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France March 2022: Market plunges -19.5%, Dacia (+31.4%) defiant, places Sandero at #2

The Dacia Sandero III is up 34.6% in a market down -19.5%

The French new car market endures a 10th consecutive month of year-on-year decline, worsening to -19.5% and 147,079 units with the microchip crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war impacting supply. When removing the pandemic-affected March 2020, this is the lowest March result since 1980. Sales are down -34.9% on pre-pandemic March 2019. As a result, the First Quarter volume is off -17.3% to 365,360 sales. Petrol sales are dow -26.1% year-on-year to 57,444 units and 39.1% share vs. 42.5% a year ago, diesel implodes -50.4% to 21,075 and 14.3% share vs. 23.3% in 2021, HEV is off -5% to 27,860 and 18.9% share vs. 16%, PHEV drops -16.5% to 11,690 and 7.9% share vs. 7.7%. In contrast, BEV shows insolent health at +27.2% to 19,835 units and 13.5% share vs. 8.5% a year ago, even catching up with diesel registrations.

Peugeot (-33.6%) signs a third consecutive win in the brands ranking, a remarkable performance as end-of-quarters had usually favoured Renault (-30.4%) staying at #2. Citroen (-27.8%) falls to 9.4% share vs. 10% so far this year, it is followed by Dacia (+31.4%) scoring by far the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 – and Top 25. Volkswagen (-10.4%) limits its fall just as Toyota (-20.2%) roughly matches the market. Ford (-1.3%) is almost stable above Mercedes (-21.3%). Tesla (+7.1%) and Kia (+6.5%) close the Top 10 on a positive note. Below, Hyundai (+1.9%) manages the only remaining gain in the Top 20 at #12 with DS (-0.1%) and Skoda (-6.9%) posting single-digit declines. All other Top 20 manufacturers fall faster than the market, with Mini (-31.4%)  and Fiat (-27.6%) the hardest hit. Among smaller brands, MG (+282.6%), Bentley (+150%), Cupra (+113.9%) and Alpine (+67.6%) impress.

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 (-21.6%) secures a fourth straight monthly win and cements its year-to-date leadership at 6% share. The Dacia Sandero (+34.6%) climbs up four spots on February to #2 overall and is up to #4 year-to-date. The Citroen C3 (-16.9%) is down one rank to #3 and outsells the Renault Clio (-37.3%) for the second month running. The Renault Captur (-26.2%) is up two spots to #5 and the Peugeot 308 III is up four to break its monthly ranking record at #6. The Tesla Model 3 (-14.2%) is up two ranks to #7, equalling its all-time high ranking also hit last August and by far the best-selling foreign model in the ranking. Note the Model 3 on the podium when only taking into account private sales. The Peugeot 3008 (-29.6%) and 2008 (-54.3%) are in trouble below while the Citroen C3 Aircross (+16.6%) goes against the market with a year-on-year uptick to return to the Top 10 at #10. The Renault Arkana confirms its success, up one spot to #11 and #10 year-to-date. The Ford Puma (+42.9%) delivers a smashing gain to take the 2nd foreign spot at #12, ahead of the Fiat 500 (-12.8%) at #14, the VW Polo (-5%) at #16 and T-Roc (+2.6%) at #17. Among recent launches, below the 308 III and Arkana, the Dacia Spring ranks #18, the Toyota Yaris Cross #22, the Dacia Jogger #32 and the DS 4 #37.

Previous month: France February 2022: Market down -13%, Tesla in Top 10, Citroen C3 up to #2

One year ago: France March 2021: Peugeot scores 7th win in past 8 months, Tesla Model 3 signs first Top 10, market down -19.1% on two years ago

Full March 2022 Top 55 All-brands and Top 80 models below.

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