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France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to third largest monthly volume in history

Fiat is up 42.4% to hit its highest ranking in France this decade at #6

* Now updated with the Top 45 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales – click on title to see *

At +9.2% to 252.222 registrations in June, the French new car market posts a sixth consecutive year-on-year gain, its largest leap this year so far and, most impressively, a new all-time record for June – beating the 235.137 previous best established in 2009. It is also the largest outright monthly volume in two decades, the third largest monthly volume in history and only the third time the French market surpasses the quarter-million mark in a single month after July 1999 (292.625) and December 1988 (257.349). Satisfyingly, as it has been the case in 2018 this growth is relatively healthy, with private sales up 7.1% to 112.271 and company/government sales + leases up 12.5% to 56.263. Self-registrations by manufacturers sink 47.8% to 1.187, demo sales trail the market at +5% to 39.818 but short-term rental sales shoot up 33.7% to 32.193 as rental companies stock up for the summer holiday season. Diesel sales have stabilised at 40% of the market since March vs. 49% in June 2017.

Renault Twingo sales surge 62% year-on-year in June.

As is the tradition with the carmaker, Renault backloads its sales at the end of the quarter even more so this year at +12.4% to 23.6% share vs. 19.9% YTD. The is Renault’s highest share at home in two years, since the 25.1% hit in June 2016. The carmaker is particularly strong in the company/lease channel at a splendid +41% to 21.047 units, but also through typically artificial channels such as short-term rentals shooting up 86% to 9.437. Demo sales are also down (-4.2%) but remain high at 8.899. Reading through the lines, in fact private buyers have scolded the brand this month at a painful -15% to 16.820 units, only representing 28% of Renault’s June sales and frankly outsold by Peugeot (18.472) which is an impressive feat as end of periods are normally “owned” by Renault across all channels.

The 5008 (+41%) helps Peugeot up 4.6% in June at home.

Peugeot advances much more slowly at +4.6% to 17%, but its growth is somewhat healthier than Renault with private sales up 5.4% to top the market, even though demo sales (+12.7%) and short-term rental sales (+22.5%) are more dynamic. Finally feeling the benefits of the new C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus and with the C5 Aircross just hitting the market, Citroen records its first double-digit gain of the year at +11.1% to 9.7%, lifted by an exceptional performance with private buyers at +23.7% to 11.287.

Dacia ranks 4th brand overall for the 4th time this year.

Dacia at #4 overall above Volkswagen has become the new normal in 2018 (January, April, May and June) but it had only ever happened twice before this year: in March 2010 and August 2017. In June, the low-cost brand posts another spectacular 28.2% year-on-year gain to 6.6% share and remains #3 with private buyers above Citroen, up 24.5% to 12.522. Not that Volkswagen isn’t keeping up either: the German carmaker confirms it has no competition among foreign brands with deliveries up 19% to 6.3%, a dynamism spread across demo sales (+32%), short-term rentals (+31.3%) and private sales (+16.4%).

Seat is up 50.4% thanks mainly to its best-seller the Arona.

It’s however Fiat, at polar opposites from its paltry performance at home in Italy, that manages the largest gain in the Top 15 at +42.4%, hitting its highest monthly ranking this decade at #6, compared with #12 during the tail end of 2017 in both November and December. And for once, Fiat’s growth is healthy with private sales up 57%, helped by short-term rentals up 75% and demo sales up 10.7%. Toyota (+15.7%) also impresses in the remainder of the Top 10 while below, Seat (+50.4%), DS (+38.7%) thanks solely to the 7 Crossback (#38) representing 42% of the brand’s June deliveries, Kia (+30.3%), Skoda (+23.1%) and Volvo (+22.3%) make themselves noticed. At the other end of the scale, Ford (-21.6%), Nissan (-15.2%) as well as the Top 3 premium Germans Mercedes (-19.6%), BMW (-11.8%) and Audi (-4.5%) all endure painful falls.

The DS 7 Crossback is up to a record #38, pushing DS sales up 38.7% this month.

Propelled by backloaded artificial deliveries, the Renault Clio sails off at +19% to 7% share, that’s 60% above its long-term rival the Peugeot 208 (+7%). The Renault Captur(+11%) is back on the podium as it has been the case over the past five quarter ends, knocking the Peugeot 3008 (now plateauing at -1%) down to #4. The Renault Twingo (+62%), Dacia Duster (+29%), Sandero (+27%) and Citroen C3 (+19%) also frankly outpace the market near the top. The Citroen C3 Aircross drops one spot on May to #13 but remains by far the best-selling recent launch in France (<12 months) ahead of the VW T-Roc (#28), DS 7 Crossback (#38) and the Seat Arona (#55). Strong performers also include the Opel Crossland X (+178%), Fiat Panda (+117%), Kia Picanto (+101%), BMW X1 (+67%), Toyota C-HR (+55%), Renault Koleos (+47%) and Kangoo (+46%).

Previous month: France May 2018: Peugeot 3008 up to #2, Dacia Duster at highest in 4 years

One year ago: France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

Full June 2018 Top 45 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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