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France: 1894-2018 Historical Data available

The Renault Dauphine was #1 in France from 1957 to 1961, the period we just updated on BSCB.

26/07/2019 update: Now with All-brands and All-models data from 1951 to 1959, that’s 8 new or updated articles, marked “new” in the list below.

The direct links to 72 French Historical Data articles are below.

Thanks to the formidable support of Marie Dominique Riehl, archivist of the CCFA in Paris, much more detailed Historical Data for France is now available, covering the past 125 years. With circulation figures now available for the 1894-1934 period and detailed annual data from 1930 onwards, we now have for France:

125 uninterrupted years of Historical Data from 1894 onwards

Annual sales data starting in 1930

Annual models data starting in 1947

At least a Top 100 models ranking from 1951 to 1959 and from 1984 onwards

Every monthly Top 10 ranking from January 1982 to December 1993 

At least every monthly Top 10 ranking from June 2004 onwards

The Renault 4CV was #1 in France from 1949 to 1955.

After the Citroen Traction Avant dominated French private sales charts from 1936 to 1948, either a Renault or a Peugeot topped the models ranking in France, except for just 3 occurrences: the Simca Aronde #1 in 1956, the Citroen Ami 6 which was the only Citroen in the last 60 years to top French charts (not the 2CV nor the DS) and the Simca 1100 #1 in 1972. Peugeot had four nameplates #1, the 204 starting in 1969, the 205 starting in 1984, the 206 starting in 2001 and the 207 starting in 2007.

Peugeot Type 5 France 1894The Peugeot Type 5 launched in 1894 and was one of only 200 cars in circulation in France then.

Renault has been the most successful brand in France for each of the past 60 years except in 1959 when Citroen was #1. It started dominating the French charts with the 4CV in 1949, then the Dauphine in 1957, the Renault 4 in 1962, the Renault 12 in 1973Renault 5 in 1974Supercinq in 1986Clio in 1992 and Megane in 1997 (the year indicates the start of their stint at #1). The Clio is the nameplate that has managed the most #1 finishes: 20 times between 1992 and 2018.

French Historical Data:

France 1894-1934: Circulation figures now available!

France 1930-1934: Great depression stops sales growth

France 1935: Market down 7%, Citroen Traction Avant gears up

France 1936: Market up 17%, Citroen Traction Avant should lead

France 1937: Market troubled by strikes and worker unrest

France 1938: Last hurrah before the war

France 1939: Peugeot teases Citroen with the 202

France 1940-1944: Production restricted to (sabotaged) trucks

France 1945: Renault tops charts, Citroen first in private cars

France 1946: Renault #1 overall, Citroen Traction Avant potential best-seller

France 1947: Citroen Traction Avant and Renault Juvaquatre on top

France 1948: Last year of reign for the Citroen Traction Avant

France 1949: 4CV ramps up, lifts Renault to 36.9% share

5.1 million were produced, but the Citroen 2CV never topped the models ranking in France…

France 1950: Renault 4CV and Peugeot 203 on top

France 1951-1952: Renault 4CV and Peugeot 203 dominate, Ford Vedette #6, production hits half-million (new)

France 1953: Renault 4CV leads, Citroen up to 28% share, Renault Fregate up to #6 (new)

France 1954: Renault 4CV holds onto top spot, Simca 9 Aronde up to #2 (new)

France 1955: Citroen threatens Renault for #1, first podium for 2CV, legendary DS 19 lands (new)

France 1956: Simca Aronde takes the lead (new)

France 1957: Renault Dauphine first model above 100.000 annual sales (new)

France 1958: Renault Dauphine hits 20% share, Citroen 2 CV above 100.000 sales (new)

France 1959: Citroen overtakes Renault to #1 brand, Dauphine breaks production records (new)

The Renault 4 is the most popular French car ever and ranked first 6 times between 1962 and 1968

France 1960: Renault Dauphine reigns

France 1961: Renault Dauphine and Citroen 2CV on top, R4 launches

France 1962-1965: Renault 4L takes control

France 1966: Citroen Ami 6 snaps up top spot

France 1967: Renault 4 reclaims leadership

France 1968: Renault 4 and Peugeot 204 in the lead

France 1969-1971: Peugeot 204 dominates

France 1972: Simca 1100 best-seller

France 1973: Renault 12 in pole position

France 1974-1976: Renault 5 in command, Citroen 2CV shines

France 1977-1978: Renault 5 stays on top, Peugeot 104 strong

France 1979: Renault 5, 18 and Peugeot 305 on podium

The Renault 5 hits 16% of the French market in 1980.

France 1980: Renault 5 hits highest share at 16%

France 1981: Renault 5 and 18 strong, Peugeot 104 on podium

France 1982: New Renault 9 shakes models ranking

France 1983: Renault 5 celebrates 10 years in first place

France 1984: Peugeot 205 takes the relay

France 1985: Peugeot 205 at its highest, Renault Supercinq arrives

France 1986: Renault Supercinq edges out Peugeot 205

France 1987: Renault Supercinq and Peugeot 205 fight it out

France 1988: Renault Supercinq and Peugoeot 205 at highest volumes

France 1989: Last year of reign for the Renault Supercinq

The Peugeot 205 topped the French charts for a total of 4 years.

France 1990: Peugeot 205 reclaims top spot, Renault Clio arrives

France 1991: Peugeot 205 keeps Renault Clio at bay

France 1992: The Renault Clio starts its reign

France 1993: Renault Clio miles away from the competition

France 1994: Renault Clio leads, Peugeot 306 and 106 on podium

France 1995: Renault Clio #1, Twingo gets better

France 1996: Renault Clio softer, Megane already #2

France 1997: Renault Megane snaps up pole position!

France 1998: Renault Clio reclaims top spot

France 1999: The Renault Clio/Peugeot 206 match has started

The Renault Clio is the most successful nameplate in history with 20 annual wins starting in 1992.

France 2000: Renault Clio winner ahead of 206 and Scenic

France 2001: Peugeot 206 leads with 211,000 sales

France 2002: Renault Clio edges Peugeot 206 out, 307 above 7%

France 2003: Renault Clio, Peugeot 206 & 307 leading again

France 2004: Peugeot 206 passes Renault Clio, Modus off to a great start

France 2005: Renault Scenic #1 in First Half, Clio leader in Full Year

France 2006: Renault Clio III #1, Peugeot 207 gearing up

France 2007: Peugeot 207 #1, Citroen C4 Picasso #4, Toyota Yaris & Dacia Logan at best-ever

France 2008: Peugeot 207 #1, 308 #3

France 2009: Peugeot 207 #1, Renault Twingo #3 

The Peugeot 207 was #1 in France from 2007 to 2010.

France 2010: Peugeot 207 #1 for the 4th consecutive year 

France 2011: Renault Clio #1, a Citroen (C3) on the podium for the first time since 1985!

France 2012: Last hurrah for the Renault Clio III, no car at 100k+ sales for 1st time since 1956

France 2013: Renault Clio IV new leader, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 superstars

France 2014: Renault Clio IV keeps lead, Captur on podium

France 2015: Fleet and rental sales push market up 7%

France 2016: Private sales under 50% share for the first time in history

France 2017: Clio #1, Peugeot 3008 on podium, Top 12 100% French for 1st time since 1980

France 2018: PSA strong, Dacia overtakes VW, Clio marks 20 years on top, no foreigner in the Top 13 for the first time in 40 years

France 2018: Exclusive Top 20 brands for every Top 100 department now available

This Post Has One Comment
  1. The Peugeot Type 5 remind Peugeot is one of the most older marque in the world. And still from the best with the Best in class 308.

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