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France Full Year 2020: Peugeot 208 II secures first win, Renault Zoe #9 in market down -25.5% to lowest annual volume in 45 years

The Peugeot 208 II is the best-selling vehicle at home in 2020. Picture

03/02 update: Now with Top 62 All-brands ranking.

11/02 update: Now with Top 400 All-models ranking.

The French new car market is hit -25.5% by the coronavirus crisis in 2020 to just 1.650.188 units. This is the lowest annual volume since 1975 (1.482.343). At their worst in the middle of a national lockdown, French registrations imploded -72.2% in March and -88.8% in April. Thanks to a mix of EU and French government incentives, the big winners of the year are hybrid and electric vehicles. In the detail, HEV is up 58.2% to 169.064 and 10.3% share vs. 4.9 in 2019, BEV soars 159.4% to 110.912 and 6.7% share vs. just 1.9% last year and PHEV surges 301.2% to 74.587 and 4.5% share vs. 0.8%. In contrast, petrol sales freefall -39.6% to 773.363 and 46.9% share vs. 57.9% in 2019 and diesel registrations drop -33.3% to 504.191 and 30.6% share vs. 34.1%.

The Peugeot 2008 II is on the annual French podium, something the first generation never achieved.

In the brands ranking, both Renault (-22.7%) and Peugeot (-20.5%) gain market share this year, Renault improving by 0.6 point to 19.1% and Peugeot by 1.2 point to 18.3%. Peugeot ranked #1 brand no no less than 6 times this year, beating its previous record of 5 monthly wins set in 2019. Citroen (-30.8%) can’t match the market evolution and falls back below the 10% share milestone at 9.9%. Even though it ranked 5th during most of the year, Volkswagen (-34.4%) remains at #4 thanks to strong December sales, which means Dacia (-30.1%) stays 5th overall. Thanks to its successful hybrid lineup, Toyota (-11.8%) posts by far the best result of any Top 10 carmaker (and Top 20 for that matter), reaching a new record share at 5.4%. The Japanese carmaker ranked at a record #4 in January and March. Below Ford (-30%), Mercedes (-25.1%) remains the most popular premium marque and is up one spot to #8 overall, distancing BMW (-22.6%) up two to #9 and Audi (-21.2%) also up two to #10. Further down, Kia (-13.3%), Hyundai (-13.5%), DS (-17.4%) and Skoda (-18.1%) resist somewhat.

Breakout year for the Renault Zoe: it ends 2020 inside the French Top 10.

Model-wise, we have a new market leader for its first full year in market: the Peugeot 208 II (+407%) wins the duel with its archenemy the Renault Clio V (+63.4%). It follows a win by the Peugeot 208 I last year which was a generation changeover year for both the 208 and the Clio. This way, 2020 marks the first time since 2010 that a Peugeot is #1 at home in a non-changeover year. The other hero of the year is the Peugeot 2008 II climbing onto the overall podium also for its first full year in market, something the first generation of the nameplate never achieved as it peaked at #5 both in 2015 and 2016. It also means the 2008 II outsells the Renault Captur II (itself up to #5 overall) for the first time in a Full Year. The Citroen C3 (-27.5%) drops two spots to #4, the Dacia Sandero (-23.1%) drops one to #6 and the Peugeot 3008 (-38.2%) is down two to #7. A third hero of the year is the Renault Zoe (+98.8%): 2020 is the year the Zoe became mainstream as it surges 21 spots to break into the Full Year Top 10 for the first time at #9. It even ranked #3 overall in January and #5 in December. Manufactured in France, the Toyota Yaris (-19.9%) gains 3 spots to end the year at #11, comfortably keeping the title of best-selling foreign vehicle in France. The Ford Puma (#25) is the most popular new launch for 2020 above the VW ID.3 (#89) up to #17 in December.

Opel is the only Top 15 LCV brand in positive in 2020.

The Light Commercial Vehicle market resists better at -16.1% to 402.380 units, remaining the largest in Europe. Renault (-17.6%) continues to dominate with 30.3% share above Peugeot (-17.2%) at 17.6% and Citroen (-17.6%) at 15.1%. Fiat (-11.3%) and Ford (-14.1%) outpace the market as do Mercedes (-0.4%) and Opel (+0.1%) which sign the only year-on-year gain in the Top 10. The Renault Kangoo (-28%) remains the best-selling LCV at home but by a whisker above the Renault Master (-2.4%) which led halfway through the year. The Renault Trafic (-16.3%) closes the podium above the Citroen Berlingo (-3.7%) and Fiat Ducato (-3.7%) both overtaking the Peugeot Partner (-14.8%).

Previous month: France November 2020: Second lockdown pulls market down 27%, Peugeot, Toyota, Audi resist

Previous year: France 2019: 6th consecutive gain (+1.9%) lifts market to 9-year high, Peugeot 208 I tops changeover year

Two years ago: 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

Full December 2020 Top 50 All-brands and Top 307 All-models below.

Full Year 2020 Top 20 brands, Top 400 All-models, Top 15 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models below.

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