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France December 2014: BMW and Mercedes finish on a high

MINI CooperThe third generation Mini hits a best-ever #26 in France this month.

* UPDATED – see the Top 350 All-models and Top 50 All-brands by clicking on the title *

December is here to remind the French market it is well and truly stuck in hell: down a horrendous 7% to 163,382 deliveries just as the rest of Europe is slowly shaking off 7 years of recession, which means the final 2014 total is marginally higher than 2013 (+0.3%). December sales figures are always biased by last-minute promotions favouring specific manufacturers and this year is no exception: Volkswagen (8.8% of the market vs. 7.8% in 2014) places the Polo at #6 and the Golf VII at #13, the only two foreign models inside the Top 15, BMW jumps 5 spots on November to an outstanding 6th place with 4.1% share vs. 2.7% over 2014 while Mercedes is up 4 to #8 and 3.8% vs. 2.7%.

Pressdrive Mercedes GLA 2014 Malaga-GranadaThe Mercedes GLA also breaks its French monthly ranking record in December.

Citroen has chosen a very bad timing to separate sales of its DS premium brand: appearing for the first time in the ranking at #18 with 1,950 sales compared to over 3,000 a year ago, an abysmal 36% drop to be compared to -27% over the Full Year 2014… Citroen itself (-21%), Dacia (-18%), Ford, Toyota (both at -22%) and Kia (-27%) also experienced a nightmarish December.

Renault Zoe France December 2014The Renault Zoe lodges its 2nd-ever month above 1,000 sales at home at a record 1,182.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio IV is more dominant than ever at 11,111 sales and 6.8% share, a massive 2.3 percentage points share above its rival the Peugeot 208 (4.5%), threatened for 2nd place by the Renault Captur (4.2%) very regular at the highest levels at home. The Peugeot 308 II continues to satisfy at #4, the Renault Twingo III makes its 2nd-ever appearance in the monthly Top 10 after last September at #10, while the Citroen C4 Cactus (#18), Mini III (#26), Mercedes GLA (#31), Renault ZOE (#32) and VW Golf Sportsvan (#34) all break their monthly ranking records this month. Notice also the Mercedes A-Class and C-Class strong at #25 and #47 respectively.

Lexus NX300h France December 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Lexus NX300h already knocks at the French Top 100’s door.

Just outside the Top 50, the Toyota Aygo II also breaks its monthly ranking record in France at #51, as does the BMW 2 Series at #60 thanks to the arrival of the Active Tourer, the Jeep Renegade breaks into the monthly French Top 100 for the first time at #73, the Nissan X-Trail does a good job at replacing the Nissan Qashqai+2 at #76, the BMW X4 is up to #88, the Ford Ecosport at #93, Nissan Pulsar up to #104, Lexus NX300h up to #118 and the Smart Forfour up to #130.

Previous month: France November 2014: Worst November score in 40 years

One year ago: France December 2013: Citroen C3 above Peugeot 208 for the first time

Full December 2014 Top 350 All-models and Top 50 All-brands below.

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