* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales *
New car sales in France post a very timid 0.2% year-on-year gain in May at 191.708 registrations, partly due to one less opening day compared to May 2017 with the daily selling rate up a much more vigorous 5.4%. The year-to-date volume remains solid at +3.5% to 935.902 units. Once again the good news is the health of the private sales channel up 1.9% to 88.668 and 46.3% share vs. 45.5% a year ago, with the YTD volume now up 6.1% to 448.561 and 47.9% share vs. 46.7% over the same period in 2017. Leases are also up at +0.6% but all tactical channel drop: self-registrations (-8.5%), short-term rentals (-3.7%) and demo sales (-0.2%). The share of diesel sales seems to have stabilised at 40%, to be compared with 48% in May 2017 and 54% in May 2016. Year-to-date, petrol sales are up 17% to 502.892 units and 53.7% share vs. 47.5% over the same period in 2017, diesel sales are down 12.2% to 378.501 and 40.4% share vs. 47.7% in 2017, hybrid sales are up 32% to 42.021 and 4.5% share vs. 3.5%, including plug-in hybrids up 57.2% to 5.607 and pure electric sales edge up a somewhat disappointing 4% to 11.215 and an unchanged 1.2% share.
In the brands ranking, Renault (-6.2%) reclaims the top spot at 18.9% but its steep decline sends its YTD volume down 0.6% at 18.9% share also. Peugeot edges up 0.8% to 17.3%, well below the 18.2% it holds YTD (+8.4%). Despite the arrival of the C3 Aircross, Citroen is still in great difficulty, dropping a sharp 12.4% to 9% share, its lowest this year so far. Once again low-cost carmaker Dacia is the hero of the Top 10, scoring the largest year-on-year gain at +25.2% and remaining in 4th place overall for only the 5th time in history after March 2010, August 2017, January and April 2018, distancing Volkswagen (-11.2%) both this month and YTD. Fiat (+20.1%), Mercedes (+10.1%) and Toyota (+10%) also post double-digit gains in the Top 10, with Mercedes snapping the Premium YTD lead off BMW. Jeep (+72.7%), Hyundai (+32.5%), Skoda (+29.8%), DS (+28.4%), Suzuki (+21%), Seat (+18.2%) and Kia (+14.2%) also impress.
Model-wise, the Renault Clio (-2%) posts a 21st consecutive monthly win (no interruption since September 2016), but the hero of the month is the Peugeot 3008 shooting up 32% year-on-year to snap the overall 2nd place for the first time in the history of the nameplate with 8.078 sales and 4.2% share. These are the 2nd best volume and share ever reached by the SUV (bests are 8.743 in June 2017 and 4.7% in January 2018). The 3008 therefore outsells the 208 (-13%) to become Peugeot’s best-seller at home for only the second time in history after last December. Its 7-seat variant, the 5008, is also in olympic form, hitting a new volume record (2.924). The result: with 11.002 sales and 5.7% share, the 3008/5008 tandem is the unofficial best-selling vehicle in France for the 5th time in the past 7 months. Having a nameplate other than the traditional Renault/Peugeot superminis in the monthly Top 2 is a relatively rare occurrence in France: it happened 15 times in the past 100 months (= this decade) and only for the 2nd place, meaning either the Clio or the 206/207/208 ranked #1 every month since February 2010. The Renault Captur has been the most disruptive so far, ranking #2 four times (June 2014, June 2015, June 2016, Dec 2017), followed by the Renault Megane (Sept 2011, April 2012, May 2012), Citroen C3 (Mar 2011, Dec 2013), Peugeot 308 (May 2015, Jan 2016), Dacia Sandero (Mar 2010), Renault Scenic (June 2012), Twingo (Feb 2010) and now Peugeot 3008 (May 2018). The last time a different nameplate ranked #1 in France was 9 years ago in April 2009 (Renault Twingo).
Dacia places the Sandero (+14%) at #4 overall for the 2nd month running and the Duster up 79% to #7 (up 51% to #9 YTD). This is the Duster’s highest ranking in France since April 2014 and second best ranking below the #5 it hit in November 2011 and February 2013. That’s two Dacias in the Top 10 for the 6th month in a row but the first time the French monthly ranking ever features two Dacias in the Top 7. The Renault Captur (+11%) is up three spots on April to #5, a position it now also holds YTD (+2), bypassing its archenemy the Peugeot 2008 (-10%). The Citroen C3 (-11%), Peugeot 308 (-15%), Renault Megane (-18%) and Scenic (-23%) are all hit hard. The Citroen C3 Aircross gains two spots on last month to #12, by far the best-selling recent launch above the VW T-Roc at #27 (+1). The Top 12 best-sellers are 100% French with the VW Polo (-27%) the #1 foreigner at #13 followed by the Fiat 500 (+34%) at #15, the Ford Fiesta (-14%) at #19 and the Opel Corsa (+6%) at #20.
Among other recent launches, the DS 7 Crossback breaks into the Top 40 for the first time at #40, representing half of the brand’s May sales at home, the Seat Arona is up 10 spots on April to #53, a new all-time high, but the Opel Grandland X is down 16 to #57. The Jeep Compass is up 8 to #63, the Hyundai Kona up 11 to #75, the Kia Stonic up 8 to #89, the BMW X2 breaks into the French Top 100 for the first time at #91 (+26) and the Skoda Karoq is up 3 to #96. After appearing for the first time in the French charts last month, the Peugeot Rifter is up 27 spots to #169 while the Citroen C4 Spacetourer, the new naming of the C4 Picasso, lands at #173. Looking at private sales only, the Dacia Sandero (+7.9%) easily tops the ranking with a 1.500 sales advantage over the Peugeot 208 (+10.9%). The outstanding performer in May is the Dacia Duster (+73.2%) climbing onto the private sales podium at #3 for the first time since we started following private sales monthly in August 2015. Yes, that means there are two Dacias in the Top 3! The Peugeot 3008 surges 28.1% to #7 and the Citroen C3 Aircross remains inside the private Top 10 at #10 and #9 YTD.
Previous month: France April 2018: Peugeot #1, Dacia hits all-time record share
One year ago: France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into Top 5
Full May 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.