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France March 2018: Private sales, Dacia, VW pull market up 2.2%

The new Duster (+46%) helps Dacia up 14.4% in March in France. Picture

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 75 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in France continue to progress in this start of 2018 with a third consecutive uplift at +2.2% to 231.110 units, leading to a year-to-date volume up 2.9% to 556.849. But given this year March counted one less opening day than in 2017, the ‘real’ year-on-year gain is +6.8%. The good news is this growth is for the main part healthy, with private sales pulling the market up at +3.4% to 109.946 and long term rentals up 4.4% to 26.439 while company sales are down 0.5% to 19.913 units. Yet demo sales are up 6.9% to 37.701 but short term rentals are down 1.8% and self-registrations are down 41.4%.

Renault reclaims the brands pole position and the Captur signs its first podium finish of 2018.

As expected as its sales pattern is skewed towards end-of-periods, Renault reclaims the French brands pole position both in March at 21.3% share (+1.2%) and year-to-date at 19.2% (stable). Knocked down to #2, Peugeot shows much more vigorous figures though with a market-beating 3.5% gain in March to 17.5% share and a robust 9.9% uptick YTD to 18.5%. Citroen (-0.1%) remains below the 10% mark for the 2nd straight month at 9.3% of its home market, achieving a round 10% YTD (+0.8%). Volkswagen is one of only two carmakers in the Top 13 to post a double-digit gain in March at +12.9%, allowing it to reclaim the #4 YTD spot off Dacia itself up 14.4% to 6% share, leading to a YTD tally up 12.4% to 6.1%, the same share as VW. Note in the private sales channel, Dacia is a strong third with 11.981 sales and 10.9% share, below just Renault (19%) and Peugeot (16.2%) but above Citroen (9.3%) and Volkswagen (6.7%).

Volkswagen gains a solid 12.9% but the T-Roc (#34) is hurting the Tiguan (-28%).

Both Ford (+2.9%) and Fiat (+9.5%) overtake Toyota (-15.3%) in great difficulty as are Nissan (-20.5%) and Opel (-13.8%) in the tail end of the Top 10. All Top three premiums retract, led by Mercedes (-2.7%) ahead of Audi (-12.5%) and BMW (-0.9%). Stunningly, the remainder of the Top 20 all post double-digit gains, led by Seat (+28.3%), Kia (+22.1%), Hyundai (+17%), Skoda (+16.1%), Suzuki (+15%), DS (+14.8%) and Mini (+12.3%). Below, Mazda (+40%), Volvo (+34.6%), Jeep (+27.9%), Honda (+26%) and Lexus (15.7%) also impress while Alpine now truly relaunches with 27 sales this month and 28 so far this year.

27 Alpine A110 found a new French home in March.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+8%) and Peugeot 208 (+5%) jealously hold onto the two top spots, both of them even beating the market in the process. The Renault Captur (+9%) signs its first podium finish of 2018, knocking both the Peugeot 3008 (+15%) and Citroen C3 (+13%) down one spot but the latter two remain above the Captur YTD. The Peugeot 2008 (-7%) is stuck at #6 while the Peugeot 308 (-6%) overtakes the Dacia Sandero (+2%) for #7. The Renault Twingo (+20%) posts a second consecutive double-digit gain just as the Dacia Duster delivers the most impressive improvement in the Top 10 at +46% thanks to the new generation, making it two Dacias in the French Top 10 for the fourth month running.

Excellent performance of the Renault Scenic this month at home (+58%).

The Renault Scenic impresses at +58% to #11 but the Megane disappoints, down a steep 31%. The VW Polo (+12%) reclaims the #1 foreigner title for the first time in 2018 after two months of reign by the Toyota Yaris (-9%) but like in February the Top 12 is 100% French. The Fiat 500 (-9%), VW Golf (+21%) and Ford Fiesta (+5%) also make it into the March Top 20. The Kia Picanto (+224%), Ford Mondeo (+147%), Ecosport (+137%), Peugeot 5008 (+132%), Mercedes GLA (+130%), Suzuki Swift (+109%), Mini Countryman (+88%), Nissan Micra (+41%), Peugeot 108 (+33%) and Fiat 500X (+26%) all surge ahead. Among recent launches (<12 months), the Citroen C3 Aircross remains at #14, the VW T-Roc is up 8 spots on last month to a new all-time high #34, above the Opel Crossland X at #46 (-6), Renault Koleos at #53 (+50), Opel Grandland X at #57 (+14) and Seat Arona at #60 (+33).

Complete brands and models ranking will be uploaded when available.

Previous month: France February 2018: Peugeot scores second straight month at #1

One year ago: France March 2017: Peugeot 2008 settles at #3 in market up 7%

Full March 2018 Top 20 brands and Top 80 models below.

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France February 2018: Peugeot scores second straight month at #1

The 3008 (+74%) helps Peugeot stay #1 at home for a second straight month. Picture 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 40 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales *

The French new car market accelerates its pace this year with a 4.3% gain in February to 168.897 deliveries following a 2.5% uplift in January, resulting in a year-to-date volume up 3.4% to 325.743. Diesel sales continue to freefall at -10.1% whereas petrol sales gain 17.6%. Like in January, private sales pull the market up at +7.3% to 47.9% share vs. 49.2% last month. Fleet sales do even better at +14% for a 23.4% share after a 15.7% gain last month. Tactical sales retract considerably: carmakers’ self-registrations at -36.7% and short-term rentals at -18.2% but demo sales soar 12.2% to 14.2% share.

Despite the C3 (+34%), Citroen sales are back below the symbolic 10% share mark. Picture

For the first time this decade according to BSCB records, Peugeot manages to remain in pole position at home for two consecutive months thanks to sales surging by a very impressive 19% to 18.4% share vs. 17.9% (-1.3%) for Renault. Peugeot is rewarded for particularly high fleet sales up 45% to 10.617 vs. 9.462 for Renault while the latter suffers from tactical readjustments with demo sales (-22.2%) and short term rentals (-19.1%) hit hard while private sales are up 12.2%. In third place, Citroen is stable but falls under the symbolic 10% share milestone once again. Volkswagen (+4.9%) is back above Dacia (+8%) but the low-cost marque remains #4 year-to-date with deliveries up 11%. Fiat (+8.8%) also shines in the Top 10 while Opel (-13.7%), Ford (-5%) and Toyota (-3.3%) struggle. Further down, Jaguar (+51.6%), Jeep (+42.1%), Hyundai (+41.1%), Mitsubishi (+36.4%), Porsche (+30.2%), Alfa Romeo (+29.7%), Lexus (+25.1%), Suzuki (+24.4%), Skoda (+22.8%) and Kia (+17.6%) all impress.

The E-Pace (#135) propels Jaguar up 51.6%, the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 35.

The Renault Clio (-1%), Peugeot 208 (+11%), 3008 (+74%) and Citroen C3 (+34%) replicate the Top 4 ranking of both January and the Full Year 2017. The Renault Captur (+2%) rounds up the Top 5 above its archenemy the Peugeot 2008 (-2%) while the Sandero (-0.2%) and Duster (+31%) make it two Dacias in the French Top 10 for the third straight month. The Renault Twingo leaps up 16% to return inside its home Top 10 for the first time since last September. Although down 15%, the Peugeot 308 still frankly outsells its direct competitor the Renault Megane (-13%). The Renault Scenic is up 40% to #12 ahead of the Toyota Yaris (-1%), #1 foreigner for the 2nd straight month.

The Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem is the unofficial best-selling vehicle in France in February. 

