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France November 2019: Renault Clio V and Peugeot 208 II take control in market propped up by demo sales (+36%)

The Renault Clio V and Peugeot 208 II have now taken control of the French charts.

New car sales in France edge up 0.7% year-on-year in November to 172.735 units, but with 2 less selling days than in November 2018 this actually corresponds to a vey solid 11.3% uptick in real terms. But don’t get the Champagne out just yet as there are humbling signs to this seemingly extravagant progression as we’ll see further down. The French market is starting to be significantly impacted by the steep price increase (malus) for polluting vehicles due on January 1, 2020, carmakers self-registering cars this year so they can sell them cheaper next year. The year-to-date volume is now down a tiny -0.2% to 2.003.089 units, setting the scene for a potential small bump up by the time 2019 comes to an end given December 2018 was down -14%. This is only the 7th time in French history that the 2 million sales mark is eclipsed after just 11 months, and the third time this decade after 2011 (2.016.412) and 2018 (2.008.091), the record being 2.165.728 in 1990. Suspiciously, 21.503 sales were registered on Thursday 28/11 and 23.046 on Friday 29/11, or a whopping 26% of the monthly total in the last two recorded days of the month.

Private sales tumble down -15.9% year-on-year to 73.999 and a paltry 42.8% share – to BSCB knowledge the lowest private sales ratio ever recorded in France – vs. 48.7% in November 2018, 50.9% in November 2017 and 44.9% so far in 2019. In contrast, company sales gain 2.1% to 42.717 and 24.7%  share vs. 24.4% in November 2018 and 21.5% year-to-date. Demo sales are almost solely responsible for the November market uptick, surging 36% year-on-year to 35.873 and 20.8% share vs. 15.4% a year ago and 18% YTD. Diesel sales are bouncing back slightly: after falling to 31% in August, it came back up to 33.5% in October and ends November at 34.2% vs. 34% over 11 months. Traditional hybrids are also up at 5.4% vs. 4.8% YTD but EVs are down from 2.3% in both September and October to 1.8% this month.

The Renault Clio V is #1 in France in November, overall and with companies.

Behind Renault’s spectacular year-on-year gain (+26.9%) that enables the brand to remain #1 above Peugeot (-4%) hides a particularly reckless use of artificial sales. Peugeot is indeed in the lead with private buyers at 11.705 (-14.5%) and 15.8% share vs. just 9.790 (-16.1%) and 13.2% for Renault, only slightly above Citroen (8.466): this means private sales only represent 30% of Renault sales in November vs. 42.8% national average! Peugeot is also #1 with companies including leases at 11.660 and a whopping 27.3% share vs. 22.7% for Renault. On the other hand Renault is the king of tactical (read artificial) sales in November: 7.685 demos, up an indecent 202% year-on-year vs. 4.409 for Peugeot, and 5.358 rental sales (+64.5%)… Citroen (-3.2%) can’t keep its head above water and is stuck just under 10% share like YTD, well below its share of private buyers (11.4%).

Despite a -7.7% drop, Volkswagen is back to #4 above Dacia (-20.9%) and Toyota (-13.3%) both in rare difficulty. VW is above Toyota this month with private buyers but not year-to-date, and the German carmaker has also pushed strongly on demo sales accounting for 27% of its November total. Below Ford (+3.5%) solid at #7 and holding a strong 4.3% share with private buyers, Mercedes (-5.7%) thanks to short-term rentals up 92.6% is back above BMW (+18.3%) in the premium race just as Audi (+33.1%) is stuck outside the Top 10 despite a spectacular recovery on weak post-WLTP year-ago volumes and a strong reliance on short-term rentals (+43.1%). Nissan (+40.1%) partly thanks to demo sales accounting for 40% of its November volume, Seat (+23.1%), Skoda (+17.8%) and Hyundai (+15%) also just get back to normal, their impressive upticks just compensating for a particularly low year-ago comparison base. On the other hand Opel (-37.6%) is hurting from the loss of the Adam, Mokka and Karl despite huge demo sales representing 50% of its November volume. Porsche (+642.2%), Tesla (+127.7%), Alpine (+53.5%), Lamborghini (+44.4%), Land Rover (+36.3%) nd  Mazda (+25.1%) impress further down.

