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France August 2014: Toyota Yaris hits highest ever Nippon ranking at #7 in worst month in 38 years

Toyota Yaris France August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Toyota Yaris is up to a historical 7th place this month in France!

* NOW UPDATED with actuals for the Top 60 models and Top 15 brands – Thanks Marie-Dominique *

While the rest of Europe is enjoying a slow but steady recovery, the French new car market is stuck in muddy waters. One year ago, August broke the sad record of slowest month of new car sales in the country in 37 years. This year with one less working day in the month, the picture is even worse: down 3% to 83,340 registrations, with the year-to-date total now up by just 1.6% on 2013 at 1,185,851 units. This makes August 2014 the lowest monthly score in 38 years, since the 83,000 units registered in August 1976, and the third weakest month in the past 40 years below the 69,426 units of August 1975. For further perspective, we are looking at lower sales than in May 1968 (90,352) when the country was all but paralised by the biggest student protests in its history.

Renault 5 France 1976The last time we witnessed such a slow month of sales in France, the Renault 5 was #1…


On a positive note, if we extend the reference frame to the past 50 years (see above – August 1965 to now), August 2014 ranks at a less depressing #21 lowest monthly score. You could argue these results are slightly biased by the fact that August is traditionally and by far the slowest month of the year with Summer holidays at their peak. So this even weaker than normal result won’t end up having much of an impact on the annual results, it only shows that French car buyers are delaying their new car purchase to potentially after the Paris Motor Show in October which could bring a welcome boost to the market. Renault reclaims the lead of the brands ranking in spite of sales down 14% to 14,012 and 16.8% share, ahead of Peugeot (-4%) and Citroen (-1%) while Volkswagen rebates itself into a 26% surge to 9% share. In a month only favourable to foreign manufacturers, Toyota (+16%), Ford (+40%), Mini (+24%) and Skoda (+25%) also shine.

VW Golf France August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe VW Golf also reaches its best-ever ranking in France this month.

Model-wise, August is always the month of records in France as a much smaller market means promotions have a more visible impact and the ranking becomes very volatile, and this year is no exception. Below the Renault Clio IV (5.5%) and Peugeot 208 (5.1%), the Peugeot 308 II is back on the podium for the 2nd time in the past 4 months. The Dacia Sandero is up 7 ranks to #4, its highest ranking since last January and with the Duster at #10 we have two Dacias in the monthly French Top 10 for only the second time in history with last April. But it’s below that we have more spectacular developments… Pushed by aggressive rebates, the VW Golf VII is up to 5th place thanks to 2,391 sales and 2.9% share. This is simply the nameplate’s highest ever ranking in France, last reached… 22 years ago in December 1992 (this information is TBC).

Ford C-Max France August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frFord is up 41% year-on-year in France in August.

The locally-produced Toyota Yaris for its part is up 10 ranks on July to an unbelievable 7th position at 2,170 units and 2.6%, mainly due to 899 sales to dealerships. This is the third time the Yaris ranks inside the monthly French Top 10 after January and March 2007 and the highest ever ranking reached by a Japanese model in France, beating the previous best of #9 by the Toyota Yaris itself in January 2007 and the Nissan Qashqai in March 2013. To round up a month of foreign highlights, the VW Polo at #9 makes it 3 foreigners in the Top 9, something we haven’t seen in years.

Renault Twingo France August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frFirst real month of sales for the Renault Twingo III at home: #13

Further down, the new generation Renault Twingo III delivers its first ‘real’ month of sales at #13 with 1,886 units, the Citroen C4 Cactus remains solid at #22 and 1.1% share, the Toyota Auris is up 7 spots on last month to a best-ever #23 (previous best: #26 last January), the Audi A3 at #24, Opel Mokka at #26, Ford Kuga up 12 ranks to a record #42 (previous best: #45 in October 2012) and the BMW X1 up 11 to #47.

Previous post: France August 2014 Car Landscape Snapshot

Previous monthly post: France July 2014: Now with Top 300 models and Top 50 brands

Previous month: France July 2014: Citroen C4 Cactus in Top 20 in worst July since 1984

One year ago: France August 2013: Dacia Sandero & Renault Captur superstars in worst month in 37 years

Full August 2014 Top 50 models and Top 15 brands Ranking Tables below.