The Citroen C3 Aircross drops 4 spots on last month to #14 with the VW Polo (-4%) and Golf (+19%) in tow. Up 10-fold on February 2017, the Peugeot 5008 now ranks #16 year-to-date. For the third time in the past 4 months, cumulated sales of the Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem place it at #1 at home, this month with 9,553 units and 5.7% share. Further down the ranking, the Ford Ecosport is up 113% year-on-year and 41 spots on January to break into the French Top 50 for the first time, landing directly at #30! The Nissan Micra is up 135%, the VW T-Roc is up 18 ranks on last month to a new all-time best #40, its first time inside the French Top 50 – a milestone it still hasn’t reached in Germany. Among other recent launches, notice the Opel Crossland X at #40, the Kia Stonic at #65, Opel Grandland X at #71 and Hyundai Kona at #74. We welcome the BMW X2 directly at #133.

The Ford Ecosport scores its first Top 50, Top 40 and Top 30 in France in February. 

Looking into specific channels, the Dacia Sandero (+5.2%) is back to #1 private sale, containing the Peugeot 208 (+25.6%) and Renault Clio (+29.2%), but the 208 remains #1 YTD for just 10 units. Just below the Peugeot 2008 (+1%), the Dacia Duster leaps up 29% to 5th place, distancing the Renault Captur (+26%) and Citroen C3 (-3%) while the Peugeot 3008 (+34%), Renault Twingo (+31%) and Toyota Yaris (+23%) are very healthy. The Peugeot 3008 is a faraway leader with company sales at +41% to 8.7% share while the 208, 308 and 5008 (3.7% share) are also in the Top 5. The Citroen C3 ranks third at 6.7% share while the VW Tiguan is the best-selling foreigner. For lease sales, the Peugeot 3008 is less than 300 units below the leader, the Renault Clio, holding 9.6% share. The Megane, Scenic and Captur also rank high as do the Peugeot 5008 and the Nissan Qashqai, #1 foreigner. It’s also the Qashqai that tops the demo sales channel this month (+53%) ahead of the Peugeot 208, Citroen C3, VW Golf (+80%), Citroen C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus.

Previous month: France January 2018: Peugeot up 10.5% to highest share this decade

One year ago: France February 2017: Citroen C3 and Toyota C-HR impress

Full February 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France January 2018: Peugeot up 10.5% to highest share this decade

The Peugeot 3008 hits a new record market share at home in January. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales *

The French new car market starts the year with a 2.5% year-on-year gain in January to 156.851 registrations. For once private sales beat the market with a 3.4% improvement to 77.212 and 49.2% share, well above the 47.8% they held over the Full Year 2017. Company sales surge 15.7% to 24.8% share vs. 22.8% in FY2017, of these long term leases are up 24.5% to 23.004 and 14.7% share  whereas tactical sales, such as manufacturer self-registrations (-16.2% to 2.230) and demo sales (-1.9% to 21.570) now add up to just 15.2% of the market vs. 16.5% in FY2017. Similarly, short-term rental sales are down a harsh 16.2% to 16.532 or 10.5%, slightly below their FY2016 level of 11%. Diesel sales continue their descent to hell: after falling below 50% for the first time since 2000 last year at 47.3%, they plunge a further 12% in January to just 41.1% whereas petrol sales soar 16% to 52.6% vs. 47.6% over FY2017. Hybrid sales are up 19.5% to 4.7% share vs. 3.3% in FY2017, while PHEV sales shoot up 128% to 0.7%. Electric car sales on the other hand mark a pause at -42.6%, handicapped by the generation changeover of one of its best-sellers, the Nissan Leaf (-77%) as well as a particularly strong comparison base for the Renault Zoe (-61%) whose new 300km range variant launched exactly a year ago.

The new Duster (+53%) propels Dacia to 4th brand for the third time in history. 

Peugeot is the hero of this start of the year at home, soaring 10.5% to cross the 20% share milestone for the first time this decade at 20.1%. Private sales do even better at +19.4% to 14.905 thanks to the 208 (+31% to 4.747), #1 above the 2017 leader the Dacia Sandero (4.314) while company sales are up 38.6% to 10.800 units. Going against the market, Peugeot sees its diesel sales go up 3.4% to reach 22.6% market share thanks to the 3008, leader for this fuel segment with 5.003 sales above the Renault Clio at 3.929, and the 5008 ranking #7 in the segment (1.860). Peugeot (+17.9%) also leads petrol sales at 20.4% share vs. 16.4% for Renault (+24.7%). Renault which is relegated to #2 in the overall brands ranking like in January 2017, down 0.7% to 17.4% share and traditionally weak in start-of-period months after loading December with artificial sales. Fleet sales are up 11% to 9.419 but private sales are down 6.4% to 11.940. After falling to possibly its lowest share in 97 years last month and being outsold by Volkswagen for the first time, Citroen rallies back up 2.7% to 11%, its highest level in a year. Its private sales are up a very encouraging 15.2% year-on-year to 9.687 or 56% share vs. 49.2% for the market.

First Top 10 ranking for the Citroen C3 Aircross.

Low-cost brand Dacia has a historic month in January: up 14.3% to 6.3% share, it manages to snap the 4th spot overall for only the third time in French history after March 2010 and August 2017. Its private sales are up 4.2% to 7.944. Dacia is one of the rare brands that see their diesel sales progress: up 27.5% thanks to the Duster (+70%), sold at 90% in diesel. Volkswagen is in great difficulty this month at -17.7% to just 5.5% share, potentially its lowest this decade in France, with the Tiguan down 37%. Toyota on the other hand is in excellent shape, up 6.9% to hit a stunning 5.1% market share, its highest since August 2014 (5.6%). Its private sales do even better at +11% to 60.5% share.

The Toyota Yaris is the best-selling foreign nameplate in France this month.

Ford (-2.6%) sees its private sales drop 4%, its demo sales down 43% but its short-term rentals double. Opel posts exactly the same volume as January 2017, with private sales up 2.9% where the Crossland X is its best-seller above the Corsa. Fiat (+3.6%) is above Nissan (-5.6%) but its growth is artificial: lifted by demo sales up 19.7% and short-term rentals up 20.7% whereas its private sales are down 12.6%. BMW is the best-selling premium brand in France this month but is down 3 spots on December to #11 and down 10% year-on-year. It is followed by Audi imploding 28.3% and Mercedes up 39.4% but traditionally very weak in January at 1.8% share vs. 3.2% in FY2017. Mercedes is however the only of the three to see its diesel sales progress at +23% vs. -33% for BMW and -34% for Audi. Further down, Hyundai shoots up 17% thanks to private sales up 26.7%, Suzuki is up 22.9%, Skoda up 15%, Mini up 23.9%, Jeep up 47.3% and Alfa Romeo up 23.8%.

The Opel Grandland X breaks into the French Top 100 for the first time at #59…

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+7%) and Peugeot 208 (+1%) are back on top like they have been over the past five years, but for the second time in the past three months, the Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem is the unofficial best-seller in France thanks to 9.800 deliveries vs. 9.291 for the Clio. The 3008 is up 30% to 4.7% share, a new record for the nameplate eclipsing the 4.4% from last November while the 5008 is up 620% to #16. The Citroen C3 is up 37% to a solid 4th pace, the Peugeot 2008 is down 7% to #5 above the Peugeot 308 (+0.02%), Dacia Sandero (-1%) and Renault Captur (+4%). Thanks to the arrival of the new generation in concessions (1.316 demo sales) the Dacia Duster is up 53% to #9, its second consecutive Top 10 placement and highest monthly ranking since July 2016 (#8).

