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France February 2021: Dacia (+25.8%), Toyota (-5.4%) headline market accelerating its fall at -20.9%

The new Sandero helps propel Dacia sales up 25.8%. Picture

31/03 update: Now with Top 280 All-models ranking.

New car sales in France record a 7th consecutive month of decline, accelerating their fall to -20.9% year-on-year in February at 132.637 units. This brings the year-to-date tally down -14.2% to 259.017 units. The reason behind this fall is the 6pm curfew in place across the country that complicates dealerships’ operations and reduces traffic in store. Private sales fare much better though at -11.6% to 43.2% share vs. 38.8% a year ago, while demo sales drop -23.8% and short-term rental sales implode -54.5%.

In terms of fuel type, over the first two months of the year petrol sales drop -21.8% to 114.536 and 44.2% share vs. 48.5% over the same period last year, diesel sales reach their lowest ever share at 25.1% vs. 33.7% in 2020 due to sales down -36% to 65.107, while HEV sales surge 61.6% to 41.235, doubling their share at 31.1% share vs. 15.2% last year. PHEV sales are up an even more impressive 126.1% to 17.235 and 6.7% share vs. 2.5% a year ago but BEV registrations are actually declining twice as fast as the market at -27% to 14.895 and 5.8% share vs. 6.8% over the first two months of 2020.

In the brands ranking, Peugeot (-17.2%) repeats at #1 and lodges a 6th win in the past 7 months at 20.2% share, frankly above Renault (-35.1%) at a historically low 14.1% share. Citroen (-25.6%) remains above the symbolic 10% milestone at 10.5% of its home market. Dacia (+25.8%) continues to ignore the depleted market with a second consecutive double-digit gain while Toyota (-5.4%) resists very well to remain above Volkswagen (-17.6%) in 5th place overall. Kia (-5.7%) and Ford (-7.4%) also hold up in the remainder of the Top 10. Further down, notice Alpine (+1375%), Jeep (+30.8%), Mazda (+14.8%), Tesla (+12.2%) and Mini (+4.7%) in positive.

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 II (-16.1%) easily retains the top spot at 6.1% share and is followed by the Peugeot 2008 II (+24.7%) up to a record 2nd place, also hit from July to September 2020. The Citroen C3 (+7.8%) manages to lodge an uptick and is up two spots on January to #3 ahead of the new Dacia Sandero III down two to #4 but still #2 year-to-date. A surprise below, after ranking at a low #3 last month the Renault Clio V (-21.9%) drops a further two spots to #5, frankly losing the battle with the 208 and even the C3 this month. The Renault Captur II (+2.1%) is also in positive as is the best-selling foreigner, the Toyota Yaris (+17%) at #9 overall. The Ford Puma (+66.6%), Fiat 500 (+13%), Renault Megane (+8.6%) and Dacia Duster (+7.4%) all score strong performances further down.

Previous month: France January 2021: Dacia Sandero best-selling nameplate for the first time, market down -5.8%

One year ago: France February 2020: Peugeot 208 II repeats at #1, 2008 II up to #4, private sales down to record-low 38.8% share

Full February 2021 Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models below.

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