* UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 312 All-models *
After hitting its weakest November in 40 years last year, the French new car market rebounds by 11% in 2015 thanks to 150.339 registrations. This dynamic result doesn’t resists a more thorough examination though: firstly, this month benefited from one more working day, reducing the real growth rate to 6%, in line with the rest of the year so far. Secondly, the bulk of the year-on-year gains are coming from companies (including long-term rentals) up 21% vs. +9% so far this year, hitting 36.387 registrations or 24% of the market, while sales to short-term rental companies are up a whopping 39.5% to 15.521 units or 10.3% share, gaining two percentage point of market share. Reversely, sales to private buyers are up just 5% which, if you take into account the additional working day, actually means real sales are down on a year ago which was a historical low in the past 40 years. The private sales ratio to market is stuck at 50.9%, three percentage points down on a year ago but in line with 2015 so far (50.1%).
Brand-wise, Renault holds off Peugeot thanks to sales up 21% year-on-year but at 19% share they remain slightly below their year-to-date level (19.6%). It’s not the case for Peugeot, also outpacing the market at +17% to 17.7% share vs. 17.4% year-to-date. However when looking at private sales Peugeot overtakes Renault to take the lead at 13.897 sales (+22%) vs. 12.417. Once again Citroen can’t follow the market at just +8%, managing to remain above 10% market share by the skin of its teeth (10.2%). Volkswagen (+4%) is by-and-large unaffected by its emission crisis, posting “encouraging results showing no collapse of our business” according to Volkswagen France President Jacques Rivoal speaking with our colleagues at autoactu.com. Put under the microscope of private sales, Volkswagen is down however (-1%) whereas all other main brands in the Group – displaying similar gains in the overall market – shoot up when only private sales are taken into account: Audi is up 14%, Seat up 11% and Skoda up 35%.
Ford (+16%), Nissan (+12%), Toyota (-2%) and Opel (+13%) all benefit from a particularly weak result at Dacia (-33%), while BMW (+18%), Fiat (+27%) and Mercedes (+14%) continue to impress while further down Jeep (+37%), Suzuki (+39%), Mazda (+63%), Land Rover, Mitsubishi (+76%) and Smart (+186%) all post spectacular gains. Luxury brands are still in great shape: Porsche is up 20%, Maserati up 37%, Ferrari up 43%, Lotus up 57%, Infiniti up 89%, Tesla up 109% and Jaguar up 115%.
Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 manages to outsell the Renault Clio at 7.661 sales (+19%) vs. 7.518 (+6%) to slip back into pole position for the second time since the end of summer (it also ranked #1 in September). The 208 is also the most popular new vehicle with private buyers for the 4th consecutive month. In fact, with the Peugeot 308 clearly outpacing the VW Golf and Renault Megane and the Peugeot 2008 (+45%) above the Renault Captur (+17%), Peugeot wins the three main segments in the market this month. The VW Polo is the only foreigner in the Top 10 and the Renault Kadjar gains a further three spots on October to break into its home Top 10 for the first time at #10 with 2.918 deliveries, frankly distancing the Nissan Qashqai (2.281) and Dacia Duster (2.034).
Further down, the Peugeot 508 is up 56% year-on-year to #22 and the Renault Espace is up two more ranks to #28 with volumes up 10-fold on the previous generation at the same time last year. Among recent launches, the Hyundai Tucson recedes 20 spots to #61, the Mercedes GLC is up 52 to #62, the Suzuki Vitara up 8 to #64, while both the Renault Talisman and Opel Karl break into the French Top 100 for the first time. The Mini Clubman, Mazda CX-3, Mercedes GLE also progress, and the Audi Q7 is up 6-fold on November 2014 thanks to the new model.
Previous month: France October 2015: Market up 1%, Renault Kadjar hits 2% share
One year ago: France November 2014: Worst November score in 40 years
Full November 2015 Top 50 All-brands and Top 312 All-models below.