…as does the Kia Stonic at #61.

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Citroen C3 Aircross is up 12 spots on December to post its first ever Top 10 at home at #10, and the next four best-sellers all beat their ranking record also: the Opel Crossland X is up 24 spots to #42, the Opel Grandland X up 45 to #59, the VW T-Roc up 25 to #60 and the Kia Stonic up 41 to #61. The Seat Arona (#82) and new gen Jeep Compass (#88) also lodge their very first Top 100 ranking in France. The locally-produced Toyota Yaris shoots up 32% year-on-year and 5 ranks on December to #11 and best-selling foreigner and, incredibly, the only one inside the Top 16, far above the VW Golf (#17), Polo (#18), Fiat 500 (#19), Ford Fiesta (#20) and Nissan Qashqai (#21).

Previous post: France Full Year 2017: Peugeot 3008 #3, Top 12 100% French for 1st time since 1980

Previous month: France December 2017: Volkswagen above Citroen for the first time in history

One year ago: France January 2017: 4 Peugeots in Top 5, Citroen C3 III up to #7

Full January 2018 Top 35 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France Full Year 2017: Renault Clio #1, Peugeot 3008 on podium, Top 12 100% French for the first time since 1980

The Peugeot 3008 second generation lands on the podium for its first full year of sales. 

* See the Top 60 All-brands, Top 435 All-models, Top 10 private sales, Top 10 used sales, Top 25 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models by clicking on the title *

Consult over 120 years worth of French Historical Data here

Overall trends

The French new car market lodges a fourth consecutive year of gains in 2017 at +4.7% to 2.110.863 registrations, its highest annual score since 2011 (2.204.065) and above the average annual score of the past 20 years (2.04 million). Private sales continue to lose market share and spend their second year in a row (and ever) below 50% of the total market with sales trailing the overall growth but still up at +2.5% to 1.009.615 units and 47.8% share. Private sales dynamism is explained by the continued progression of leasing, in particular the LOA (in French Location avec Option d’Achat – Leasing with Purchase option) which accounts for 32% of total private sales in 2017 vs. 27% in 2016 and 20% in 2015. Leasing options are the darling of premium brands as it makes their cars more affordable. Tesla (57%), BMW (56%), Mini (55%), Smart (51%) and Mercedes (49.5%) are the brands with the highest LOA ratio on private sales in France this year, while Audi is a notch below at 40%. Among French carmakers, Renault (32.5% vs 27.5% in 2016) is right on-average, while Peugeot (28% vs. 24.5% in 2016) Dacia (27% vs. 20.5% in 2016) and Citroen (18% vs. 15% last year) are well below. Among strong LOA users are also Seat (33%), Volkswagen and Skoda (38%), Ford (41%) and Kia (51% vs. 39% in 2016).

The Renault Clio is the best-seller in France for the 19th time in the past 26 years.

Fleet sales are the most dynamic in France this year with +10% for business sales now accounting for a 9.8% share, +6.9% for long term leasing to 13% share and +5% for short term rental sales to 11% share. Following up on a trend we detailed in last year’s Report, demo sales are up a further 7% to 16.5% share vs. 15% in 2016 and 13.9% in 2015: this is the infamous self-registration process that sends unsold cars straight into the “zero km second-hand” market at heavily discounted prices. The biggest culprits of this method are Mercedes (23% of its 2017 sales), Nissan (22%), Fiat (21.8%), BMW (21.6%) and Opel (21.2%). French carmakers are more subtle: Citroen (16%, up 25% on 2016) is above average but Renault (down 5% to 11.5%) and Peugeot (up 0.6% to 10.8%) are below. Overall, the share of tactical sales (demo, self-registrations, short-term rentals) keeps progressing in France: from 25.9% in 2012 to 28.1% in 2016 and 30.2% in 2017, cracking the 30% milestone for the first time in history. The most virtuous carmakers are Dacia (only 13% tactical sales), followed by Suzuki (15%), Mini (19%), Toyota (21%) and Audi (23%). Peugeot is at 27% and both Renault and Citroen at 32%.

Mercedes overtakes Audi to become the #1 premium brand in France in 2017. 

Lastly, a much talked-about event in 2017 is the decline of diesel sales falling below petrol sales for the first time since 2000. Diesel sales are down 5% to 998.124 or 47.29% share vs. 52.1% in 2016 and falling to a low of 45% in December whereas patrol sales gain 13.7% to 1.004.310 and 47.6% share vs. 43.82% last year. For reference the share of diesel in total French new car sales was 73% in 2012, 67% in 2013, 64% in 2014 and 58% in 2015. Meanwhile Hybrid sales are up 39.7% to 81.547 and 3.9% share vs. 2.9% a year ago (plug-in hybrid are up 59.7% to 11.868) and electric sales are up 14.5% to 24.910 units and 1.2% share. As a whole, French manufacturers retain market share at 53.3% vs. 53.5% in 2016 and 52.5% in 2012.

The launch of the C3 Aircross has not reversed Citroen’s shrinking market share at home.

Brands ranking

Brand leader Renault trails the market in 2017 at +2.1% to return below 20% share at 19.7%, with private sales edging up just 0.8% at 40.5% share, well below the market average. Peugeot is one of the biggest winners of the year, doubling the market growth with deliveries shooting up 9.2% to 17.4% share and private sales are up 7% to account for 44.2% of it mix. Citroen ranks third as usual but only gains 3.3% to see its share decline further to 9.5%, having endured a series of setbacks this year despite the first full year of the C3 III and the launch of the C3 Aircross. In December, Citroen fell to a paltry 7.4% share – potentially its lowest in 97 years – and was outsold by Volkswagen for the first time in history. Meanwhile its premium division, DS, tumbles down 24.1% to just 1% share, the steepest decline in the Top 30.

Dacia is the #3 brand in France with private buyers, and the Sandero is #1. 

If Dacia remains in 5th place with sales up 6.6% to a new record volume just under 118.000 units (the 5th record in the past 10 years), this year the low-cost brand steps up to a fantastic third place in the private sales channels with deliveries up 7.9% to 98.740 or 9.7% share, distancing both Citroen (93.457) and Volkswagen down 8.6% to 67.286. In August, Dacia even managed to outsell VW for a 4th spot overall for the second time in history (along with a scrappage scheme-fuelled frenzy in March 2010), then holding 12.2% of the private market vs. 13.6% for Renault and 13.4% for Peugeot. Toyota is the other big winner this year, up 14.1% to overtake Ford (+6.6%) and settle in 6th place. Toyota’s private sales are up 13.6% to 58.112 and 35.6% LOA. Ford on the other hand sees its private sales fall 9.2% despite 40.7% LOA (+14%).

Toyota shoots up 14.1% thanks mainly to the new C-HR, up to #28.

Opel (+6.3%) gains 6.2% with private buyers (15.5% LOA), while Nissan (+3.5%) only edges up 1.1% on that channel. These two manufacturers have a much higher than average share of artificial sales with over 40% going to demo and short term rental sales, while for Fiat (+9%) this share climbs up to a very unhealthy 45%. Mercedes becomes the best-selling premium carmaker in France in 2017, ending the long-term domination of Audi. Its overall sales are up 9.6% to a new annual record at 68.000 units, private sales are up 5.9% but it’s demo sales that prep the brand up at +36.9% to 23.1% share. Audi (+1.6%) still manages to break a new volume record at 66.000 units (the 5th in the past 10 years) and keeps the premium leadership with private buyers (+1.8% to 30.517) while BMW (+1.3%), also at its highest ever at 61.000 sales, is only up thanks to demo sales up 36.7% to 21.6% share.

