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France Full Year 2021: Peugeot outsells Renault for 1st time since 1939, 208 best-seller in stable market (+0.5%)

The Peugeot 208 is once again the best-selling vehicle in France in 2021.

Consult almost 130 years worth of French Historical Data here.

Instead of a frank rebound after a 2020 year torpedoed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the French new car market is stable in 2021 at +0.5% to 1,659,008 units which locates it alongside 2020 (1,650,118) at a 46-year low: these are the lowest annual volumes since 1975 (1.482.343). As of December, sales have been down for 7 consecutive months. Also, the market is down -25.1% or 555,000 annual units on pre-pandemic 2019. Private sales fall -7.6% year-on-year or 59,000 units to 715,282 for a record-low 43.1% share vs. 46.9% in 2020 and 44.3% in 2019. Fleet sales gain 7.8% to 483,507 units with BEV holding 6.6% share at 32,143, HEV+PHEV at 27.2% and 131,706 and diesel down to 35.5%. Long term leases are up 10.4% this year, with almost half private buyers opting to lease their new car instead of buying it outright. In terms of fuel type on the overall market, petrol drops -13.8% to 667,503 and 40.2% share vs. 46.9% a year ago, diesel implodes -30.7% to 349,482 and 21.1% share vs. 30.6% in 2020, HEV soars 69.5% to 286,525 and 17.3% share vs. 10.2% last year, PHEV is up 89% to 141,012 and 8.5% share vs. 4.5% a year ago and BEV surges 46.1% to 162,106 and 9.8% share vs. 6.7% in 2020.

The Dacia Sandero was the #1 nameplate in the country in January, June, July and August.

We have a historic change in the brands ranking: Peugeot (-5.3%) takes the overall lead for the first time since at least 1935, and outsells Renault (-14.5%) for the first time since 1939. It then ranked #2 below Citroen. Peugeot ranked #1 in the monthly charts a record 7 times vs. 5 for Renault. Keeping in mind Peugeot has been constantly increasing its average transaction price over the past few years, this is a remarkable achievement for the brand with the lion. Citroen (-0.5%) is stable like the market and sees its share thaw lightly to 9.8%. It’s an outstanding year for Dacia (+28.9%) up to a record 7.5% share which eclipses the 6.5% it hit in 2018 and up to a record #4 for the 2nd time after 2018. Below, Volkswagen (+7.7%) and Toyota (+7.2%) easily outpace the market to rank #5 (-1) and #6 (0) respectively.

Mercedes (-3.4%) gains one spot to remain the best-selling premium marque at #7 overall above Audi (+10.4%) up two to #8 and BMW (+1.1%) staying at #9. Hyundai (+30.8%) scores the largest gain in the Top 10 to hit a new record volume, outselling sister brand Kia (+13.2%) for the first time, the latter also breaking its volume record this year. Tesla (+258.7%) is the most impressive below, breaking into the French Top 20 brands at #17. Jeep (+69.6%), MG (+600.9%), Cupra (+1591.1%) and Alpine (+117.7%) also soar below while newcomer Lynk & Co lands at #37. Looking at private sales only, Dacia manages to snap the overall pole position for the first time with 103,770 sales, distancing Renault and Peugeot. Citroen (54,034) is 4th just above Toyota (52,087). As for fleet sales, Peugeot (121,451), Renault (96,990) and Citroen (54,322) dominate.

The Peugeot 2008 scored its first monthly top spot in October.

The Peugeot 208 II (-5.2%) repeats at #1 in the models ranking, but sees its share fall from 5.6% to 5.3%. The Renault Clio V (+1.4%) is catching up and ends the year less than 2,800 sales below. The Peugeot 2008 II (+13.2%) remains in third place and was the outright best-seller for the very first time in October. Even though it ranks just one spot above the previous generation at #4, the Dacia Sandero III had a historical year. For its first full month of sales back in January it enabled the Sandero nameplate to be the best-seller overall for the very first time, then the third generation alone took the reins of the market from June to August. The Citroen C3 (+11.6%) is down one rank to #5 despite a solid result. The Renault Captur (-3.7%) follows ahead of a strong Peugeot 3008 (+11.8%). The Toyota Yaris (-3.5%) is the best-selling foreigner once again (albeit made in France), distancing a Dacia Duster (+2.6%) back inside the Top 10 and the Renault Twingo (-32.5%) in freefall. The Fiat 500 (+39.5%) is up seven spots to rank #2 foreigner just above a very impressive Tesla Model 3 (+284.6%) which broke into the monthly Top 10 five times, peaking at #7 in August. The Renault Arkana (#21) is the best-selling recent launch, slotting into the Top 10 in September (#7) and November (#10). Notice also the Dacia Spring (#36) up to a record #6 in November, the Opel Mokka (#66), Toyota Yaris Cross (#78) and Peugeot 308 III (#93).

The Renault Master is the best-selling LCV in France in 2021.

The Light Commercials Vehicle market is more dynamic at +7.5% year-on-year to 432,622 sales, remaining the largest in Europe. Renault (+2.4%) remains ultra-dominant but trails the market and sees its share dip from 30.3% to 28.8%. Peugeot (+8.8%) and Citroen (+9.3%) on the other hand slightly outpace the overall growth to improve their share to 17.8% and 15.4% respectively. Fiat (+6.8%) and Ford (+4.4%) round out the Top 5 while Toyota (+46.2%), Opel (+23.1%) and Iveco (+22.2%) post the largest gains in the Top 10. Suzuki (+131%), Isuzu (+97.4%) and Seat (+73.6%) shine below. Model-wise, the Renault Master III (-5.8%) and Renault Trafic (+12.2%) take advantage of a changeover year by the Renault Kangoo (-13.8%) to snap the two leading positions in the charts. The Fiat Ducato (+10.7%) is up one spot to #4 and the Peugeot Expert (+19.2%) up two to #5. The Citroen C3 (+69.3%) and Jumpy (+14.9%) also impress in the Top 10. The Renault Express (#15) is the best-selling new launch for the year, vastly outclassing the Renault Kangoo III (#32).

Previous month: France November 2021: Dacia Spring up to #6, market fall thins to -3.2%

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

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

Full December 2021 Top 55 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

Full Year 2021 Top 65 All-brands, Top 100 models, Top 30 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full Year 2020 figures below.

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