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France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into the Top 5

The Renault Scénic IV frankly takes the lead of its segment in May. Picture 

* See the Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

Finally, the French new car market shows a solid, non-artificial gain in May at +8.9% year-on-year to 191.419 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 3.3% to 904.344 units. Business sales gain 14% to 38.859 units but the good news is private sales for once frankly in positive at +6.7% to 87.478. This renewed dynamism could find its origin in a post-presidential election newfound confidence by consumers and companies alike. There are still signs of artificial gains though with the demo sales channel shooting up 26.8% to 25.226 units, and let’s not forget the private sales share is still declining at 45.7% vs. 46.6% in May 2016. Renault beats the market with a 13% gain to a strong 20% share, with business sales up 23%, demo sales doubling thanks notably to the facelifted Captur and private sales down 1.1%. Peugeot trails the market at +5.9% but its channel mix is solid with private sales up 10.7%, business sales up 32% and demo sales down 23.2%. Citroen is in the same situation with overall sales up 5.7% to 10.2% share but private sales up 21.2% thanks to the new C3.

First podium ranking at home for the new gen Citroen C3. 

Volkswagen is up 12% to deliver its highest market share so far this year at 7.4%, while Dacia remains very strong at +11% to 5.5% of the market and over 10.000 units sold. Ford surges 20% to reclaim the #2 foreign carmaker spot year-to-date off Toyota, up 12% this month. Opel is up 10% solely thanks to demo sales (+44.9%) whereas private sales are down 1.9% and Fiat also shines at +19%. Audi wins the luxury race but only gains 7% vs. +18% for Mercedes whose private sales shoot up 32.4% while BMW is distanced at +2% and private sales down 0.2%. Further down, Seat (+28% thanks to the Ateca), Volvo (+19%), Alfa Romeo (+58%) and Tesla (+181%) show significant year-on-year gains.

The Fiesta (+74%) helps Ford up 20% this month.

The Renault Clio is faithful to its traditional pole position in France but trails the market at +5% while the Peugeot 208, almost 1.000 units below, is up 12%. The new generation Citroen C3, which appeared last August,  breaks onto the French podium for the first time and lifts to #5 year-to-date, overtaking the Renault Captur. It is the first podium for the C3 nameplate (all generations) since October 2014. Despite a 16% drop, the Peugeot 308 remains by far in the compact car segment lead, with the Megane IV up 44% but only ranking 10th. The big news this month is the 5th place of the Renault Scenic IV, its first time in the Top 5 and finally above its archenemy the Citroen C4 Picasso (down 9% to #12).

The Peugeot 3008 II is now #6 year-to-date. Picture 

Another excellent month for the new generation Peugeot 3008 in 7th place, it now ranks 6th year-to-date and continues to dominate its segment at 3.6% share vs. 1.8% for the Dacia Duster (+1%) and 1.6% for the Renault Kadjar (-13%). The Dacia Sandero is solid at +11% in 8th place, and both the Peugeot 2008 (-9%) and Renault Captur (-10%) seem to run out of steam, yet the 2008 remains at a splendid third place so far in 2017 vs. #7 for the Captur. Foreign models perform better than the market as a whole with a 9.9% gain, and it shows in the best-sellers: the VW Polo is up 32% on runout pricing for the outgoing generation, the Ford Fiesta is up 74%, the Fiat 500 up 40%, Opel Corsa up 34%, VW Tiguan up 84% and Opel Mokka up 24%.

The new generation Renault Koleos finally appears in its home sales charts. 

The Toyota C-HR continues to dominate recent foreign launches (<12 months) at #27 with just under 1% market share, with the Audi Q2 remaining inside the Top 50 – just – at #50 and the new generation Nissan Micra up 26 spots on April to #52. In the French ranks, the new Peugeot 5008 pushes the nameplate up 38% to #28 and the Renault Koleos reappears in the ranking – it’s the new model – at #64. Finally, this month we welcome the Opel Crossland at #150 and the VW Arteon at #175.

Looking at the private sales channel only, the Dacia Sandero accentuates its domination with sales up 14% year-on-year and almost 1.500 more than the #2, the Peugeot 208 (-13%). The Peugeot 2008 shoots up 27% to round up the podium and still ranks #2 year-to-date above the 208. The Renault Clio (-15%) and Captur (-29%) struggle but the VW Polo (+26%), Citroen C3 (+33%), Renault Scenic (+83%) and Peugeot 3008 (+117%) all impress.

Previous month: France April 2017: Peugeot 2008 and 3008 lead their segments

One year ago: France May 2016: Market up 22%, Dacia #3 brand with private buyers

Full May 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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