Kia breaks its annual volume record in France for the 7th time in the past 10 years.

Further down, Kia gains 10.5% to a record 37.000 sales (its 7th in the past 10 years) and displays one of the highest private sales ratios in market at 67.2% or 25.010 units (+8.9%). Hyundai is also up (+5.4%) to a new record at 30.000 units but sees its private sales thaw -0.8% to 19.137 or a strong 64.7% ratio. Other double-digit gainers in the Top 20 include Skoda (+13.5%) on its way to a new annual high of 27.000 (its 5th record in the past 10 years), Seat (+14.2%) and Suzuki (+22%). Other record-breakers in 2017 include Mini (26.000), Jeep (11.000), Porsche (5.500, 5th record in past 10 years) and Lexus (5.400, 6th record in past 10 years). Aston Martin (+55.4%), Tesla (+44.8%), Alfa Romeo (+25.6%) and Ferrari (+15.7%) also shine. Detailed figures as well as all the record years for the Top 30 brands are below the jump.

The Renault Captur remains in 4th place by the skin of its teeth in 2017.

Models ranking

Over in the models ranking, the Renault Clio celebrates seven consecutive years in the French pole position, roughly following the market at +4% to 5.5% share. This is the Clio’s longest streak of annual wins in France and the longest since the Renault 5 topped the annual charts for ten consecutive years from 1974 to 1983. The Clio now adds up to 19 annual wins in the past 26 years across four generations of the model, the first one being in 1992. This is the most wins of any nameplate ever on sale in France. Interestingly, the Clio has remained at the same market share since 2011, going against the overwhelming fragmentation trend over the past decade. This year’s victory is implacable: the Clio wins every single month vs. just 8 in 2016, 9 in 2015 and 11 in 2014, meaning the #2, the Peugeot 208 has not snapped a single monthly win in a calendar year for the first time since its launch in 2012. Down 0.2% to 4.6% share in 2017, it topped the charts 5 times in 2012, 2 in 2013, 1 in 2014, 3 in 2015 and 4 in 2016. The 208’s last monthly win dates back to August 2016.

The Peugeot 2008 ranked #4 YTD up until end November but ends 2017 at #5. 

The hero of the year is without contest the second generation Peugeot 3008, landing directly on the podium for its first full year of sales with over 74.000 sales. This is the largest volume ever generated in a single year by an SUV in France, and the star nameplate even tops a fantastic year by becoming the brand’s best-seller for the first time in December, outselling the 208. Its 7-seat variant the 5008 is also an instant blockbuster, up 67% to #23. The 3008-5008 tandem even became the unofficial best-seller in France in November when cumulated sales edged past that of the Clio. The previous generation 3008 only managed a personal best of #9 in both 2011 and 2012. The negative effect for Peugeot: the 308 (-12%) is knocked down to #7. A last minute rally brings the Renault Captur (-2%) back to where it was last year: at #4 above its archenemy the Peugeot 2008 (+3%) which had led the way all year. Both small crossovers are inside the French Top 5 for the third year in a row. We saw it above: the third generation Citroen C3, landing at #6 for its first full year in market and peaking at #3 in May, has not saved the marque. The Dacia Sandero (+9%), Renault Megane IV (+13%) and Scenic IV (+411%) round up the Top 10.

The VW Polo is the best-selling foreigner in France for the 8th straight year. 

For the fourth consecutive year, there are no foreign models inside the French Top 10 with the VW Polo the best-selling foreigner for the 8th year in a row but down 5% to #13. Astoundingly, this is the lowest ranking for the #1 foreigner in France in 37 years, since the VW Golf ranked #13 in 1980 and was one of only three foreign nameplates in the Top 20. In other words, the Top 12 best-sellers are 100% French (if counting Dacia as French because Renault-owned) for the first time since 1980. For reference, the highest annual ranking reached by a foreign nameplate in the past 50 years is #7, reached by the Ford Fiesta in 1985 and 1991 and the VW Polo in 2012. The VW Golf (#15), Toyota Yaris (#17), Nissan Qashqai (#18), Fiat 500 (#19), VW Tiguan (#20) posting its first ever Top 20 finish in France, Opel Corsa (#21) and Ford Fiesta (#22) follow. The Toyota C-HR is a smashing success for the Japanese carmaker, landing directly at #28 for its first full year of sales, with the Ford Kuga (+55%), Nissan Micra (+68%), Fiat Tipo (+140%), BMW X1 (+28%) and Mercedes GLC (+59%) also impressive in the Top 50.

Ford Kuga sales are up 55% year-on-year in France in 2017. 

Models ranking by channel – private sales and others

Big event in the private sales ranking by model: after missing out in the last days of the year in 2016, the Dacia Sandero takes the overall lead for the first time thanks to deliveries up 12% to almost 55.000, a comfortable 9.000-unit advantage over the Peugeot 208, down 7% while the Renault Clio is up 2% to remain at #3. For the third year in a row, the Peugeot 2008 (+5%) outsells the Renault Captur (-4%) with private buyers, with the Citroen C3 (+10%) remaining at #6, the Peugeot 3008 up 87% and 7 spots to #7 and the Dacia Duster down 4% to #8. Among foreigners, only the VW Polo makes it inside the Top 10 at #9. Note the Toyota C-HR outsells the Nissan Qashqai with private buyers.

The Citroen C3 is the best-selling model in the demo sales channel in 2017. 

In the demo sales channel, the new Citroen C3 is the leader with 3.9% share above the Renault Clio (3.4%) and Peugeot 208 (3.1%) with the Nissan Qashqai best foreigner at #10. Long term rentals see the Renault Clio and Megane on top ahead of the Peugeot 3008 (5.6% share), Renault Scenic and Peugeot 308 (-29%). Business and administration sales have the Peugeot 3008 as its clear leader with a stunning 8% share ahead of the Peugeot 208 and 308, Citroen C3 (5.4%), Renault Clio (4.3%) and Megane (2.7%). The Peugeot 5008 (2.3%) ranks at an impressive 8th place followed by the Citroen C4 Picasso (2.3%), with the VW Golf #1 foreigner at #11 (1.7%) just above the Tiguan (1.7%) while the Mercedes A-Class and GLC rank at #14 and #15.

The Renault Megane tops the under-1-year used car sales charts.

Best-sellers in the used car segment

For the first time on BSCB we can also share with you French used car sales data for 2017. A record total of 5.678.592 used cars changed hands in France this year, up 0.6% on the previous record established in 2016. Renault is down 3.3% but both Peugeot and Citroen edge up 0.4%. The best performing brands are Dacia (+15.9%), Skoda (+9.5%) Toyota (+8.4%) and Mazda (+8%). Model-wise, the Renault Clio is #1 despite sales down 1.7% to 407.000 ahead of the Megane down 8.4% to 364.000. The Peugeot 206 (-4.9%), Citroen C3 (+9.9%) and C4 (+2.8%) round up the Top 5 with the VW Golf (#6) and Polo (#10) inside the Top 10 but the Peugeot 208 outside. We can also share with you under-1-year used sales which are another indication of where those tactical new sales end up. The Renault Megane is tops at this little game despite a steep 21.6% year-on-year drop, distancing the Clio and Captur with the Citroen C3 and Peugeot 208 also in the Top 5. The Peugeot 3008 shoots up 98.6% to #7 and the Renault Kadjar (+8.7%) also breaks into the Top 10.

First appearance of the Renault Alaskan in the annual French LCV charts.  

