* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales *
The French new car market starts the year with a 2.5% year-on-year gain in January to 156.851 registrations. For once private sales beat the market with a 3.4% improvement to 77.212 and 49.2% share, well above the 47.8% they held over the Full Year 2017. Company sales surge 15.7% to 24.8% share vs. 22.8% in FY2017, of these long term leases are up 24.5% to 23.004 and 14.7% share whereas tactical sales, such as manufacturer self-registrations (-16.2% to 2.230) and demo sales (-1.9% to 21.570) now add up to just 15.2% of the market vs. 16.5% in FY2017. Similarly, short-term rental sales are down a harsh 16.2% to 16.532 or 10.5%, slightly below their FY2016 level of 11%. Diesel sales continue their descent to hell: after falling below 50% for the first time since 2000 last year at 47.3%, they plunge a further 12% in January to just 41.1% whereas petrol sales soar 16% to 52.6% vs. 47.6% over FY2017. Hybrid sales are up 19.5% to 4.7% share vs. 3.3% in FY2017, while PHEV sales shoot up 128% to 0.7%. Electric car sales on the other hand mark a pause at -42.6%, handicapped by the generation changeover of one of its best-sellers, the Nissan Leaf (-77%) as well as a particularly strong comparison base for the Renault Zoe (-61%) whose new 300km range variant launched exactly a year ago.
Peugeot is the hero of this start of the year at home, soaring 10.5% to cross the 20% share milestone for the first time this decade at 20.1%. Private sales do even better at +19.4% to 14.905 thanks to the 208 (+31% to 4.747), #1 above the 2017 leader the Dacia Sandero (4.314) while company sales are up 38.6% to 10.800 units. Going against the market, Peugeot sees its diesel sales go up 3.4% to reach 22.6% market share thanks to the 3008, leader for this fuel segment with 5.003 sales above the Renault Clio at 3.929, and the 5008 ranking #7 in the segment (1.860). Peugeot (+17.9%) also leads petrol sales at 20.4% share vs. 16.4% for Renault (+24.7%). Renault which is relegated to #2 in the overall brands ranking like in January 2017, down 0.7% to 17.4% share and traditionally weak in start-of-period months after loading December with artificial sales. Fleet sales are up 11% to 9.419 but private sales are down 6.4% to 11.940. After falling to possibly its lowest share in 97 years last month and being outsold by Volkswagen for the first time, Citroen rallies back up 2.7% to 11%, its highest level in a year. Its private sales are up a very encouraging 15.2% year-on-year to 9.687 or 56% share vs. 49.2% for the market.
Low-cost brand Dacia has a historic month in January: up 14.3% to 6.3% share, it manages to snap the 4th spot overall for only the third time in French history after March 2010 and August 2017. Its private sales are up 4.2% to 7.944. Dacia is one of the rare brands that see their diesel sales progress: up 27.5% thanks to the Duster (+70%), sold at 90% in diesel. Volkswagen is in great difficulty this month at -17.7% to just 5.5% share, potentially its lowest this decade in France, with the Tiguan down 37%. Toyota on the other hand is in excellent shape, up 6.9% to hit a stunning 5.1% market share, its highest since August 2014 (5.6%). Its private sales do even better at +11% to 60.5% share.
Ford (-2.6%) sees its private sales drop 4%, its demo sales down 43% but its short-term rentals double. Opel posts exactly the same volume as January 2017, with private sales up 2.9% where the Crossland X is its best-seller above the Corsa. Fiat (+3.6%) is above Nissan (-5.6%) but its growth is artificial: lifted by demo sales up 19.7% and short-term rentals up 20.7% whereas its private sales are down 12.6%. BMW is the best-selling premium brand in France this month but is down 3 spots on December to #11 and down 10% year-on-year. It is followed by Audi imploding 28.3% and Mercedes up 39.4% but traditionally very weak in January at 1.8% share vs. 3.2% in FY2017. Mercedes is however the only of the three to see its diesel sales progress at +23% vs. -33% for BMW and -34% for Audi. Further down, Hyundai shoots up 17% thanks to private sales up 26.7%, Suzuki is up 22.9%, Skoda up 15%, Mini up 23.9%, Jeep up 47.3% and Alfa Romeo up 23.8%.
Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+7%) and Peugeot 208 (+1%) are back on top like they have been over the past five years, but for the second time in the past three months, the Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem is the unofficial best-seller in France thanks to 9.800 deliveries vs. 9.291 for the Clio. The 3008 is up 30% to 4.7% share, a new record for the nameplate eclipsing the 4.4% from last November while the 5008 is up 620% to #16. The Citroen C3 is up 37% to a solid 4th pace, the Peugeot 2008 is down 7% to #5 above the Peugeot 308 (+0.02%), Dacia Sandero (-1%) and Renault Captur (+4%). Thanks to the arrival of the new generation in concessions (1.316 demo sales) the Dacia Duster is up 53% to #9, its second consecutive Top 10 placement and highest monthly ranking since July 2016 (#8).
Among recent launches (<12 months), the Citroen C3 Aircross is up 12 spots on December to post its first ever Top 10 at home at #10, and the next four best-sellers all beat their ranking record also: the Opel Crossland X is up 24 spots to #42, the Opel Grandland X up 45 to #59, the VW T-Roc up 25 to #60 and the Kia Stonic up 41 to #61. The Seat Arona (#82) and new gen Jeep Compass (#88) also lodge their very first Top 100 ranking in France. The locally-produced Toyota Yaris shoots up 32% year-on-year and 5 ranks on December to #11 and best-selling foreigner and, incredibly, the only one inside the Top 16, far above the VW Golf (#17), Polo (#18), Fiat 500 (#19), Ford Fiesta (#20) and Nissan Qashqai (#21).
Full January 2018 Top 35 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.