skip to Main Content

France July 2020: Positive momentum confirmed (+3.9%), Peugeot 208 leads, 2008 hits record 2nd place, outsells Clio

The Peugeot 2008 is up to a record #2 and ranks #1 with private buyers for the first time.

07/08 update: Now with Top 50 All-brands, Top 330 All-models and private sales best-sellers.

French new car sales manage a second consecutive month in positive in July at +3.9% year-on-year and 178.982 sales (we at BSCB had forecast 180.800) thanks to the continuation of aggressive government incentives offering up to 19.000€ for the purchase of a new EV, including a boosted 5.000€ cash-for-clunkers rebate that expires on August 2 (see our June 2020 update for details). Even better: this uptick is achieved despite one less opening day compared to July 2019 (22 vs. 23) which means the daily selling rate is in fact up 8.6% year-on-year whereas it was still in negative in June at -8.4%. The effect of government incentives over volumes in July can be clearly seen in the data by channel supplied by Autoways with private sales up a sturdy 6.9% year-on-year to 91.319 and 51% share vs. 49.6% a year ago, while fleet sales including leases edge up 1.4% to 41.101 and 23% share vs. 23.5%. Demo sales drop -1% to 24.021 and 13.4% share vs. 14.1% a year ago but short term rentals surge 33.4% to 16.527 and 9.2% share vs 7.2% in June 2019, due to rising tourism and reopened international borders and a particularly strong push by Renault (see further down).

EV sales are up over 3-fold year-on-year (+223.8%) to 9.968 and 5.6% share vs. 1.8% in June 2019, PHEV sales surge 490% to 6.985 and 3.9% share vs. 0.7% a year ago and HEV volumes soar 92.9% to 18.226 and 10.2% share vs. 5.5% in June 2019. Meanwhile petrol sinks -11.7% to 86.961 and 48.6% share vs. 57.2% a year ago but diesel is off just -6.4% to 54.677 and 30.5% share vs. 33.9%. The year-to-date volume is now down -33.2% or 440.000 units year-on-year to 894.835. Given government subsidies will reduce significantly from August onwards, we anticipate the French market will return to slight negative in August (-7%) and most probably for the rest of the year, oscillating between -2% and -5% from September onwards. As such, we have amended our France 2020 forecast down from 1.75m to 1.73m (-22%), which would be the lowest annual volume since 1997 (1.71m). Looking at YTD sales by channel, private sales drop -29.5% to 426.490 and 47.7% share vs. 45.2% over the same period in 2019, fleet sales including leases fare even better at -24.5% to 204.511 and 22.8% share vs. 20.2%, while demo sales drop -38% to 136.831 and 15.3% share vs. 16.5% in 2019 and short-term rentals crumble -48% to 97.432 and 10.9% share vs. 14% a year ago.

The Peugeot 208 returns to the pole position both in July and YTD.

In the brands ranking, Renault (+41.5%) scores the largest gain in the Top 20 but there’s a lot of “buts” with this figure. First, the comparison base in July 2019 was particularly low: it was then that Renault fell to its lowest share in at least a decade at 13.7%. Second, as is usually the case for the manufacturer a lot of its volume is tactical: Renault registered 6.700 short-term rentals in July or 40% of the entire channel, including 2.400 in Corsica. Third, the volume achieved by Renault is thanks to staggering discounts of up to 41% on some models (see our June 2020 update for details), as evidenced by the Group’s abysmal €7.3 billon H1 loss. In contrast Peugeot (+6.3%) may not show such grandiose year-on-year gains but is in line with its YTD level at 18.3% share as it privileges profit over volume, as evidenced by very low stocks, much stricter discount rates (see our June 2020 update for details) and the Group’s €731 million H1 profit As such Peugeot reclaims the lead in the private sales channel at 14.832 units (+23.9%) vs. 12.309 for Renault (+14.7%). Citroen (-20.1%) is in difficulty both overall and with private buyers (-21%), a situation reversed for Dacia up 14.8% overall and 8% with private buyers. Toyota (+15.1%) brilliantly returns into the Top 5 with 6.1% share, edging past Volkswagen (-25.5%) both in June and YTD for the first time. In fact the difference is even greater in the private sales channel where Toyota holds 8% share vs. 5% for VW. Mitsubishi (+136.4%), Kia (+31%), Nissan (+30.6%), Skoda (+21.7%), Volvo (+21.4%), Hyundai (+20.4%), Honda (+18%) and Porsche (+16.5%) also post very impressive scores in the remainder of the Top 30 now including MG (#29).

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 II reclaims the top spot off the Renault Clio V both for the month and YTD, scoring its 4th ever win, all in 2020. The big July news is the 2nd place of the Peugeot 2008 II, breaking the nameplate’s ranking record at home. This is the first time the 2008 II ranks on the French monthly podium after finishing #4 last February and April, and it eclipses the previous best of #3 by the 2008 I hit in January, March and April 2017. The 2008 II ends the month only 415 units from what would have been an absolutely historical pole position, holding 5.2% of the French market in July vs. 5.4% for the 208 II, however not a new share record (5.5% last April). It is also the first time the 2008 ever outsells the Renault Clio at home, even when adding sales for the Clio IV and V (9.305 units vs. 9.228), just as the Clio V (+180.1%) drops two spots on June to #3, its lowest ranking since its August 2019 launch. An even more impressive feat: the Peugeot 2008 is the best-selling vehicle outright with French private buyers in July and for the first time in history with 6.1% share. It distances the Dacia Sandero (+17.5%), Peugeot 208 (5.7% share), Toyota Yaris (+52%), Renault Zoe (3.5%), Clio (-32%), Dacia Duster (+31%) and Renault Captur (+49%).

The Yaris (#8) helps Toyota up to #5 brand year-to-date, above Volkswagen.

Back to the overall ranking, the Dacia Sandero (+11.1%) is unshakeable at #4, distancing the Renault Captur II down 3 spots to #5, the Citroen C3 (-7.1%) up one to #6 and the Renault Twingo (+52.4%) fully benefitting from government incentives. The Toyota Yaris (+37.4%) sports a spectacular gain and inches up two spots on June to #8, meaning is is the only foreigner in the Top 17 above the Fiat 500 (+2.8%) at #18, Toyota C-HR (+31.8%) at #19 and the Fiat Panda (+89.3%) at #20. That is, when counting the Opel Corsa (#17) as local given it is now part of the PSA Group. The Ford Puma is up 7 spots on June to break its ranking record fore the 2nd month running at $24, the Hyundai Kona (+124.5%) impresses at #27, as do the Suzuki Swift (+45.5%) at #35, the Volvo XC40 (+112.6%) at #36, the Nissan Juke (+356%) at #46 and the Kia Niro (+66%) at #51. Reversely the VW Polo (-55.7%), Peugeot 5008 (-47.3%) and 308 (-34.5%) are all hit hard. The Renault Zoe (+157.1%) continues to dominate the EV charts at #12 overall, distancing the Peugeot e208 (1.265), Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro and Peugeot e2008. The Peugeot 3008 is the best-selling PHEV for July at 1.104 sales and 15.8% share.

Previous post: France First Half 2020: EVs up 114% in worst year start since 1969 (-38.6%), discounted Clio V pips 208 II, Zoe in Top 10

Previous month: France June 2020: Government stimulus sparks spectacular recovery (+1.2%) to 2nd highest June volume in history

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

Full July 2020 Top 50 All-brands and Top 330 All-models below.

This content is for Platinum members only.
Log In Register
Back To Top