 newcomers in the Top 10: the Peugeot 406 is 7th at 3.7%, peaking at a fantastic 2nd place with 6.5% in June, the Citroen Saxo is 8th at 3.6%, peaking at #4 in April, and the VW Polo, brilliantly taking the lead of imported models, up 6 sots to #9 and even ranking 4th in May, potentially the best monthly position ever reached by a foreign model in France. Note the Fiat Bravo/a broke into the Top 10 in August at #9 with 3%.

Previous year: see the France 1996 Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1997 Top 100 and monthly Top 15 Ranking Tables below.

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