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France 1st Half 2015: Shaky recovery lifts market above 1 million units

Renault Captur France June 2015. Picture courtesy inautonews.comIn one year, the Renault Captur halved the distance separating it from the #2 French spot.

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* NOW UPDATED with the Top 12 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models *

Boosted by June sales up 15%, the French new car market is up 6% year-on-year halfway through 2015 to 1.017.500 registrations, however a large part of this increase is to be credited to short-term rentals and demo sales, so not the best foundations for a return to grace. The brands ranking shows incredible immobility: the Top 15 best-sellers are unchanged year-on-year! Renault (+7%) and Peugeot (+8%) slightly outpace the market, resulting in mildly improved market shares of 20.5% and 17.3% respectively, while Citroen pays for stable sales with a share down from 11.2% to 10.5%. Volkswagen (+6%) follows the market at 7.6% share, Dacia (-7%) for once is the only brand losing ground in the Top 25 along with DS (-14%), and Ford (+9%), Nissan (+12%) and Toyota (+8%) outperform the market.

Peugeot 308 France June 2015Peugeot 308 sales are up 39% so far in 2015 at home.

In the race to #1 luxury brand, Audi stays well ahead but at +4% loses share to 2.9% while Mercedes (+10%) and BMW (+15%) are catching up fast and are separated by just 302 sales. Fiat (+15%), Volvo (+17%), Land Rover (+39%), Mini (+48%), Hyundai (+54%), Smart (+73%) shine but once again Jeep is the hero of the brands ranking, up 10 spots on a year ago to #22 with sales up 555% to 4.793, mostly thanks to the Renegade (4.067 deliveries). Further down, Porsche is up a spectacular 61% thanks to the Macan (1.021 sales), Infiniti is up 57%, Lexus up 44% and Tesla sees its sales double year-on-year to 326.

Peugeot 2008 France June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Peugeot 2008 has established itself among France’s Top 5 best-sellers.

Albeit mostly stable, the French models ranking is undergoing significant and momentous changes. Traditional leaders the Renault Clio IV (+6%) and Peugeot 208 (+4%) roughly follow the market but the ground is shaking below them: the Renault Captur, about to start its third year in market, seems unstoppable at +20% to 40.612 sales and in one year has halved the distance separating it from the #2 spot at 5.912 sales. It even outsold the Peugeot 208 in June for the 2nd time ever. Similarly, the Peugeot 2008 is up 21% to establish itself inside the Top 5 at 35.189 deliveries. Add to this the Peugeot 308 celebrating euphoric sales up 39% and one full percentage pint of share market gain to #4 and 4%, even becoming the brand’s best-seller in May for the first time in the nameplate’s eight year career.

Renault Kadjar DCiRenault Kadjar: two months in market and already #46.

Outside the Top 5, the Renault Twingo III is up 28% on the previous generation a year ago to #8 and 2.6% share, the VW Polo is up 7% to become the best-selling foreigner in France at a still relatively low #12 above the VW Golf VII (#15), Nissan Qashqai (#16), Toyota Yaris (#17), Ford Fiesta (#18) and Opel Corsa (#20). Impressive gainers inside the Top 50 include the Peugeot 508 (+28%), Opel Mokka (+35%), Mini III (up 4-fold), VW Passat (+80%) and the Renault Zoé (+138%) breaking into the Top 50 for the first time at #44. A handful of recent launches make their way to the higher steps of the ladder: the Citroen C4 Cactus (#23), Peugeot 108 (#27), Citroen C1 II (#33), VW Golf Sportsvan (#40), Fiat 500X (#41) and Nissan X-Trail (#61) but the most promising is without a doubt the Renault Kadjar: up to #15 in June and #46 over the First Half of 2015 with only two months under its belt.

Opel Vivaro France June 2015Opel LCV sales are up 34% year-on-year in France so far this year.

The French LCV market remains and by far the largest LCV market in Europe due to advantageous taxation for vehicles registered as LCV. Sales are up a shy 0.8% year-on-year halfway through 2015 at 192.429 registrations, and Renault tightens its grip on the brands ranking thanks to deliveries up 5% to 60.758 for a 31.6% market share vs. 30.3% a year ago. Renault now sells more LCVs at home than Peugeot (-2%) and Citroen (-9%) combined, while Fiat improves by 8% to 9.9% share, above Ford (+11%) and Mercedes overtaking Volkswagen (-5%). Nissan tumbles down 17% but Opel lodges the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 at +34% and Toyota is up 15%.

Renault Kangoo France June 2015The Renault Kangoo remains the best-selling LCV in France.

In the models ranking, the Renault Kangoo is faithful to the pole position it has held since the nameplate’s launch in 2008, but see its share thaw ever so discreetly at 8.8% due to sales down 1% year-on-year. The Renault Clio IV is up a vigorous 26% to 2nd place now that the previous generation has been discontinued, the Fiat Ducato (+9%) rounds up the podium like a year ago and both the Renault Master (#4) and Trafic (#6) gain 11%. The Citroen Jumper breaks into the Top 10 at #9, the Ford Transit 2T makes its appearance at a very satisfying 15th spot, the Peugeot 308 II doubles its sales year-on-year to #17, the Opel Vivaro is up 77% thanks to the new model, the Opel Movano is up 47% to #36 and the Land Rover Defender doesn’t get old: it is up a very impressive 69% to #42.

Previous post: France June 2015: Renault Kadjar, Captur and Espace fuel up

Q1 2015 update: France 1st Quarter 2015: Artificial recovery?

Full Year 2014 update: France Full Year 2014: Renault Captur on podium

One year ago: France June 2014: Renault Captur above 208, up to record #2 spot

Full H1 2015 Top 40 brands and Top 275 models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.

Full H1 2015 Top 12 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.

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