* See the Top 80 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title *
After gaining 9.5% in March, the French new car market returns to significantly more timid growth rates in April: up 2.3% to 170.768 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 648.087 units, up 5.6% on 2014. Worryingly and as we already pointed out in our 1st Quarter report (France 1st Quarter 2015: Artificial recovery?), the market growth is solely due to a surge in sales through tactical channels (+13.6%) such as short-term rentals and dealer sales, with private sales down 5.1% year-on-year. Renault (+5%) and Peugeot (+3%) once again fare better than the market while Citroen (-0.5%) does worse. Below Volkswagen in difficulty (-4%), Dacia returns to equilibrium with a very strong 6.6% share thanks to 11.269 deliveries, the French-Romanian brands placing two models inside the Top 10 for the 3rd time in history after April and August 2014: the Sandero at #7 and the Duster at #9. Audi (+2%) is back inside the Top 10 most popular manufacturers in France at #10, above Mercedes (-4%) and BMW (+12%). Fiat (+17%), Hyundai (+41%) and Mini (+46%) take off but once again they are trumped by Jeep (+438%) with the Renegade now at throwing distance from its first French Top 50 (#54).
Looking into private sales in isolation shows a very different picture indeed. Peugeot is up 0.3% vs. -6.7% for Renault, bringing the two brand at almost exactly the same level – 13.582 sales for Peugeot and 13.579 for Renault. Peugeot places 3 models in the Top 6 private (208, 2008 and 308) vs. just one for Renault (Clio). More spectacularly and thanks to 88% of its overall sales being private vs. 48% average for the market, Dacia manages to overtake Citroen for the first time ever to rank #3 overall with private buyers with 9.949 sales or an astonishing 12% market share vs. 9.323 and 11.2% for Citroen. In April the Sandero is the #2 nameplate with private buyers at 5.5% market share above the Peugeot 208 (4.9%) with the Duster ranking #4 at 4.3%…
In the overall models ranking, the Renault Clio remains sovereign with 6.1% market share but is the only Renault in the Top 4 this month: the Peugeot 208 (+4%) resists in 2nd place while the 308 (+31%) and 2008 (+15%) both post strong year-on-year gains to overtake the Renault Captur (-2%) knocked down to 5th place. The Dacia Sandero (+16%) is up 4 spots on last month to #7 and returns to the year-to-date Top 10 (#9) and with the VW Polo ranking at #13 the entire Top 12 models are 100% French in April. Further down, the Mini III (#29) and VW Passat (#31) confirm their great shape, the Renault Zoe is up 46 spots on March and a gargantuan 209% year-on-year to hit its 2nd best-ever ranking at #33 with 1.237 sales (best is #32 last December), the Fiat 500X is up a further two spots on last month to #41, the Nissan X-Trail is up 16 to make its very first entrance inside the French Top 50 at #42 and the DS 4 is up 19 spots to #44,
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Full April 2015 Top 80 models and Top 20 brands below.