France August 2014 – brands:


France August 2014 – models:

1Renault Clio IV4,5455.5%168,9735.8%11
2Peugeot 2084,2195.1%255,5454.7%22
3Peugeot 308 II2,8693.4%437,2163.1%534
4Dacia Sandero2,5103.0%1131,6672.7%86
5VW Golf VII2,3912.9%927,2302.3%1212
6Renault Captur2,1702.6%540,2613.4%37
7Toyota Yaris2,1702.6%1718,1511.5%1813
8Citroen C4 II Picasso2,1192.5%831,5482.7%921
9VW Polo2,1032.5%1426,0762.2%138
10Dacia Duster2,0552.5%1228,0982.4%1118
11Peugeot 20081,9692.4%635,1783.0%615
12Citroen C31,9462.3%339,7893.4%43
13Renault Twingo III1,8862.3%2271,9530.2%n/a –
14Renault Scénic1,5301.8%733,1752.8%74
15Nissan Qashqai1,4171.7%1520,8901.8%1614
16Renault Mégane1,3241.6%1029,5922.5%105
17Peugeot 30081,2941.6%1325,4692.1%1410
18Ford Fiesta1,1731.4%2517,0741.4%1917
19Citroen C41,0381.2%1618,9051.6%1711
20Renault Twingo II9841.2%1823,7232.0%159
21Fiat 5009211.1%1913,4101.1%2028
22Toyota Auris8741.0%309,0360.8%3037
23Citroen C4 Cactus (e)8501.0%204,2820.4%66 –
24VW Tiguan8491.0%2212,2481.0%2427
25Audi A38431.0%2310,3580.9%2831
26Opel Mokka7840.9%319,4100.8%2956
27Opel Corsa7770.9%2913,2241.1%2124
28Nissan Juke7320.9%2810,9070.9%2625
29Citroen DS36530.8%2612,4601.1%2320
30Ford C-Max II6420.8%407,2210.6%3632
31Citroen C3 Picasso6240.7%2112,7401.1%2222
32Mercedes Classe A6050.7%367,9970.7%3433
33Peugeot 50086020.7%2410,4190.9%2729
34Peugeot 5085810.7%2711,5881.0%2523
35VW Touran5780.7%358,9040.8%3135
36BMW Série 15620.7%377,1650.6%3736
37Mini III (e)5180.6%343,4000.3%82 –
38Seat Ibiza4900.6%386,1850.5%4550
39Toyota RAV44810.6%554,7190.4%5864
40VW Passat4790.6%505,0250.4%5257
41Kia Sportage4740.6%494,9650.4%5453
42Ford Kuga4560.5%544,5400.4%6366
43Mercedes Classe B4520.5%416,6300.6%4038
44Ford B-Max4390.5%635,7670.5%4849
45Citroen Berlingo4380.5%326,4990.5%4151
46Suzuki Swift4340.5%515,0100.4%5359
47BMW X14190.5%574,0400.3%7265
48Renault Clio Collection4060.5%428,4030.7%3226
49Audi Q33990.5%445,0680.4%5160
50BMW Série 33930.5%455,1420.4%5040

(e): BSCN estimate

Source: CCFA

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. @Nik
    It’s happening because of years of increased taxation on everything related to cars and a crack down on speeding. The successive French governments have done everything they could to destroy their car industry and the French’s love affair with cars…

  2. @ renaube The Megane RS is not really made in Spain as far as I know, unlike the other regular Megane it is made in Dieppe (France) from the bases coming from Spain. That’s the old Alpine factory and they specialize in the RS models.

  3. @Renaube
    Also Captur is made in Spain. By the way I don’t understand Captur succes vs. Modus failure – I’d find impossible working at a car manufacturer’s Marketing Department and trying to figure out what people will want/need in four years time…

  4. Lancia Lover :
    It seems that the French manufacturers are not joining the foreign ones with hefty rebates, which seems a wise thing to do. Especially VW is giving large rebates in most European countries. No wonder there margins are that low (compared to other German brands).

    The margins of french carmakers are below zero :p

  5. It seems that the French manufacturers are not joining the foreign ones with hefty rebates, which seems a wise thing to do. Especially VW is giving large rebates in most European countries. No wonder there margins are that low (compared to other German brands).

  6. The result of Renault in August may be related to the launch of the new Twingo III in September. The Twingo has been one of the most popular cars in France.

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