Light Commercial Vehicle market

The French light commercial vehicle market remains the largest in Europe, up a robust 7% to 438.639 units in 2017. Renault is still the dominant force here but once again trails the market growth at +5% resulting in a lowered 31.4% share. Peugeot is up 12% to 16.8% while Citroen is up 11% to 15.7% and overtake Renault when cumulated which wasn’t the case in 2016. Fiat edges up 0.2% but sees its share thaw to 8.4% whereas Ford (+13%) and Volkswagen (+15%) both outpace the market and Toyota (+30%) impresses. The Renault Kangoo (+2%) celebrates 20 consecutive years as the #1 LCV in France, distancing the Renault Clio (-5%) and Citroen Berlingo (+4%) with the Renault Master (+8%) and Trafic (+14%) now above the Fiat Ducato (-1%). The Peugeot Expert soars 68% to #8 and the Citroen Jumpy is up 38% to #10. Pickup trucks gallop ahead, led by the Ford Ranger (+16%), Toyota Hilux (+36%), Nissan NP300 (-9%) and VW Amarok (+4%) while the Fiat Fullback is up 130% to #55, the Renault Alaskan points its bonnet at #63 and the Mercedes X-Class at #89.

Previous post: France December 2017: Volkswagen above Citroen for first time in history

Previous year: France Full Year 2016: Private sales under 50% share for the first time in history

Two years ago: France Full Year 2015: Fleet and rental sales push market up 7%

Full Year 2017 Top 60 All-brands, Top 435 All-models, Top 10 private sales, Top 25 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

See also the All-time annual volume records for the Top 30 brands, Full Year 2017 Top 10 used cars and under 1-year old used car sales vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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France December 2017: Volkswagen above Citroen for first time in history

The new C3 Aircross doesn’t prevent Citroen to fall to its lowest share in possibly 97 years… 

* See the Top 50 All-brands, Top 350 All-models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

The French new car market edges down 0.5% year-on-year in December to 193.375 registrations due to two less opening days. Renault is in difficulty at -7.7% but remains at a very high level at 20.6% share, over 10.000 units above archenemy Peugeot up 6.6% to a still very weak 15.1%. The big event is in third place: thanks to deliveries up 4.4% to 7.5% share, Volkswagen manages to overtake Citroen (-2.3%) to rank third overall for the first time. Monthly brands data isn’t available all the way back to 1894 when the first cars were registered in France (1894-1934 circulation data available on BSCB here) but this is likely the first time since the 1920s (Ford?) that a foreign carmaker manages to rank on the French podium, even in a monthly ranking – bar a freak event that could have happened during the 1950s or 1960s. There is in any case no record of such an event since the 1970s when car sales data started to be published more regularly in France. Please contact us if you are aware of something we aren’t.

The last time Citroen held such a low share at home was potentially in the brand’s infancy in 1920, when its only offer was the Type A, the first mass produced car in Europe.

At the very least, ever since I have been following the French market in the early 1980s this has never happened, simply because Citroen used to command a much higher share of its home market, even holding the #1 brand spot during the 1930s and a large part of the 1940s when the Traction Avant was the best-seller in the country (see all available Historical Data for the French market here). This way, the 7.4% it falls to in December – after 7.5% in December 2016 – is potentially the lowest market share recorded in France by Citroen in almost 100 years. Originally launched in 1919, the Citroen brand was met with immediate success as it imported in France the industrial production methods inaugurated by Henry Ford. Its first vehicle, the Type A, was the first mass produced car in Europe and went from just 2.810 units in 1920 (or 4% of a booming post-war market) to 12.244 in 1921 which already accounted for roughly 20% of the French market at the time. So we are looking at potentially the weakest presence of Citroen in France in 97 years out of the 99-year long history of the brand.

The Renault Captur is up to #2 in December and #1 with private buyers. 

In 5th place, Dacia ends the year on a high note with sales up 12.2% while Mercedes is up one spot on November to land at a stunning 6th position like in December 2016 despite sales down 1% year-on-year. The Stuttgart company has also ended Audi’s long term domination of the premium market in France as we detail in our Full Year 2017 Report. Toyota (-1.7%) confirms it is now firmly installed above Ford (-1.1%) with BMW (+11%) sandwiched in between. Audi (+0.7%) rounds up the Top 10, distancing Nissan (-20.9%), Fiat (-11.9%) and Opel (-5.6%), all falling heavily. Mazda (+43%), Jeep (+39.8%), Mini (+22.8%), Volvo (+17.4%), Subaru (+15.8%), Porsche (+10.7%) and Seat (+10%) also post double-digit gains while among smaller brands Aston Martin (+58.3%), Lamborghini (+44.4%) and Lotus (+22%) shine.

For the first time, the 3008 is Peugeot’s best-seller at home.

There’s a lot of reshuffling leading to last minute changes in the models ranking also. Below the Renault Clio down a harsh 15% to 5.6% share (identical to its annual level), the Renault Captur (+28%) steps up to a record-equalling 2nd place, a position it has only held three times before: in June 2014, 2015 and 2016. Notice these high scores always happen at end-of-period times, when Renault fuels up on artificial registrations, although this month the Captur also tops the private sales ranking (+28%) above the Dacia Sandero (+10%) and Peugeot 208 (-24%). A momentous event in third place: the Peugeot 3008 (+50%) becomes the brand’s best-seller, outselling the 208 (-16%) for the first time ever and marking the first time since June 2012 (shortly after its launch) that the 208 doesn’t appear inside the French monthly podium. Adding the 5008, Peugeot’s star SUV tandem’s sales come up to 5.1% share or #2 vs. #1 last month.

The BMW X1 hits a record #24 in France this month. 

The Peugeot 2008 (+2%) is stable in 5th place but loses the 4th annual spot to its archenemy the Captur in the last days of the year. The Citroen C3 III is knocked down to #6 despite seeing its deliveries soar 78% year-on-year. The Dacia Duster (#10) is back inside the Top 10 for the first time since July 2016, and the VW Polo (#11) and Golf (#12) top foreign models. The Citroen C3 Aircross is down three spots on November to #22, the BMW X1 is up 47% to a record #24, the Mercedes GLC up 41% to a record #26, the Ford Kuga is up 84%, the Fiat Tipo up 45% and the Toyota C-HR up 79%. The Opel Crossland X (#66) leads recent launches (<12 months) just above the Hyundai Kona up 39 ranks to #68 and the VW T-Roc up 14 to #85. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross lands at #174, the Jaguar E-Pace at #231 and the Volvo XC40 at #313.

Previous month: France November 2017: Peugeot 3008/5008 above Renault Clio

One year ago: France December 2016: New generation Renault Scenic up to #6

Full December 2017 Top 50 All-brands, Top 350 All-models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France November 2017: Peugeot 3008/5008 above Renault Clio

The Peugeot 3008 hits its highest ever market share at home this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales *

The French new car market scores a solid 10.3% year-on-year gain in November to 180.012 registrations, partly thanks to one additional selling day (+5.1% annualised), lifting the year-to-date volume up 5.3% to 1.917.383. Although robust, private sales trail the market at +8.2% to 48.7% share vs. 49.7% a year ago, as do company sales up 8%. Long term rentals pull the market up at +22.3% to 24.5% share, up from 23.7% in November 2016. Tactical sales remain (too) strong at 26.2% share vs. 25.9% a year ago, with short term rentals up 12.2% to 7.8%, demo sales up 15.2% and manufacturer self-registrations down 17%. This month petrol sales (86.013 or 47.8%) are once again above diesel sales (84.042 or 46.7%), and the two fuel options are virtually at the same level year-to-date with diesel sales down 4.4% to 910.414 and petrol sales up 14% to 910.142. Petrol sales should snatch a last minute win in 2017 and become the favourite fuel option in France for the first time in four decades. For reference, the share of diesel in annual French sales was 73% in 2012, 67% in 2013, 64% in 2014, 58% in 2015 and 52% in 2016. Note hybrids are up 42.2% this year to 73.105 sales or 3.8% share while electric cars are up 17.2% to 22.184 or 1.2% share.

