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France July 2018: Two more days, artificial sales boost market up 18.9%

The DS 7 Crossback represents 50.6% of the brand’s sales in France in July.

* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales *

Helped by two additional selling days vs. July 2017, the French new car market advances by a stunning 18.9% year-on-year this month to 175.396 registrations, registering its 7th consecutive year-on-year uplift, the 14th gain in the past 15 months and lifting the year-to-date volume up 6.3% to 1.363.546 units. That’s the 4th highest 7-month volume in history in France behind 1990 (1.430.556), 2001 (1.412.749) and 2011 (1.385.029). The spectacular July gain is the largest year-on-year improvement French new car sales have experienced since May 2016 (+22%), even if the growth adjusted for daily rates is a much lower but still robust +8.1%. All channels grow strongly this month but private sales trail the market slightly at +15.5% to return below the symbolic 50% mark at 49.7% vs. 51.1% a year ago. Short-term rental sales surge 30%, company sales including long term rentals are up 20.7% but the manufacturers’ favourite “fake” channel, demo and dealer sales, traditionally used to pad monthly deliveries, are sadly the most dynamic at +32.7% giving the month a definite artificial flavour.

The Peugeot 3008 (#3) has never been so close to the monthly pole position in France.

Let’s also not forget the impact the new Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP, ) is having on registrations across Europe. This is particularly true in France where a “bonus/malus” system is in place, which removes or adds a sometimes very significant amount to the selling price of each car depending on its emissions, and the local press is stressing the fact that almost all vehicles sold in France are likely to see their price increase as a result of the WLTP implementation on September 1. This way, many fleet operators and dealerships themselves are purchasing cars now in order to avoid the likely steep increase in a couple of months and, in the case of dealerships, to be able to sell these cars as 0km without the WLTP added tax. So as much as I would have loved to declare the 18.9% gain in French sales is due to World Cup victory-induced euphoria, it is not really the case so far.

The Citroen C3 Aircross breaks its ranking record at home at #9…

For the fourth time this year (already a record) after January, February and April, Peugeot is the most popular carmaker at home despite gaining less ground than the market at +15.7% to 17.5% share vs. 17.9% YTD, distancing Renault (+14.8%) at 15.8% share and Citroen (+13.2%) at 10%, meaning the 3 main French manufacturers lose market share year-on-year in July. To be noted is the push towards health by Renault, reducing its demo sales by 13.3% in a market up 32.7% to just 6.1% of its deliveries, whereas Peugeot demo sales are up 20.9% to 11% share and Citroen’s are up 13.6% to 10%. One of the biggest events of the First Half 2018 in France was the historical 4th place of Dacia, ahead of Volkswagen for the first time. This unique situation isn’t anymore, with VW (+23.4%) now back above Dacia (+18.3%) both in July and YTD. Toyota (+31.7%) reclaims the 6th spot it holds YTD off Fiat (+61.5%) delivering the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 thanks to short-term rentals.

Jeep deliveries surge 82.7% year-on-year in July, propped up by demo sales.

Nissan (+48.1%) is also very impressive in 8th place (its highest since September 2017), however reading between the lines reveals the largest demo sales gain in market at a whopping +178% to an incredible 48% of its July sales. The 3 premium Germans all lose significant share year-on-year this month with Audi (-2.3%) reclaiming the lead both in July and YTD for only 30 sales, ahead of Mercedes (-3.7%) and BMW (+3.3%). BMW demo sales are up 81% to a huge 26% of its July deliveries, Mercedes also in the naughty corner with demos up 67% to an even more worrying 34.5% share in July. Some very dynamic brands at the tail end of the Top 25 also owe their spectacular growth to soaring demo sales: Jeep (+82.7%) is matched by demo sales up 82% to 27% of its July volume and DS (+49.6%) sees its demo sales up 50% to 11.9% of its total.

The Seat Arona smashes its ranking record to #33, by far the brand’s best-seller in France.

Seat (+42.6%), Skoda (+29.9%), Hyundai (+29%), Volvo (+27.1%) and Ford (+24%) also impressare healthier whereas Mini (-26.4%) freefalls. Also of note is a very interesting return to a healthy mix for Opel, already making news this month with a first H1 profit in 19 years under the control of PSA. Opel is a brand that has traditionally been burdened with a very high rate of artificial sales, but its weak July uplift (+12.2%) is actually due to short-term rentals freefalling down 26% to just 3% of its July sales vs. 22% YTD, demo sales down 11% to 18% share and – the most impressive and significant – private sales shooting up 36% to account for 64.6% of its July volume – well above the 49.7% market average – vs. 43.6% YTD. Finally, notice Alfa Romeo demo sales surging 171% to a whopping 48% of its July sales, Honda demos up 145% to 50%, with Mitsubishi (+204.4%), Jaguar (+79.1%), Subaru (+46%) and Porsche (+39.3%) also posting extravagant gains and newly relaunched Alpine crossing the 500 units sold since the start of the year.

