The Nissan Micra ranks #7 in New Caledonia in March.
New Caledonia, a French overseas archipelago located north-east of Australia, was in lockdown between March 24 and April 19 (vs. March 17 to at least May 11 for the French mainland), and seems to have wrestled COVID-19 to the ground with 18 confirmed cases including 14 recovered and most retail outlets including car dealerships open at the time of writing. March sales drop -25.9% year-on-year to 536 units, tilting the year-to-date tally into negative territory at -4.1% to 1.710. Other French overseas departments are hit harder: Reunion is down -70% to 733 (YTD: 4.773), Guadeloupe drops -59% to 403 and Martinique sinks -63% to 358.
Back to New Caledonia, Peugeot (-14%) leaps up to the brands top spot for the month, toppling Toyota (-55.2%) while Renault (-3.7%) is up two spots to #3 and Hyundai (+8.5%) is the only Top 6 carmaker managing a year-on-year gain. But it’s Nissan (+78.9%) and Volkswagen (+40%) that score the largest surges inside the Top 10. Citroen (-44.9%), Kia (-39.3%), Dacia (-34.2%) and Ford (-34%) are hit the hardest. The Peugeot 208 (+34.5%) brilliantly snaps the models charts pole position both for the month and YTD, however our local contacts are telling us the new generation hasn’t hit New Caledonian shores just yet, so this is likely the product of heavy discounts on the outgoing model. The Dacia Duster (-45.5%) is knocked down to #2 ahead of the Hyundai Tucson (+2000%), Dacia Sandero (+112.5%) and Peugeot 3008 (-30.4%). The Nissan Micra (#7) is the main architect of the brand’s resurgence this month, just as the VW Polo (+30%) and Golf (+62.5%) help the German carmaker.
Full March 2020 Top 30 All-brands and Top 30 models below.