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France Full Year 2023: Renault and Clio back in charge, Tesla up to #7

The Renault Clio is the best-selling vehicle in France for the first time since 2018.

Consult 130 years worth of French Historical Data here.

18/01 update: Now with Top 410 All models, Top 30 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models.

French new car sales see a solid uptick in 2023, up 16.1% year-on-year to 1,774,729 units. Keep in mind 2022 was the lowest volume in 47 years and for context we are still 20% below the pre-pandemic 2,214,279 registrations of 2019. Petrol sales gain 12.8% to 641,588 and 36.2% share vs. 37.2% last year, diesel sinks -28.2% to 171,737 and 9.7% share vs. 15.6% in 2022, HEVs soar 29.9% to 432,290 and 24.3% share vs. 21.7%, PHEVs advance 28.8% to 162,952 and 9.2% share vs. 8.3%. Finally BEVs surge 47% to 298,522 and 16.8% share vs. 13.3% in 2022. Note also LPG up 34.7% to 63,096 and 3.6% share vs. 3.1%. Sales of domestic carmakers (Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Alpine) are in freefall at just 37.9% market share vs. 48.6% only three years ago in 2020. That rate was 54.5% in 2010, 59.1% in 2000 and 60.9% in 1990. We’ll see which foreigners are responsible for this fall below.

Renault (+17.6%) reclaims the brands top spot it last held in 2020 yet this is with a still weak 15.7% share. Peugeot (-1.7%) and Citroen (-3%) endure the only year-on-year losses in the Top 28. Citroen had an abysmal month of December when it plummeted to a lowest-ever 10th place with just 4% share, outsold by Tesla, BMW, Mercedes and MG for the first time. Dacia (+19.5%) cements its third place overall with an improved 8.8% share while Volkswagen (+23.6%) returns to 5th place, bypassing Toyota (+7.7%) which sees its market share fall from 6.6% to 6.1%. Tesla (+115.9%) is up eight spots on 2022 to land in 7th place with 3.6% share above BMW (+31.2%) up three ranks to #8. Tesla peaked at #6 in March and December and 6.1% in November and BMW reached a record 5% share in December. Mercedes (+8%) and Ford (+9.7%) are both soft and round out the Top 10. One of the success stories of the year (not only in France but in most of Europe) is the surge of Chinese-owned MG (+163.5%) up to #18 for the year but spectacularly breaking into the Top 10 in December at #9 with a record 4.4% share and almost 7,900 sales.

The Renault Clio (+52.2%) is back in pole position for the first time since 2018, outstepping its archenemy the Peugeot 208 (-2.9%) in difficulty. This is the 21st time that the Clio nameplate is #1 at home, a series started in 1992. The 208 was #1 February, March, August and September while the Clio topped the charts 7 times this year. The Dacia Sandero (+7.5%) is down one spot to #3 and ranked #1 in January. The Citroen C3 (+1.2%) remains in 4th place above the Peugeot 2008 (-4.1%), Renault Captur (+4.4%) and Peugeot 308 (+9.4%), all camping on their 2022 ranking. The Tesla Model Y (+212.2%) storms into the Top 10 at #8, up 30 spots on 2022, with the Dacia Duster (+3.1%) and Fiat 500 (+15.4%) closing out the Top 10. The Model Y hit a record 4th place overall in March. Note the Tesla Model 3 (+44.3%) finishes the year inside the Top 20 at #19 but peaked at #2 in November. The MG4 (+1178.5%) ends its first full year in market at #23 but was up to surreal 6th place in December (+467.6%).

The LCV market is up 8.9% to 379,208. Renault (+13.1%) posts a very strong result and improves its share to 29.7%. It is followed like last year by Peugeot (+7.3%), Citroen (-0.1%), Ford (+24.1%), Fiat (-3%) and Mercedes (-5%). Volkswagen (+16.3%) overtakes Iveco (-6.4%) to rank #7. Ineos lands at #25. Model-wise, the Renault Master (+7.2%) and Trafic (+5.5%) continue to dominate, followed this time by the Peugeot Partner (+47.7%) while the Citroen Berlingo (+20.9%) stays at #4. The third generation Renault Kangoo (+75.1%) gears up 7 spots on last year to #5 but can’t return to its usual domination of the charts. The Renault Clio V (+47.5%) is up to #7 and the Peugeot 208 II (+137.5%) up to #10.

Previous year: France 2022: Market falls -7.8% to lowest in 47 years, Peugeot #1, Dacia #3 above Citroen, Sandero #2 above Clio

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

Full December 2023 Top 61 All brands and Top 350 All models below.

Full Year 2023 Top 71 All brands, Top 410 All models, Top 30 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full Year 2022 figures below.

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