The Peugeot 208 II is #2 in France overall but #1 with private buyers.

The stage is set in the models ranking: taking the relay from the previous generations, the Renault Clio V (5.2%) and Peugeot 208 II (3.8%) are the two best-selling vehicles at home for the first time. This is the second time the Clio V tops French charts after last September, while the 208 II is up a fantastic 10 spots on October to land at #2. Including the previous gens, the Clio (6.3%) has a thin edge over the 208 (5.6%). In fact, coinciding with its 2nd generation’s first full month in market, the 208 is already #1 with private buyers at 4.656 sales (including 3.764 for the 208 II) vs. 3.763 for the Dacia Sandero and 3.201 for the Clio, which compensates with a company sales pole position at 3.587 vs. 2.190 for the 208. Having the 208 II as the private buyer’s favourite and the Clio V king of other channels could be a long-term trend: an October readers poll by the most popular French automotive weekly Auto Plus showed 72% preferred the new 208 vs. just 23% the Clio

The Peugeot 3008 (-5.2%) rounds up the podium like last month and is up to #2 with companies, while the Citroen C3 (-9.9%) is toppled from its first ever  pole position in October down to #4 and the Renault Captur I (+30.6%) beets from end-of-life discounts unlike the Peugeot 2008 I (-33.8%). Excellent month for the Renault Megane (+38.8%) up to #10, the Toyota Yaris (-3.8%) remains the most popular foreigner at #12 above the VW Polo (-22.7%) at #15 but ranks #5 with private buyers vs. #11 for the Polo. Ford Kuga (+275.4%), Peugeot Rifter (+274.3%), Nissan Qashqai (+152.9%), Renault Kadjar (+67.9%), Scenic (+45.6%) and VW T-Roc (+21.6%) also shine in remainder of the Top 30.

Previous month: France October 2019: Market up 8.7%, Peugeot 208 II lands at #12, Clio pulled to #2, Citroen C3 scores first ever pole position

One year ago: France November 2018: Peugeot leads, Renault sinks, Dacia shines in market down -4.7%

Full November 2019 Top 50 All-brands and Top 80 models below.

France November 2019 – brands:

25Land Rover6570.4%36.3%266,6500.3%5.6%2627
29Alfa Romeo3490.2%6.7%303,3090.2%-58.0%3124
41Aston Martin90.0%350.0%44790.0%5.3%4242
44MPM Motors50.0%0.0%45380.0%-38.7%47 –
45Rolls-Royce30.0%n/a –90.0%-43.8%5050
46Secma20.0%-33.3% –750.0%92.3%4447
48Dallara10.0%n/a –10.0%n/a54 –

France November 2019 – models:

Note this is a preliminary ranking. Renault Captur II and Peugeot 2008 II volumes are unknown for now and will be uploaded alongside with final data when made available.