The Citroen C3 II is now #5 year-to-date in France. Picture

If Renault remains the market leader at 19.1% share, it only edges up 3.2%, sees its private sales fall 4.3% to just 37% of its mix vs. 31% for tactical sales. In November, the true performer is Peugeot: at +24.5%, the French carmaker delivers its largest year-on-year gain since September 2014 (+26%). Perhaps more importantly, Peugeot annihilates Renault in the company sales channels at 13.807 units  vs. 8.912, and also dominates in private sales at 17.5% share vs. 14.5%. Citroen seems to finally benefit from the new C3/C3 Aircross effect: up 10.8% thanks to private sales up 17.4% accounting for over 50% of its November score. It however remains at historically low overall market shares (8.9% in November). Volkswagen (-4.1%) is with Nissan (-1%) and Seat (-15.5%) one of only three carmakers to lose ground in the Top 20, with tactical sales too high at 31% of its mix and private sales at a low 44%. On this channel, the German brand even ranks as low as #6 with with 5.184 units (-18.7%) below Dacia at 7.954 (+37.8%) and Toyota at 5.467 (+25.3%). In the overall ranking, both Dacia (+14.1%) and Toyota (+11.8%) beat the market as do Mercedes (+21.2%) up to #7 above Ford (+16.1%), Opel (+12.6%) and BMW (+14.5%). Tesla (+170.8%), Mazda (+38.9%), Skoda (+35.6%), Suzuki (+30.2%), Mini (+27.3%) and Jeep (+22.7%) also impress.

Skoda sales are up 35.6% in November. Picture

Model-wise, the Renault Clio keeps the lead for the 15th month in a row but trailing the market at +3% to 5.8% share, well above the Peugeot 208 up 22% to 4.8% but #1 with private buyers. But here too the main event must be read between the lines: the Peugeot 3008 is up 76% to break its share record at 4.4%, while its 7-seat variant the 5008 is up 309% to smash its ranking (#15), volume (2.897) and share (1.6%) records. The result: the 3008/5008 tandem hits an all-time high 6% share in November, which would place it in pole position of the French market, 292 units above the Clio! Peugeot even places four nameplates atop the long term rental sales ranking: the 3008 leads the way with a stunning 10.5% share ahead of the 308, 208 and 5008 with 4.6% of total sales, meaning the 3008/5008 tandem holds over 15% of the long term rental market in France this month.

The VW T-Roc lands directly in the French Top 100. 

The Citroen C3 II looks like it is settling in at #4, and leaps up two spots in the YTD order to #5. The Peugeot 2008 (+12%) holds onto its segment lead above the Renault Captur, worryingly down 13% (and at -30% with private buyers). The VW Golf (#12) tops foreign nameplates above the Toyota Yaris (#16) and VW Polo (#18) while the Citroen C3 Aircross lodges a second consecutive month in the Top 20 at #19. Further down, the Ford Kuga is up 89% to #27 and both the Toyota C-HR and Opel Crossland X remain in the Top 50. We welcome the VW T-Roc at #99, the Skoda Karoq at #155 and the Kia Stinger at #191.

Previous month: France October 2017: Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem triumphs

One year ago: France November 2016: New Peugeot 3008 soars to 7th place

Full November 2017 Top 50 All-brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France October 2017: Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem triumphs

Peugeot 3008 and 5008 sales add up to 5.2% share in France this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 33 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales *

The French new car market is up a splendid 13.7% year-on-year in October to 176.498 – the highest October score since 2011 – partly thanks to one additional selling day. Adjusted for daily rates, the market is still up a robust 8.6%. This lifts the year-to-date tally up 4.8% to 1.737.375 units with one less selling day (+5.3% adjusted). If company sales (+15.7%) and long term rental sales (+27.8%) pull the market up, private sales are for once very dynamic also at +11.5% to 50.8% share vs. 51.8% a year ago. Tactical sales account for 23.3% of the market vs. 24% a year ago, demo and carmaker sales are at 16.5% share vs. 17.1% and short term rentals at 6.8% vs. 6.9%. Note the diesel market share has fallen to 46% in October and is almost at the level of petrol sales year-to-date: 826.372 diesel sales in 10 months for a 47.56% share (-4.7%) vs. 824.129 petrol sales and 47.44% share (+13.6%). For reference, the share of diesel in annual French sales was 73% in 2012, 67% in 2013, 64% in 2014, 58% in 2015 and 52% in 2016. Hybrid sales are up 41.3% to 65.137 units and 3.75% share including 8.939 plug in hybrids (+44.1%) and electric car sales are up 16.3% to 20.511 and 1.2% share.

The Renault Captur is up 34% year-on-year thanks to its facelift. Picture 

In the brands ranking, Renault remains in the lead but for just 377 sales, up 17.4% to 18.5% share vs. +19.1% and 18.3% for Peugeot. Renault’s private sales are up 12.5% and its fleet sales are up 25%. Peugeot sees its company sales shoot up 26.7% and long term rental sales up 79% for a total of 11.500 fleet sales (or 35.6% of its total sales) vs. 11.450 for Renault. Peugeot’s private sales are up 17% and demo sales are down 21.8% for a rather healthy mix this month. Surprisingly, Citroen is struggling again, going against the grain with a 1.6% decline to a weak 9.3% share, with private sales up an atone 0.8%. Volkswagen also underperforms at +3.6% with private sales down 4.1% to fall below Toyota’s at 5.200 vs. 5.600 (+25.6% for the Japanese manufacturer). Dacia trails the market at a still reasonable +11.6% with Toyota (+23.3%), Ford (+15.9%) and Opel (+26.7%) very solid. Audi returns to the #1 premium position at #9 but only gains 7.5% vs. +12.1% for Mercedes (#11) and +11.5% for BMW (#12). Hyundai (+23.8%), Skoda (+25.2%), Nissan (+25.7%), Mini (+26.4%) and Suzuki (+38.5%) are the other great gainers in the Top 20. Further down, Tesla is up 89.8%.

First Top 20 ranking at home for the Citroen C3 Aircross. Picture

Over in the models ranking the Renault Clio (+11%) and Peugeot 208 (+10%) remain in the lead albeit with gains below market, while the Peugeot 3008 II gains two spots to return to the 3rd place it holds year-to-date with 3.8% share. The Citroen C3 III is back up four ranks on September to #4 (49% private sales and 17% demo sales), ahead of the Peugeot 2008 (+8%) and Renault Captur (+36%). Note the Peugeot 5008 is up 261% to #18, with combined 3008/5008 sales adding up to 9.105 which would earn it a 2nd place overall below just the Clio and above all other Peugeots. The 3008 is #2 in the fleet ranking with 3.400 sales vs. 3.600 for the Clio, with the three Peugeot crossovers (2008, 3008, 5008) adding up to 45% of the brand’s sales this month. According to Peugeot, there is no cannibalisation between the 3008 and 5008, these two nameplates being conquest cars with 50% of buyers coming from other brands’ SUVs for the 3008 and MPVs or station wagons for the 5008.

