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France April 2022: Market down -22.6%, Peugeot 308 III cracks podium, Ford Puma in Top 10

The Peugeot 308 nameplate is on the French podium for the first time in over 5 years. Picture largus.fr

11/05 update: Now with Top 55 All-brands

French new car sales skid down for the 11th month in a row in April, accelerating its fall at -22.6% and 108,723 registrations. When removing pandemic-plagued April 2020 (20,997 sales), this is the lowest April volume in 57 years: since the 106,311 units of April 1965… When comparing to pre-pandemic April 2019 (188.199), the market is down -42.2%. The year-to-date volume is now off -18.6% to 474,083. Private sales hold 46% of the market in April vs. 45.5% year-to-date at 215,368 units (-13%). Petrol sales are down -33.5% to 40,732 and 37.5% share, diesel is off -48.1% to 17,156 and 15.8% share but HEV is up 18.7% to 22,490 units and 20.7% share. BEV is also up, by 32.7% to 12,692 units and 11.7% share but PHEV is down -8.2% to 10,234 and 9.4% share.

Peugeot (-32.3%) signs a 6th win in the past 7 months and cements its YTD lead despite falling much faster than the market to 16.3% share. In fact the three main French manufacturers all lose share year-on-year with Renault (-31.7%) at 13.7%, its lowest since July 2021, and Citroen (-33.9%) at 8.6%, its lowest for the year. In contrast Dacia (+6.5%) delivers the only year-on-year gain in the Top 6 and ends the month only 0.7 point of share below Citroen. It distances Volkswagen (-31.2%) and Toyota (-20.4%). Ford (+10.9%) and Kia (+9.1%) are the other two gainers in the remainder of the Top 10 while BMW (-18.6) is up four spots on March to #9 and Hyundai (-8.4%) up two to #10. Below, notice Nissan (+47.8%), DS (+1%), Cupra (+162%), Mitsubishi (+158%), Alpine (+158.9%) and Alfa Romeo (+196%) all posting market-defying upticks.

The Ford Puma breaks into the French Top 10 for the first time in March.

In the models ranking, the Peugeot 208 (-20.4%) easily holds onto the top spot with 5.4% share vs. 5.9% so far this year. The Citroen C3 (-20%) returns to #2 for the 2nd time in the past 3 months, a ranking it also holds YTD. The Peugeot 308 III is up three spots on March to crack the podium for the first time ever for this generation and the first time since February 2017 for the 308 nameplate. The Dacia Sandero (-16.8%) is down two ranks to #4 ahead of the Renault Captur (-14.6%) staying at #5. The Peugeot 2008 (-55.6%) collapses year-on-year but is up three spots on last month to #6 ahead of the Peugeot 3008 (-55.3%) also in grave difficulty. The Fiat 500 (+31.8%) goes completely against the market and climbs 6 ranks to #8 overall and #1 foreign model. This means the Fiat 500 sells better in France than in Italy in terms of both volume and share. But where has the Renault Clio gone? It is down -68.3% year-on-year to a barely believable 9th place overall, by far its worst ever ranking at home. Stock issues could be the source of this particularly disastrous month. The Ford Puma (+69.7%) breaks into the French Top 10 for the very first time at #10 and is now the best-selling foreigner YTD at #12.

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

One year ago: France April 2021: Renault Clio V back on top, Hyundai (+19.8%) impresses, sales down -25.4% on two years ago 

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

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