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France July 2019: Citroen, Toyota, Mercedes help contain market loss to -1.8%, Renault down to lowest share this decade

The Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 are the best-selling models in France in July.

27/08/2019 update: Now with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 353 All-models.

If the June -8.4% fall appeared higher than it really was due to two less selling days vs. June 2018, the situation is reversed this month with a modest -1.8% year-on-year drop to 172.228 registrations with one added selling days hiding a true -6.1% fall. Year-to-date volumes are also down -1.8% to 1.338.670 units. This contained year-on-year July fall is actually a stunning performance given the July 2018 comparison set was unusually high as sales were artificially boosted up 18.9% by pre-WLTP rushed – and “fake” – demo and garage sales, and even though it may have been boosted somewhat by a negative change in cash-for-clunkers legislation. Also keep in mind that between 2012 and 2017 July volumes were around 150.000 units. We can thank private buyers for this: they account for just under 50% of total registrations in July vs. 44.5% so far this year. Company sales account for 25% and demo sales 14.5% vs. 19.6% last month. Petrol sales are up 6.7% year-on-year so far in 2019 to 784.603 units and 58.6% share vs. 53.9% a year ago, diesel registrations continue to freefall at -16.5% to 458.090 and 34.2% share vs. 40.2%, hybrid sales soar 11.1% to 68.516 and 5.1% share vs. 4.5% including 8.084 PHEVs, up 9.9% and EVs leap up 49.4% to 24.085 and 1.7% share vs. 1.2% over the first 7 months of 2018.

The Renault Clio V is down 4 spots on June to #15.

For the 4th time this year and the 11th time in the past 20 months, Peugeot (+0.3%) easily tops its home brands ranking with 17.9% share, leaving Renault (-14.5%) in the dust at a paltry 13.7%, believed to be the carmaker’s lowest share at home this decade. Peugeot is also #1 with private buyers but its advantage is lessened at 14% vs. 12.6% share. In contrast, Citroen (+12.8%) is back to double-digit year-on-year gains for the 4th time this year, with Volkswagen (-0.3%) prepped by strong short-term rental sales (18% share) and demo sales (17%) and Dacia (+1.5%) rounding up the Top 5. Toyota (+11.3%) posts an impressive surge and ends the month only 405 sales below Dacia, while Mercedes (+13.7%) wins the premium race ahead of Audi (+0.3%) and BMW (+3.9%) but is outsold by Audi with private buyers. Below, Mini (+37.2%), Skoda (+24.4%), Suzuki (+22.3%), Hyundai (+17.8%), Volvo (+13.3%), Jeep (+10.5%) thanks to short-term rentals at 61% share, Kia (+10.4%) and Seat (+9.1%) make themselves noticed whereas Nissan (-54.8%) and Fiat (-32.2%) both feel the year-on-year pain of artificially strong July 2018 sales. Among smaller brands, Tesla (+641.7%), Alpine (+157.3%), Lamborghini (+157.1%), Ferrari (+86.4%), Smart (+68.2%) thanks to demo sales accounting for 42% and Lexus (+31.2%) shine.

The Peugeot 208 II makes its very first appearance in the French charts at #129 in July.

Over in the models ranking, the Peugeot 208 I (+6%) continues to take advantage of the Renault Clio model changeover and tops the charts for the third straight month, just as the Peugeot 208 II makes its entrance in the ranking at #129 with 245 demo sales. For the first time since August 2016, combined Peugeot 208 sales outpace Renault Clio sales with the Clio IV (aka Generation) in freefall (-43%) and the Clio V down 4 spots on June to #15. A note for SUV admirers: combined sales of 3008 (-27.1%) and 5008 (-1.8%) are above 208 sales despite a steep fall and could therefore qualify as the unofficial best-selling vehicle in France for July. The Citroen C3 (+9.9%) posts a very solid score and hits the 2nd place overall for the first time since December 2013 which was the previous generation. For its part the Dacia Sandero (+3.3%) climbs onto the podium for the 2nd time in the past 3 months and the Peugeot 308 (+13.8%) uncharacteristically signs the largest gain in the Top 9. The Dacia Sandero remains the favourite of private buyers with 5.9% share this month ahead of the Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 both at 4.8%.

The Toyota Yaris is up to #8 overall and #5 with private buyers.

For the fist time in 4 years (since August 2015), there are two foreigners in the Top 10: the Toyota Yaris (+5.3%) at #8 and the VW Polo (+24.1%) at #10, but only four in the Top 20: add the VW Tiguan (-23.5%) and Fiat 500 (+0.2%). Note the Toyota Yaris is the 5th best-seller with private buyers this month with 2.8% share. The Citroen C5 Aircross is up 5 spots on June to reclaim the title of most popular new launch off the Renault Clio V at #13 while the VW T-Cross breaks its ranking record at #29, the Toyota Corolla is up a further 6 spots to #39, the DS 3 Crossback down 10 to #48, the Lexus UX up 33 to #107 and the Tesla Model 3 down 58 to #114. Further down, the Peugeot 508 (+442.9%), Ford Focus (+314.9%), Opel Karl (+259.7%), Ford Kuga (+130.5%), Renault Zoe (+106.8%), Jeep Renegade (+94.3%), Mercedes A-Class (+88.3%) and Audi Q3 (+73.2%) are among the most dynamic.

Previous post: France First Half 2019: Citroen (+11.4%), Mercedes (+7.5%) strong in market down -1.8%

Previous month: France June 2019: Renault Clio V just misses out on first Top 10, Twingo at highest in 8 years in market down -8.4%

One year ago: France July 2018: Two more days, artificial sales boost market up 18.9%

Full July 2019 Top 50 All-brands and Top 353 All-models below.

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