1Renault Clio V8,9625.2%new240,6382.0%new12 –
2Peugeot 208 II6,4893.8%new1211,0550.6%new45 –
3Peugeot 30086,2633.6%-5.2%367,8583.4%-14.3%43
4Citroen C35,8923.4%-9.9%174,5853.7%3.8%34
5Renault Captur I4,7062.7%30.6%860,8973.0%-3.1%66
6Dacia Sandero4,5332.6%-30.9%662,8263.1%-3.4%55
7Peugeot 3084,3412.5%-16.9%552,8942.6%-10.2%88
8Renault Twingo3,7462.2%-0.4%1046,0162.3%8.5%910
9Peugeot 2008 I3,6502.1%-33.8%957,2482.9%-7.9%77
10Renault Mégane3,4942.0%38.8%1440,1022.0%-5.7%1311
11Dacia Duster3,4042.0%-16.5%744,6512.2%-7.4%109
12Toyota Yaris3,3221.9%-3.8%1137,8551.9%12.4%1415
13Citroen C3 Aircross3,2571.9%-19.6%1543,8272.2%9.1%1112
14Peugeot 208 I3,2191.9%-63.8%484,9484.2%-10.8%12
15VW Polo3,1911.8%-22.7%1635,0341.7%5.6%1514
16Citroen C5 Aircross2,7861.6%427.7%1331,0001.5%3931.2%17163
17Peugeot 50082,4911.4%-20.3%1925,9731.3%-10.6%2016
18Renault Scénic2,4491.4%45.6%1832,5911.6%-15.3%1613
19Renault Kadjar2,1761.3%67.9%1726,0731.3%4.2%1919
20Peugeot Rifter1,9991.2%274.3%4512,2860.6%416.0%40128
21Renault Clio Generation1,9221.1%-78.9%2078,0413.9%-30.9%21
22Opel Corsa1,9151.1%-24.2%2126,8601.3%9.0%1820
23Renault Zoe1,8651.1%-1.6%2716,7200.8%15.5%3129
24VW T-Roc1,8521.1%21.6%2520,3311.0%39.7%2330
25Nissan Qashqai1,8131.0%152.9%3217,7660.9%-22.0%2923
26VW Tiguan1,7391.0%-14.5%2319,2481.0%-18.2%2721
27Mercedes Classe A1,6891.0%-7.5%3617,9540.9%35.5%2831
28Fiat 5001,6851.0%-6.6%2624,8051.2%-8.0%2117
29Citroen C4 Spacetourer1,5870.9%10.4%3516,9940.8%106.3%3054
30Ford Kuga1,5540.9%275.4%547,7740.4%-22.2%6448
31Peugeot 1081,5210.9%-12.8%2820,1691.0%3.5%2424
32VW T-Cross1,4870.9%new3410,9880.5%new47 –
33Ford Fiesta1,3700.8%-28.9%2222,3991.1%-1.7%2222
34VW Golf1,3700.8%-48.0%4120,1391.0%-21.2%2518
35Citroen C4 Cactus1,3170.8%-30.3%2919,5311.0%5.2%2626
36Peugeot 5081,2880.7%142.1%3114,1160.7%149.6%3780
37Seat Arona1,2370.7%26.9%4211,8210.6%36.1%4255
38Toyota Corolla1,2290.7%new309,8040.5%new51 –
39BMW X11,2090.7%-3.1%4610,8730.5%-2.4%4841
40Fiat Panda1,1940.7%-18.1%3714,3830.7%14.4%3634
41Toyota Aygo1,1800.7%7.4%3813,8990.7%21.7%3838
42Hyundai Tucson1,1340.7%38.0%499,3010.5%8.6%5356
43Mini Hatch1,1220.6%-23.1%3915,0490.7%14.2%3433
44Citroen Berlingo1,0980.6%41.1%4311,1380.6%16.9%4444
45Toyota C-HR1,0850.6%-42.1%3316,3160.8%-12.3%3225
46Ford Ka+1,0530.6%83.4%607,8040.4%3.5%6368
47Citroen C11,0140.6%-40.8%4415,9160.8%1.1%3328
48Audi A11,0080.6%113.6%728,4430.4%13.6%5971
49Mercedes Classe B1,0020.6%33.2%636,6900.3%14.8%7882
50Opel Crossland X9800.6%-28.0%5311,9190.6%3.6%4139
51DS 3 Crossback9760.6%new407,6580.4%new66263
52Fiat 500X9590.6%-21.6%5214,7740.7%7.0%3532
53DS 7 Crossback9420.5%-29.4%4812,8320.6%37.9%3947
54BMW Série 18970.5%22.9%516,7160.3%-29.9%7746
55Hyundai Kona8910.5%10.0%509,4130.5%50.4%5279
56Ford Ecosport8810.5%-16.8%6811,0030.5%-5.0%4640
57Suzuki Swift7600.4%-19.3%5510,5840.5%11.4%4950
58Mini Countryman7480.4%11.1%766,3390.3%0.8%8177
59Volvo XC407240.4%19.1%597,0340.4%79.8%73111
60Skoda Octavia7240.4%29.7%676,7990.3%7.5%7476
61Kia Picanto7020.4%-8.0%748,2600.4%-10.7%6151
62Nissan Micra6860.4%-16.0%5610,3090.5%-12.9%5037
63Mercedes CLA6770.4%53.5%895,0480.3%20.5%94108
64Fiat Tipo6730.4%-14.9%578,5300.4%-30.3%5836
65Seat Ateca6540.4%-19.8%647,4870.4%11.1%6873
66Hyundai i206410.4%-6.3%757,7380.4%-6.3%6562
67Dacia Dokker6340.4%31.8%875,0920.3%-12.0%9187
68VW Touran6310.4%21.3%786,4810.3%-18.3%7964
69Audi Q36210.4%717.1%589,2370.5%91.7%55100
70Kia Stonic6090.4%51.9%696,7570.3%21.0%7588
71Kia Sportage5940.3%-13.7%737,8760.4%-21.6%6243
72Mercedes Classe C5830.3%-26.9%947,5820.4%-4.6%6760
73Jeep Renegade5670.3%7.0%628,3300.4%30.1%6078
74Mercedes GLC5640.3%-44.4%614,8620.2%-54.5%9642
75Dacia Logan5620.3%-19.4%666,2050.3%23.3%8293
76Ford Focus5590.3%-48.1%4711,6500.6%47.9%4361
77Skoda Fabia5550.3%-19.8%809,2760.5%1.7%5452
78Audi Q25440.3%-39.4%997,1850.4%-15.2%7058
79Seat Leon5280.3%54.4%975,0560.3%-2.0%9298
80Seat Ibiza5230.3%28.2%797,1280.4%7.5%7172

