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France August 2021: Market down -15%, Sandero 3peats at #1, Model 3 up to #7, Arkana to #11

The Renault Arkana misses out on a first Top 10 finish for just 17 sales. Picture

22/09 update: Now with Top 290 All-models.

It’s a third straight month of double-digit decline for the French new car market at -15% year-on-year to 88.066 units. More worryingly the market is down a ghastly -31.9% on the pre-pandemic levels of August 2019. The year-to-date tally now stands at 1.126.544 units, up 12.8% on the same period in 2020 but down -23.3% or over 340.000 sales on 8 months 2019. Low consumer confidence combined with delivery delays or cancellations due to the microchip crisis don’t bode well for the rest of the year and we at BSCB forecast a Full Year 2021 tally up 5% to 1.73 million units. 

In August, petrol sales freefall -30.3% year-on-year to 33.248 and 37.8% share vs. 46% in August 2020, diesel implodes -48.4% to 15.995 and 18.2% share vs. 29.9% a year ago, overtaken by HEV which soars 34.2% to 16.982 and 19.3% share vs. 12.2% in August 2020. PHEV is up 42.2% to 7.488 units and 8.5% share vs. 5.1% a year ago and BEV is up 77.4% to 9.916, more than doubling its share at 11.3% vs. 5.4% a year ago. Year-to-date, petrol volumes are down -5.3% year-on-year to 471.290 and 41.8% share vs. 49.8% over the same period in 2020, diesel is down -18.1% to 252.906 and 22.4% share vs. 30.9% a year ago, HEV is up 108.4% to 190.595 and 16.9% share vs. 9.2% in 2020, PHEV surges 177.5% to 90.030 and 8% share vs. 3.2% and BEV soar 48.6% to 89.946 and 8% share vs. 6.1%.

The Tesla Model 3 is up to a record #7 in France in August.

Renault (-9.2%) reclaims the brands top spot this month but its share remains low at 14.6% vs. 15.8% so far this year. Peugeot (-34.2%) is hit full frontal at home and drops to 14.2% share vs. 17.5% year-to-date where it remains a comfortable leader. Citroen (-20.3%) falls a little faster than the market at #3 but manages to stay above the symbolic 10% share mark at 10.1%. In 4th place and at a very strong 8.9% share, Dacia (+3.8%) is the only year-on-year gainer in the Top 5, hitting its highest share since last January (9%). For the second consecutive month, Toyota (-5.2%) breaks its market share record in France at 7.5%, outselling Volkswagen (+39.5%) which catches up on a particularly low August 2020 volume.

BMW (-6%) and Audi (-9.1%) both gain share to top the premium charts while Tesla (+888.1%) surges ahead to break both its share and ranking records at 3% and #9. Its previous best were #10 in March 2020 and 2.5% in March 2020 and June 2021. Hyundai (-11.7%) resists better than the market but drops three spots on July to land at #10 ahead of Mercedes (-30%), Kia (-27.4%), Ford (-47.1%), Opel (-35%) and Fiat (-45.4%) all struggling. Below and in order of sales, Mini (+7.4%), DS (+14.9%), Jeep (+29.9%), MG (+919.7%), Land Rover (+40.7%), Alpine (+271.4%) and Lamborghini (+350%) all pack great punches. 

Model-wise, the Dacia Sandero III brilliantly threepeats in pole position to sign its 4th ever monthly win in France (add last January), and pretty comfortably at that with 6.3% share, a new record for the Sandero nameplate eclipsing the 6% reached in March 2020 by the second generation. Thanks to its August performance, the Sandero III is up to #3 year-to-date. The Renault Clio V (+10.2%) rallies back up 5 spots on a paltry 7th place in July to 2nd overall, outselling its archenemy the Peugeot 208 II (-29.9%) which however remains the outright best-seller year-to-date. Below the Citroen C3 (-23.7%), Toyota Yaris (+61.5%) and Peugeot 2008 II (-53.6%), the Tesla Model 3 (+873.6%) is up a whopping 182 spots on July to break its French ranking record at #7 (previous best #8 last June) as well as its share record at 2.9%. Among recent launches, the Renault Arkana is up 19 spots on last month to a record #11, missing out on a maiden Top 10 finish for 17 sales, the Citroen C4 III up five to #12, a new record for this generation and the MG ZS (+767.1%) up 72 ranks to a record #33, breaking into the French Top 50 for the first time.

Previous month: France July 2021: Sales sink -35.3%, Dacia Sandero repeats at #1, Renault at historic low, Toyota breaks share record

One year ago: France August 2020: Reality check as market sinks -19.8%, Hyundai, Toyota shine

Full August 2021 Top 56 All-brands and Top 80 models below.

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