* NOW UPDATED with the Top 45 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales *
The French new car market disappoints in October with a 4% year-on-year decline to 155.201 registrations, seasonally adjusted to a meagre 0.5% gain as this month had one less selling day than October 2015. However as it has been the case for most of this year, the “real” story (read private sales) is more sombre still. Demo sales, at +17% in August and +21% in September, had masked the downward trend but it is coming back with a bang. Both private and demo sales are down 8% and company sales slide down 0.6% in October. This means private sales represent 50.6% of the total market this month vs. 52.8% in October 2015 and 47.7% year-to-date, their lowest ever ratio in France. According to the CCFA, October orders don’t even show a “Paris Auto Show effect” at -0.8% year-on-year to 178.098. Year-to-date overall registrations are still up though at +4.7% to 1.657.651.
Market leader Renault has now firmly entrenched itself into a pattern of sales artificially boosted by tactical channels at the end of each quarter. As a result, it tumbles down 12% in October to just 17.9% market share vs. 20% year-to-date (+6%) and 17.5% for Peugeot, down 3%. That main culprit in Renault’s dismal performance is the 56% year-on-year imploding of demo sales while private sales follow the overall trend at -8%. Peugeot on the contrary benefits from a 66% surge of its demo sales thanks to the new generation 3008 (read below) for which 15.000 orders have already been taken. Peugeot drops 15% in the private segment though. As for Citroen, it falls slightly faster than the market at -5% but is back above the 10% share milestone after a three-month drought at 10.7%. This okay result hides a 23% plunge of its private sales, compensated by the demo sales activity of the new generation C3 (2.175 units).
Volkswagen (+5%), Dacia (+4%) and Toyota (+3%) follow. Fiat (+10%) and Mercedes (+12%) post the largest gains in the Top 10 but Audi (-0.4%) reclaims the #1 premium spot at #8 overall. Further down, Nissan (-19%), Seat (-24%) and DS (-25%) struggle. If most Volkswagen Group brands lose ground this month, it is mainly due to a very high comparison base a year ago when sales were boosted by demo models. October order gains are all in double-digit figures: +10% at Volkswagen, +15% at Skoda, +20% at Seat and +25% at Audi starting to feel the Q2 effect: 700 orders for the small SUV, landing at #185 with just under 100 sales in October. Further down the ranking, great performing brands include Volvo (+22%), Infiniti (+22%), Alfa Romeo (+35%), Maserati (+56%) and Jaguar (+63%).
Model-wise, the Renault Clio holds onto the pole position at 5.5% share vs. 5.1% for the Peugeot 208 with the 308 (3.7%) and 2008 (3.5%) making it three Peugeots in the Top 4 above the Renault Captur in freefall at -28%. The Renault Mégane IV is strong in 7th place above the Dacia Sandero (+16%) which drops to #3 in the private sales ranking below the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio but remains in the lead year-to-date at 42.279 (+26%). The real hero of the month however is the new generation Peugeot 3008 shooting up 37 spots on September to land just outside the Top 10 at #11 with 2.868 sales. Even though 60% of this figure (1.728) are demo sales, this still outstandingly places it as the best-selling C-SUV in France above the Dacia Duster (2.355), Renault Kadjar (2.341) and VW Tiguan (2.200), the latter posting another stunning month at #17 and +72%. Looking further down, the Renault Scenic IV stays at #33 for now with 1.196 demo sales, the Mercedes GLC is up 10 spots on September to #56, the Fiat Tipo up 5 to #64, the Seat Ateca up 27 to #90, the Hyundai Ioniq up 107 to #148 and the Peugeot 5008 II also up 107 ranks to #158.
Full October 2016 Top 45 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.