Source: CCFA

This Post Has 26 Comments
    1. Thank you Albert – the safety pack being included on all 2008 variants except the base one which is what I mention in my (French) comment. Apologies this was not in English.

  1. I think Peugeot’s upgrading policy is good in order to increase margins and take distance from Renault. But it will eventually kill DS…

  2. Interesting, so what do we think, can C3 score yearly win? Curious to see how the battle on top unfolds. Journalists prefer the Clio( which is objectively better car) but at least in France Peugeot does seem to have better image and they are sailing on it. And price difference is not that significant if you , and most people do, lease the car.

    1. It’s highly unlikely the C3 will score 10.000 units in December. Unless of course Santa Claus has a mighty trick on his sleeve 😉

      1. I see 208 I is the bestseller now, I thought it was still Clio. It’s a bit of a long shot then yeah.

  3. SAM, interesting article in Le Monde: “In small steps, Peugeot advances on the path of gentrification with a clearly stated goal: to build a Latin alternative to Volkswagen, the most exclusive European generalist manufacturer. A quest that goes through desirable and sophisticated cars but also by tariffs significantly revised upwards. In this respect, the 2008 does not hide its claims. Its prices (from 21,500 euros) suffer a significant inflation (from 600 to more than 2,000 euros according to the version) and are written, all things being equal, clearly above the price scale of the new Renault Captur .

    By upgrading its cars and focusing on profitability over volumes, the brand also tends to pull the profile of its buyers up. In Europe, the sociotype of the Peugeotist as defined by the surveys draws the portrait of an “upper conservative” rather than an “upper liberal”. As a distant echo to the image of Epinal of the Peugeot client of yesteryear, notable provincial an austere bit at the wheel of his 404? “Upper conservative, certainly. But a conservative upper that is loose when it comes to choosing a car, “insists Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the Peugeot brand”

    1. En Francais: “Par petites touches, Peugeot avance sur le chemin de la gentrification avec un objectif clairement désigné : bâtir une alternative latine à Volkswagen, le constructeur généraliste européen le plus huppé. Une quête qui passe par des voitures désirables et sophistiquées mais aussi par des tarifs sensiblement revus à la hausse. A cet égard, la 2008 ne cache pas ses prétentions. Ses prix (à partir de 21 500 euros) subissent une inflation notable (de 600 à plus de 2 000 euros selon la version) et s’inscrivent, toutes choses égales par ailleurs, clairement au-dessus de la grille tarifaire du nouveau Renault Captur.

