* See the Top 45 brands and Top 365 models by clicking on the title *
The French new car market is showing a very healthy outlook halfway through 2016 with sales up 8% to 1.102.442 registrations in six months. Although stuck at their lowest ratio ever (47%), private sales roughly follow the market which seems to have found a balance this year between company sales (22%), tactical sales – short term rentals, self-registrations and demo sales (29%) and ‘real’ – read private – sales this year. Local association CCFA predicts a Full Year 2016 up 5% to return above 2 million units for the first time since 2011. Market leader Renault outpaces the market with volumes up 10% or over 20.000 units on the same period last year to 229.830 and 20.8% share, whereas followers Peugeot (+6%), Citroen (+5%) and Volkswagen (-0.4%) all lose market share.
Renault-owned low-cost brand Dacia continues its wild galloping to the top with sales up 14% to 61.925 units, breaking its 6-month record of 61.281 dating back to 2011 and reducing the gap with #3 Volkswagen to just 1.4 percentage point vs. 2.3 a year ago. Dacia even routinely ranks third overall below just Renault and Peugeot and above Citroen and Volkswagen with private buyers and the Sandero is the best-selling privately-bought vehicle in France this year – more on this further down. Below Ford stable at 4.1% share, Toyota (+8%) and Opel (+10%) overtake Nissan (-4%), along with VW the only declining marque in the Top 30. Fiat (+18%) returns to the Top 10 thanks to the success of the 500X and the refreshed 500.
Audi (+13%) remains the most popular luxury brand in France, improving its market share to 3%, but BMW is catching up at +22% to 2.8% while Mercedes is distanced at +7%. Skoda (+14%), Volvo (+16%), Mini (+17%), Hyundai (+18%), Kia (+19%) and Land Rover (+19%) all post robust gains among larger brands, but Smart (+26%), Honda (+41%) and Mazda (+45%) are even stronger. The best smaller performers are Infiniti (+223%) thanks to the Q30 and Jaguar (+264%) thanks to the XE and F-Pace.
In the models ranking, the Renault Clio seems to be headed towards a 6th consecutive year on top despite a slim 3% increase to 62.206, yet keeping a safe distance away from the Peugeot 208 at 54.056 (+16%). The Peugeot 308 (+9%) increases the gap with the Renault Captur (+3%) and Peugeot 2008 (+5%), both still on the up 3 years after launch, but is now threatened in its segment by the Renault Megane IV, the most successful new launch over the period at #12 and 21.801 sales but #5 in June. There’s only two other all-new nameplates in the Top 50: the Renault Talisman (#38) and Hyundai Tucson (#39), and one more in the Top 100: the Mercedes GLC (#96).
In 6th place overall, the Dacia Sandero gains 26% to 31.407 but the big news in France for this nameplate are to be found in the private sales ranking where something historical is happening. Thanks to a pole position in April, May and June the Dacia Sandero is the best-selling privately-bought vehicle in France so far in 2016 with 26.492 vehicles sold to private buyers or 5.2% share, distancing for the very first time the Peugeot 208 (26.070) and Renault Clio (24.905). The Sandero is up 25%, the 208 up 15% and the Clio down 11%. Dacia also places the Duster at #7. An exclusive Top 10 private sales models ranking is available below the jump.
The Renault Kadjar is brilliantly finding its way towards the French Top 10, stopping just 122 units short over the First Half at #11 and 22.322 sales and becoming the best-selling compact SUV in the country above the Dacia Duster (20.640), Peugeot 3008 (17.685) and the Nissan Qashqai (13.366) hurting at -12%. The VW Polo (#10) and Golf (#15) are the only two foreigners in the Top 15, the Citroen C4 Cactus is finding its audience at +13% to #20 and the Renault Espace more than double its sales year-on-year thanks to the new generation at #31. Other great progressions include the Renault Zoe (+32%), VW Touran (+39%), Fiat 500X (+54%), Nissan X-Trail (+57%), Audi A4 (+81%) and Opel Astra (+114%).
The French Light Commercial Vehicle market (LCV) – the largest in Europe – is up 12% year-on-year to 216.019 units, dominated by Renault at 31.9% share (+14%), Peugeot at 16% (+15%), Citroen at 14.9% (+8%) and Fiat at 10% (+14%). Mercedes (+23%), Iveco (+23%) and Nissan (+32%) shine but Toyota (-16%) and Dacia (-49%) struggle. The Renault Kangoo is once again the most popular LCV in France, outpacing the market at +20% to 20.138 deliveries. The Renault Master (+16%), Peugeot Partner (+22%), Mercedes Sprinter (+20%) and Peugeot Boxer (+20%) also impress in the Top 10. The Ford Ranger (+42%) is the best-selling 1 tonne pickup with 2.431 sales, well above the Nissan Navara (1.087), Isuzu D-Max (961) and Toyota Hilux (957) just as the Fiat Fullback enters at #78 and 179 sales. The all-new Renault Alaskan should reshuffle this order shortly.
Full H1 2016 Top 45 brands, Top 365 models, Top 10 private sales, Top 15 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full H1 2015 figures below.