* See the Top 100 best-selling models and Top 18 brands by clicking on the title! *
It’s definitely not a good year for new car sales in France, down another 16% year-on-year in March to 165,244 registrations which brings the year-to-date total to 433,297 units, down 15% on 2012. The overall context might be depressed, but similarly to its LCV counterpart, the Passenger Cars models ranking enjoys one of its most eventful months ever in March! Let’s start with the Renault Clio IV taking a (definitive?) advantage over its archenemy the Peugeot 208: it sells 12,524 units for a 7.6% market share (both records for the Clio IV) vs. just 9,658 and 5.8% for the 208, meaning that the Clio IV is now almost one percentage point above the 208 year-to-date.
Second significant event: even though the facelifted model is on the verge of hitting the roads, the Peugeot 3008 is up 6 spots on February to land at a best-ever 4th place this month thanks to 3,859 sales and 2.3% share. Previous best was #5 in May 2011. The Citroen C3 is back up 8 to 5th place while the VW Golf is up one to #6 in spite of seeing its market share slide down from 2.8% last month to 2.3%. This is simply the Golf’s highest monthly ranking in France ever. Yep. Just like that. The last time the Golf reached that level was in… September 1998!
But wait there’s more, much more. We have been seeing this coming from a mile out but it is now done: at #9 with 3,381 sales and 2% share, the Nissan Qashqai becomes only the second Japanese model to ever break into the monthly French Top 10 ranking after the Toyota Yaris did so in January and March 2007. Make that two records for Nissan in France this month: the Juke is up 3 ranks to also lodge its highest ever ranking at #19, meaning it is the second time Nissan places two models within the French Top 20 after March 2012.
The Renault Captur breaks into the Top 50 for the first time to land directly in 35th position with 1,216 sales and 0.7% share, the Renault Zoe does the same (breaking into the Top 50), up 47 spots on last month to #40 at 1,089 units and 0.7%, helped by 500 sales in the Alsace region where an additional 5,000 euros incentive on top of the 7,000 offered by the government make it a bargain indeed. Note 56% of all Zoe sold in France this month were to private buyers, 14% to companies and 28% to dealerships.
Finally, notice the Ford Fiesta up 6 ranks on February to #14, the Opel Corsa up 10 to #16, Ford B-Max up 6 to #29, Fiat Panda up 31 to #32, Audi A3 up 14 to #33 and the Fiat 500L up a further two to #34. The Opel Adam is out of the Top 100 again with 179 sales and the Peugeot 2008 is getting ready to roar at 113 units sold.
Previous month: France February 2013: Renault Clio IV leads, Zoe in Top 100
Full March 2013 Top 100 models and Top 18 brands Ranking Tables below.