      En faisant monter en gamme ses voitures et en privilégiant la rentabilité par rapport aux volumes, la marque tend aussi à tirer le profil de ses acheteurs vers le haut. En Europe, le sociotype du Peugeotiste tel qu’il est défini par les enquêtes dessine le portrait d’un « upper conservative » (un bourgeois plutôt conservateur) plutôt qu’un « upper liberal ». Comme un écho lointain à l’image d’Epinal du client Peugeot d’antan, notable provincial un brin austère au volant de sa 404 ? « Upper conservative, certes. Mais un upper conservative qui se lâche lorsqu’il s’agit de choisir sa voiture », insiste Jean-Philippe Imparato, le directeur général de la marque Peugeot” Source: Le Monde

    2. La qualité de fabrication, le rapport prix équipement et la modularité sont nettement en faveur des nouveaux Captur et Clio … que dire de la sécurité, je vous invite à lire l’article ci-dessous :

      Après l’euphorie de la nouveauté, nombreuses voix s’élèvent en France pour dire que la Peugeot 208 et 2008 nouvelle génération sont trop chères pour les prestations qu’elles offrent. Les versions hybrides des Renault vont arriver en 2020. La Zoé en un mois a enregistré 6 500 commandes. J’adore sincèrement Bestsellingcarblog et je suis un fidèle lecteur mais retrouver les arguments de l’Argus ou d’Autoplus dans l’article ne participent pas à la qualité dont vous m’habituez. Je suis désolé si vous le prenez pour une critique mais je suis un passionné d’auto qui passe de nombreuses heures à tout regarder. Je vous remercie grandement pour votre travail qui est de qualité! Avec Motor Trend vous êtes mon coup de coeur.

      1. “que dire de la sécurité?” A vous entendre le 2008 est à zéro étoiles…
        Des notes globalement identiques au Captur sauf pour le 2008 base qui ne se vendra de toute façon pas…
        2008: 93%, 84%, 73%, 73%
        Captur: 96%, 83%, 75%, 74%

        “de nombreuses voix s’élèvent en France…”: donnez-nous des liens! Quelque chose de concret! Là, j’accepterai de prendre au sérieux vos remarques.

        Si je prends la peine de répondre a vos commentaires c’est qu’ils se basent soit sur des informations erronées, soit sur des “on-dit”… Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que ce site est un site professionnel. J’accueille la critique à bras ouverts mais il faut tout de même qu’elle tienne debout.

        D’autre part comme Blaz l’a judicieusement remarqué dans l’un de ces commentaires sur cet article, le leasing rend la différence de prix insignifiante aux yeux de beaucoup d’acheteurs potentiels.

      2. Merci Sam – le premier article notamment contredit votre précédent commentaire qui stipulait que les ventes 208 II sont essentiellement des ventes réseaux? A aucun moment on ne signale que ni la Clio V ni la 208 II sont trop chères?

      3. Au vu des ventes de la Clio 4 encore très importantes et qui se font beaucoup auprès des particuliers et avec les remises qu’à fait Peugeot avec la 208 en fin de vie … et le fait que la C3 est très soldée … tout indique qu’elles sont chères. Le temps des papy boomer en France va s’estomper et les trentenaires qui ont acheté en masse la Clio 4 ne veulent pas entendre parler de location. La 3008 offrait le surclassement c’est pour cela qu’elle marche bien auprès des entreprises. Sur les particuliers elle ne fait que décliner. La nouvelle Clio et surtout la 208 devront justifier leur prix sachant que la nouvelle Polo ne marche pas aussi bien. La prochaine Dacia Sandero va sûrement réaliser un hold-up. Beaucoup de ventes de versions hautes au réseau les 1er mous ce qui est normal sur un lancement.

  4. 72% préfèrent la 208 sur Autoplus? Vous savez que Peugeot fédèrent mieux les youtubeurs et les blogueurs sur le net … donc 72% quand vous avez autant de réseau sur le net … Il suffit de 10 personnes avec différentes adresses IP pour arriver à un chiffre important. Cela ne retranscris en rien une réalité. C’est bien la première fois que je vous trouve de parti pris sur votre blog … et cela est assez flagrant. Bien dommage car j’ai toujours eu plaisir à vous lire.

