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France Full Year 2011: Renault Clio on top for first time in 5 years, a Citroen on the podium for the first time since 1985! UPDATED

Renault Clio

* NOW UPDATED with the All-models Top 392 ranking! Click on title to see – Thanks STAC *

French car sales are down 19% in December to 187,653 registrations, but December 2010 was artificially inflated, being the last month of scrappage scheme orders. The final 2011 total stands at 2,204,065, down just 2% on 2010 which is an outstanding performance in the current economic context. For the first time since 2006 the Renault Clio is the best-selling car in France with 123,827 sales and 5.6% share, stable on last year.

Boosted by heavy promotions on its petrol version, the Clio hit the 3rd generation’s highest market share in September at 9.4%. It is the 13th time in the nameplate’s 20 year-life that the Clio finishes the year in pole position in France, making it the 2nd most successful nameplate below the Renault 5/Supercinq (14 times). The first year the Clio was #1 was 1992 when it sold 233,209 units for a 11.1% market share – See all the years it ranked #1 here.

Citroen C3

Losing its crown for the first time in a full year the Peugeot 207 is #2 with 103,321 sales and 4.7%, down 19%. Helped by the new generation now if full swing, the Citroen C3 is up 8%, climbing up to #3 with 79,364 sales and 3.3%. It is the first time a Citroen ranks on the French podium in 26 years! Since the Citroen BX was #3 in 1985 with 7% of the market The C3 is only the 6th Citroen to rank on the French podium since 1945 with the Traction Avant, 2CV, Ami 6, GS and BX. It is followed by 3 Renaults: the Mégane at 78,861 units (-1%), Twingo at 68,265 sales (-26%) and Scénic at 66,360 units (-12%). Boosted by a light facelift, the Peugeot 308 is up one spot to #7.

Best-selling foreign model for the 2nd year in a row, the VW Polo takes advantage of a fantastic end of year (see below) to climb 10% and 4 spots to #8 at 53,582 units and 2.4%. This is the highest year-end ranking reached by a foreign model in 15 years! Since the Ford Fiesta ranked #8 in 1996

Peugeot 3008

The next two models make their first appearance ever in the French year-end Top 10: the Peugeot 3008 continues to progress at + 7% and +2 spots on 2010 to #9 with 53,297 sales and 2.4%. It broke into the monthly Top 5 for the first time in May at #5 with 6,472 sales and 3.3%. The Dacia Duster is the success story of the year: it sells 51,612 units for its first full year, landing at #10. The Duster ranked #1 for one week in April and broke into the monthly Top 5 for the first time in November at #5 with 5,783 sales and 3.2%.

Dacia Duster

The new generation Citroen C4 ramped up all through the year to break into the Top 10 in December (see below), finishing 2011 at #12. Excellent performance of the Citroen DS3 up to #17 with 33,015 sales and 1.5% and the Nissan Qashqai breaking into the French year-end Top 20 for the first time at #19, up 17%. It is one of only 5 foreign models in the Top 25 below the Polo, Ford Fiesta, VW Golf and Opel Corsa.

Peugeot 508

All-new this year, the Peugeot 508 lands directly in Top 20 with 28,507 sales, already leader in its category ahead of the Citroen C5 (#24), Renault Laguna (#26) and VW Passat (#36). Notice also the Ford C-Max up 68% to #27, the Nissan Juke landing directly #32 and already flirting with the monthly Top 20 and the Audi A1 the brand’s best-seller straight from its first full year at #45. The Citroen DS4 is up to #52, the DS5 lands at #150 just above the Range Rover Evoque at #151.

VW Polo

December is often an eventful month in France as many manufacturers go into run-out, heavy promotion mode, but it always goes unnoticed as everyone focuses on the year-end results. Not on Best Selling Cars Blog! It is now a habit, VW promotes like mad every December and delivers outstanding volumes. The Polo is up to a fantastic 4th place with 6,399 sales and 3.4% and the Golf is #8 at 4,645 units and 2.5%.

Lexus sold one LFA in France in 2011 (see Top 392 below the jump)

The new gen Citroen C4 finally manages to break into the monthly Top 10, just: it is #10 at 2.1%. The Nissan Qashqai equals its highest ranking at #16, the Toyota Yaris is back in the Top 20 (+16), the BMW X1 is up to a formidable 31st place and the VW Up! breaks into the Top 100 at #95.

Previous month: France November 2011: Dacia Duster beats records

Previous year: France Full Year 2010: Peugeot 207 #1 for the 4th year in a row

Full Year 2011 Top 392 and December 2011 Top 110 Ranking Tables below.

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