The new Alpine A110 registers its very first sale at home this month.

The Peugeot 308 (+1%) and Renault Megane (-3%) are stable while the Dacia Sandero (+17%) continues to shine (but is down to #3 in the October private sales ranking below the Clio and 208) and the Renault Scenic IV is back inside the Top 10. The VW Golf soars 26% to top foreign nameplates at #11 ahead of the Toyota Yaris (#12) while the VW Polo (-15%) is still handicapped by its generation changeover: 34% are new gen demo sales. Finally, the Citroen C3 Aircross breaks into the French Top 20 for the first time, with 46% being private sales and 45% demo sales. All in all, the Citroen C3 (1.050), Citroen C3 Aircross (970) and new gen VW Polo (890) dominate the demo sales ranking. Outside the Top 20, notice the Nissan Qashqai up 46%, the Opel Corsa up 32%, the Ford Kuga up 76% and the Nissan Micra up 75%. The Hyundai Kona lands at #103, the Seat Arona at #147 and revived brand Alpine registers its very first sale of the new A110 at home this month.

Previous month: France September 2017: Best September since 2009 but up a shy 1.1%

One year ago: France October 2016: New generation Peugeot 3008 above Duster and Kadjar

Full October 2017 Top 33 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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France September 2017: Best September since 2009 but up a shy 1.1%

Mercedes is the only carmaker posting double-digit gains in the Top 10 this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 brands, Top 10 private sales and Top 270 models *

The French new car market maintains itself in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month with September sales up 1.1% to 170.652, the largest score for the month since 2009 (183.248), leading to a year-to-date total up 3.9% to 1.560.885 registrations. The market is in positive solely thanks to company sales up 8.1% while private sales remain stable at +0.9%. Tactical sales, for once, are in decline: short-term rental sales are down 11.5% to 5.85% share, carmakers’ self-registrations down 4% to 1.75% share and demo sales down 2.6% to a still very high 18.6% market share.

The new generation 5008 helps Peugeot up 4.7% this month. 

Renault is stable this month at -0.1% to a strong 21.5% share – as is its tradition for end of quarter sales, however its sales mix is completely reshuffled, with private sales up 11.9% to 17.541, company sales up 20% to 12.834 and demo sales down 47% to 3.650. Peugeot beats the market with a 4.7% gain to 17.1% share, helped by company sales up 15.9% to 9.271 whereas private sales are down 4.9% to 12.724. Despite the recent launch of the new gen C3 and the arrival of the C3 Aircross in demo sales, Citroen remains at a historically low level at 8.8% share of its home market, up just 3.3% on an already paltry performance in September 2016. Private sales are down 4.6% to 5.719, company sales down 10.4% to 3.471 and demo sales up 50% to 4.519, more than Renault. This month demo/tactical sales represent almost one in three registrations for Citroen… Clearly not the sign of a healthy brand.

The Renault Captur is back on the French podium but down 8% year-on-year.

After being outsold by Dacia for the first time last month, Volkswagen post another disappointing performance at -14.8% to 6.1% share with private sales down 11.1%. According to Thierry Lespiaucq, the Volkswagen Group France President interviewed by local outlet Autoactu, this is solely due to the generation transition of the Polo. Dacia (+3.5%) returns to a more traditional 5.2% share after its exceptional performance of last month, while Toyota confirms it is now the #2 foreign brand in France with sales up 2.8% to 3.7% share. Mercedes leads the premium segment for the second month in a row thanks to deliveries up 12.9% to an outstanding 3.7% share, distancing Audi at 3.2% (+4.3%) and BMW at 3% (-2.8%). Opel (+3.2%) returns inside the Top 10 at #10, Fiat is up 11.8% to #11 but owes its score to tactical sales. Kia (+7.1%), Skoda (+9.3%), Suzuki (+24.5%), Seat (+26.9% – with the Ateca now the brand’s best-seller here) and Mazda (+32.6%) impress.

Volkswagen (-14.8%) is waiting for the new Polo (pictured) to get back in positive. 

Model-wise, the Renault Clio celebrates 13 consecutive months in pole position thanks to sales up 8% to 5.7% share whereas its archenemy the Peugeot 208 is down 10% to 4.6%. The Renault Captur is back up 7 spots to #3 but down 6%, distancing its rival the Peugeot 2008, down 4% to 3.2% share in 4th place. The Peugeot 3008 is up one rank on August to #5 and remains #3 year-to-date. The new gen Citroen C3 hasn’t managed to stick to the top of the ranking near its rivals the Clio and 208: it is down four spots on last month to a disappointing 8th place. The Renault Twingo (#10), Scenic IV (#11) and Kadjar (#13) get a ranking boost due to Renault’s traditionally back-ended end-of-quarter sales, but don’t perform that well overall. With the VW Polo down 31%, the Golf is the best-selling foreigner this month at a low #14, meaning the Top 13 best-sellers are locals.

The Citroen C3 Aircross is just outside the French Top 20. 

Further down the ranking, notice the new gen Peugeot 5008 maintaining itself inside the French Top 20 for the 4th month in a row at #19 while the new Citroen C3 Aircross lands directly at #21 with just under 2.000 sales, the large majority being demo cars. The Ford Kuga (+53%), Renault Zoe (+56%), Nissan Micra (+68%), Fiat Tipo (+77%) and Mercedes GLA (+34%) all post fantastic results inside the Top 50. The new gen Renault Koleos is up 34 spots on August to break into the French Top 50 for the first time at #38, a milestone the Opel Crossland X also crosses, up 33 ranks to #50. We also welcome the Opel Grandland X at #126, the Kia Stonic at #133 and the DS 7 at #181. In the private sales ranking, the Dacia Sandero remains in the lead with sales up 3%, distancing the Renault Clio (+27%), Captur (-1%), Peugeot 208 (-16%) and 2008 (-9%). The Peugeot 3008 is up 62% and the Renault Scenic up 79%.

Previous month: France August 2017: Dacia above VW to rank #4 for the first time

One year ago: France September 2016: Artificial 2.5% gain, VW Tiguan hits record

Full September 2017 Top 35 brands and Top 270 models below.

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France August 2017: Dacia above VW to rank #4 for the second time ever

The Dacia Sandero hops on the French podium for the first time in four years. Picture

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 brands, Top 10 models (private sales) and Top 260 models *

The French new car market is up a robust 9.4% in August to 107.455 registrations, bringing the year-to-date tally up 4.2% to 1.390.240 units. If private sales are up 5.7% year-on-year to 52.686 units, they trail the market and fall to 49% share vs. 50.7% in August 2016. The market is pulled further up by company sales (including long term leases) up 17% to 25.6% share vs. 23.9% a year ago and demo sales up 27% to 17.139 units and 16% share. Note French manufacturers are responsible for the company sales surge with Peugeot up 30%, Citroen up 29.5% and Renault up 25%. In the overall market, Renault manages to reclaims the #1 brand title in-extremis off Peugeot with sals up 8.7% to 18.092 vs. 18.011 (+10.8%) for Peugeot. Both manufacturers hold 16.8% of their home market, below their respective YTD levels of 19.6% and 17.5%. Citroen (+1.9%) trails the market and slumps to a disappointing 9% share vs. 10% YTD.

The C-HR helps Toyota up 16.2% this month, now #6 YTD in-between VW and Ford. 