    1. Sam, I am only relaying information seen on the printed magazine (not online) and trust me Auto Plus would wait until the number of people voting is in the thousands (and not 10) before publishing such results. The difference is extremely significant, as I would have expected the two models to be equally preferred by French consumers. As mentioned in the article, it is in line with private sales figures for November. The Clio V has been on sale since June and has never topped private sales charts while the 208 does so for its first full month. It’s well worth noting. If you can show me another poll that shows preference for the Clio V I will gladly mention it also.

      1. Le vote a été lancé en ligne et vous n’êtes pas sans savoir qu’un nombre improbable de trolls pourrissent les articles portant sur Renault en ligne. Les votes en ligne ne sont pas représentatifs tant ils peuvent être bidonnés. L’effet nouveauté peut jouer sur les ventes privées en effet. Alors le 3008 se vend bien en vente aux privées mais ce pourcentage est à relativiser au regard des autres canaux de vente. La 308 est soldée depuis de nombreuses années. Vous êtes de parti pris pour la 208 …

      2. Why would polls be biased against Renault? It doesn’t make any sense.
        Seems to me that you are biased towards Renault and a big fan of the Clio…
        Enjoy the rest of the articles Sam.

      3. Alors c’est ainsi que vous qualifiez un de vos lecteurs assidus? De vif fan de Clio qui ayant une vision biaisée? J’ai plaisir à vous lire tous les jours et cela depuis de nombreuses années. Si je prends le parti de commenter c’est que je note que vous avez un traitement à l’information différencié pour la 208 et cela est inédit.

  5. Par ailleurs j’ai plein d’amis qui possèdent une 208 actuelle ou un 2008 actuel et qui trouvent les prix démentiels pour les remplaçantes. Les français ne se sont pas enrichi en un an … en témoignent les ventes de l’actuelle 208. Mais bon vous restez persuadés qu’une polyvalente au prix d’une Audi A1 est le bonne formule en France … La Dacia Sandero prouve le contraire.

    1. The 208 outsells the Sandero in November with private buyers by a significant margin, something the 208 I rarely achieved… Please read the article in detail.
      Also I am not “persuaded” that the new 208 price is a good formula – please refer to my dozen of comments last month. I am commenting on sales figures, and the 208 II is the 2nd best-selling vehicle in France for its first full month of sales. If and when sales weaken to the point where it drops below the Citroen C3 or Peugeot 3008, THEN I will comment that the 208 II is too expensive. But not until then.
      Glad to hear your “lots of friends” are the barometer of your opinion on the French car market, we here at BSCB try to keep some professionalism in our analysis.

  6. Good stuff Matt! A very insightful breakdown of who buys what and why. As to the high percentage private buyers of the new 208 II: maybe too early to conclude this will become a habit, but its another indication Peugeot buyers are far from discouraged by the brand’s almost premium retail prices. Another profitable channel works wonders for PSA as well: France & Spain combined bought 8.000 Berlingo’s and Rifter’s in Nov. 2019 alone. Margin is 50% higher compared to an average B/C segment vehicle.

    1. Glad you enjoyed Rick! And yes it would seem French buyers aren’t put off by the 208’s price hike and are purchasing the higher-end variants in droves, much like they did with the 308 and 3008.

      1. Hi maestro – it has become a default conclusion in dozens of Peugeot reviews (3008 II / 508 II / 208 II / 2008 II): “Peugeot is on a roll and what a great car ……. but whether buyers accept a €2000 premium over the Clio (vs 208 II) / a €4000 surplus over the Captur II (2008 II) is doubtful”. So far, the market decided in PSA’s favor.

      2. Sam bienvenue aux commentaires ce mois-ci, s’il te plait lis bien le detail de l’article, les ventes de 208 II ne sont pas “essentiellement” des ventes de réseau mais une majorité de ventes à particuliers.

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