The hero of the month is without contest Dacia whose never-ending success story continues in France: thanks to deliveries up a whopping 21.8%, it outsells Volkswagen for the second time ever to snap the 4th place overall in the brands ranking with 7.3% market share. The only other time this happened was in March 2010 when the Sandero shot to a freak 2nd place lifting Dacia up to 16.624 units vs. 14.530 for VW. This performance translates in an even more impressive way into the private sales market where Dacia holds 12.2% thanks to 6.425 registrations, placing it at #3 not far at all from traditional leaders Renault (13.6%) and Peugeot (13.4%) and far above Citroen (8.1%) and Volkswagen (7.5%). Back to the overall market: below Volkswagen knocked down to 5th, Toyota gains 16.2% to bypass Ford for the 6th place YTD. Nissan surges 58% to 7th place but this is due to demo sales (+150%) and short term rentals (+580%) whereas private sales are only up 3%. Mercedes (+3.5%) tops the premium order above Audi (-1.9%) and BMW (-0.1%). Suzuki (+16.9%), Hyundai (+17.8%), Mitsubishi (+20.9%), Alfa Romeo (+21.1%), Fiat (+21.1%), Mazda (+21.9%), Skoda (+32.8%) and Tesla (+154.8%) also shine.

Skoda gains 32.8% in August, the largest improvement among the Top 20 brands.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio soars 31% year-on-year to solidly hold onto the top spot with 5% share vs. 4.1% for the Peugeot 208 (-17%), threatened this month by the Dacia Sandero up 18% to 4% share on the third step of the podium. This is the first time in four years that the Sandero manages to crack the French podium and the fourth time ever (#3 in July and August 2013 and #2 in March 2010). The Sandero obviously dominates the private sales ranking this month, selling 71% more than the #2, the Peugeot 208 (-20%) and Dacia places two models in the Top 5 with the Duster up 22% to 5th place. Back to the overall ranking where the Citroen C3 III remains in 4th place while the Peugeot 3008 II drops three spots on its record July to #6 but remains in 3rd position year-to-date. Both the Peugeot 308 (-3%) and 2008 (-7%) lose ground year-on-year, but not as much as the Renault Captur, down 13% to #10. The VW Polo (+33%) is the only foreigner in the Top 10 at #9, distancing the Toyota Yaris at #12 (+26%) and the Nissan Qashqai at #13 (+71%). Among recent launches, the Renault Scenic IV is down 5 spots to #16, the Peugeot 5008 up 222% to #18 thanks to the new model and the Nissan Micra up 137% thanks to the new generation. Note also the Nissan X-Trail up 130%, the Renault Zoe up 111% and the Ford Ka+ up 19 ranks on last month to break into the French Top 50 for the first time at #43.

Previous month: France July 2017: Peugeot 3008 on the podium for the first time

One year ago:: France August 2016: Dacia, Mercedes, tactical sales lift market up 7%

Full August 2017 Top 35 brands, Top 10 models (private sales) and Top 260 models below.

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France July 2017: Peugeot 3008 on podium for the first time

First ever podium ranking for the Peugeot 3008 nameplate at home. 

* NOW UPDATED with Top 40 best-selling brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales – click on title to see *

For the third consecutive month, the growth of the French new car market (+10.9% in July to 147.514 registrations) is spread relatively evenly across distribution channels. Private sales are up 11.1% to 75.423 units and are back above the symbolic 50% share mark at 51.1%. Company sales (including long-term rentals) also beat the market at +12.7% to 36.230 units, and demo sales are up 15.4% but stock sales are down 17%. The year-to-date total is now up 3.8% to 1.282.860 units. As it has become ethnic routine, given Renault loads up its end of quarters (March, June, September and December), itfalls to 2nd place in July despite gaining 18.2% to 16.3% share vs. 19.9% YTD. Peugeot (+12.6%) is in the lead at 18% share and Citroen (+17.9%) holds onto the third spot at 10.5% share. Note all three French manufacturers see even larger private sales gains: Renault is up 34% to 11.607 through this channel, Peugeot up 16.7% to 11.593 and Citroen up 13.3% to 7.185. Overall, 49.1% of Renault sales are private this month, with this ratio dropping to 46.2% for Citroen and 43.6% for Peugeot. Peugeot is the most generous to long-term leases (14.5% of its sales), with Renault at 7.9% and Citroen 8.5%. Finally when it comes to business sales, Renault gives them 21.% of its sales vs. 16.7% for Peugeot and 15.7% for Citroen.

Volkswagen sales are up 13.4% year-on-year in July. 

Among foreign manufacturers, Volkswagen impresses at +13.4% but remains down 3.4% YTD, with Toyota (+22.7%), Nissan (+19.7%), Opel (+19.4%), Kia (+24.5%), Seat (+13.8%), Suzuki (+25.6%) and Skoda (+18.3%) all posting double-digit gains inside the Top 20. Further down, Alfa Romeo (+72%), Porsche (+66.1%), Smart (+38.8%) and Lexus (+21.2%) also shine. Looking at sales by channel, 27.3% of Nissan sales are demo sales this month (new Micra and facelifted Qashqai), for Opel this ratio is 23.4% due to the start of the Crossland X and for Volvo it is 22.5% due to the XC60. Fiat, up 7.3% to #9 overall, only has a 39.4% private sales ratio and 24.9% are demo sales in July. Audi (#7) is by far the most popular premium brand in France this month with sales up 6.9%, distancing Mercedes (#10) up 0.4% and BMW (#13) down 12.2%. Only 37.8% of BMW sold this month are private sales vs. 46.5% for Mercedes and 49.2% for Audi. 20% of Mercedes sales are demo sales vs. 14.9% for BMW and 12.5% for Audi.

The Dacia Sandero remains #1 with private buyers in July. 

Over in the models ranking, the Renault Clio soars 28.5% to 7.065 registrations and 4.8% share, reclaiming the July pole position off the Peugeot 208 down 1.3% to 6.571 units and 4.4% share. But the big news come from the Peugeot 3008: ranked #1 halfway though the month, Peugeot’s new best-selling SUV breaks all records in July. It climbs to a best-ever third position – the first time the 3008 is on the podium at home – beating both this generation’s previous best (#4 in January and in June) and the last one’s (#4 in March 2013). At 6.139 sales, the 3008 even teases the 208 for 2nd place and hits 4.2% market share, an all-time high for both generations. It kills two birds with one stone this month by snapping the #3 spots YTD as well, overtaking all at once the 2008, 308 and Captur.

The Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s best-seller in France this month. 

The 3008 is #1 in the company sales channel at 2.841 or 46% of its July sales above the Renault Clio (2.001). It ranks 8th with private buyers (3.325 or 38% of its sales), a channel still controlled by the Dacia Sandero (4.077). As a result the Renault Kadjar freefalls 31%, plus the larger 5008 is also headed towards solid success, at #17 this month with 2.219 sales, 48% for companies and 29% for private buyers. All-in-all, Peugeot SUVs represent 8.7% of the French market this month, when accounting for the 2008 (4.465). Further down the ranking, notice also the Ford Kuga up 84% to #27, the Kia Sportage up 50% to #33, the Nissan Micra up 95% to #40 thanks to the new model, the Mercedes GLA up 93% to #42 and the Renault Zoe up 69% to #43. Among recent launches, the Opel Crossland is up 27 spots to break into the Top 100 at #82, the Alfa Romeo Stevio is up 42 ranks to #109, becoming the brand’s best-seller in France and the Jeep Compass reappears at #139 with the new generation. We also welcome the Range Rover Velar at #170.

Previous post (1): France 1-17 July 2017: Peugeot 3008 in pole position

Previous post (2): France First Half 2017: Market lifted up 3% by tactical sales

Previous month: France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

Full July 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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