The Peugeot 5008 breaks its ranking record at home to #12.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+10%) and Peugeot 208 (+8%) remain in control but both lose share vs. a year ago, as does the Peugeot 3008 (+14%) back in the third spot it holds YTD. This month the 3008 is only 755 sales off the French pole position: this is the closest the nameplate has ever been to being the outright best-selling nameplate in France (previous best: 926 exactly a year ago in July 2017). Naturally, the Peugeot 3008/5008 tandem is by far the most popular “unofficial” vehicle in France at 5.8% share vs. just 4.4% for the Clio, and this for the 5th time this year after January, February, April and May. The Dacia Sandero (+17%) and Peugeot 2008 (+18%) match the market and both edge past the Citroen C3 (+1%) already weak less than two years after launch, and the Renault Captur (+11%), handicapped by Renault’s policy of loading up on sales at the end of every quarter (March and June), drops five spots on last month to #8.

Ford Fiesta sales are up 156% year-on-year in July.

The Citroen C3 Aircross is up 4 ranks on June to hit a record #9, breaking into the French Top 10 for only the 2nd time after last January (#10) while the Renault Megane (+41%) uncharacteristically posts the largest gain in the Top 10 (WLTP?). The Peugeot 5008 (+39%) breaks its ranking (#12) and share (1.8%) records (previous bests #15 and 1.6% last November) just as the Toyota Yaris (+38%), VW Tiguan (+161%, hitting a new ranking record at #13) and Nissan Qashqai (+62%) all fit within the July Top 14 whereas foreign YTD leader the VW Polo (-24%) is down to #19. Adding the Dacia Duster at #15, there are 8 SUVs in the French Top 15 in July, a new all-time record.

First Top 100 finish for the XC40 which has become Volvo’s best-seller in France.

The Fiat Tipo (+161%), Ford Fiesta (+156%), Ecosport (+133%), Fiat Panda (+86%), 500X (+71%) and Citroen C4 Cactus (+58%) all shine further down the ladder. Among recent launches, the Citroen C4 Spacetourer – in fact a rebranded C4 Picasso – leaps up 78 ranks on June to #23, the DS 7 Crossback is up 6 spots to a new record #32, toppling the VW T-Roc at #33 (-5) while the Seat Arona breaks into the French Top 50 (and Top 40) for the first time at #37 (+18) and the Volvo XC40 scores its first Top 100 at #90 (+35). Looking at the private sales channel, the Dacia Sandero (+10.7%) remains comfortably at #1 ahead of the Peugeot 208 (+9.7%), Renault Clio (+4%) and Peugeot 2008 (+9.9%), replicating the YTD Top 4. The Dacia Duster (+23.1%) is down to #8 but remains #5 YTD, the Toyota Yaris (+39.3%) is the only “foreigner” (albeit made in France) in the July Top 10 but the YTD Top 10 is now 100% French as the Renault Twingo (+34.6%) knocks the VW Polo out.

Previous post (1): France 1-17 July 2018: Peugeot 3008 in top spot, 5008 in Top 10

Previous post (2): France H1 2018: Dacia above VW, Top 13 is 100% French for 1st time since 1979

Previous month: France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to 3rd largest volume in history

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

Full July 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 270 models and Top 10 private sales below.

France 1-17 July 2018: Peugeot 3008 in top spot, 5008 in Top 10

The Peugeot 5008 breaks into the July Top 10… so far.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

We continue on our Summer series studying the intermediary weekly rankings in France, this time looking at the first 17 days of July, and therefore extending the period to just after the country’s World Cup win, when sales are up 6% year-on-year vs. +9% a week ago. A large caveat to these rankings is the unusual positions some brands and models hold traditionally do not stick until the end of the month, but rather reflect the carmakers’ specific sales policies. Renault for example always waits until the very last few days of the month to load up on artificial sales (rental and demo sales, self-registrations…) and accordingly appears particularly weak throughout the month. Last note on this update is the official year-on-year evolutions are completely out of whack based on the data we published exactly a year ago, so the basis must be different.

If Citroen was the hero of last week with three nameplates in the Top 10, this time Peugeot is under the spotlight with almost 12.600 sales over the period (stable), that’s 30% more than Citroen (+9%) clinging to its 2nd spot, and 35% more than Renault (+14%). Volkswagen sinks 14% but ranks 4th vs. #5 YTD, Toyota (+27%) shines in 5th place above Fiat continuing to soar (+114%), a growth fuelled by rentals at 42%. Dacia (+9%) climbs back up two spots on last week to #7, dislodging Ford (+8%) and Nissan (+13%) while Audi (-21%) returns inside the Top 10 despite a steep fall. Model-wise, Peugeot places no less than five nameplates in the Top 10, with the 3008 in pole position like a year ago and the 5008 soaring 50% year-on-year to break into the Top 10. But the 208 (-16%) is already outsold by bot the Renault Clio (+22%) and Citroen C3 (-2%). The Toyota Yaris is now the only foreigner in the Top 10 at #7.

Previous post: France 1-9 July 2018: Citroen has C3, C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus in Top 10

Previous month: France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to 3rd largest monthly volume ever

One year ago: France 1-17 July 2017: Peugeot 3008 in pole position

Full 1-17 July 2018 Top 10 brands and models below.

France 1-9 July 2018: Citroen has C3, C3 Aircross & C4 Cactus in Top 8

The Citroen C4 Cactus is up 129% to #8 over the period…

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Being currently in France, I naturally get exposed a little more to the intermediary sales ranking published by local weekly Auto Plus. This time we can have a look at the best-selling carmakers and models over the first 9 days of July when the French market is up a very solid 9% year-on-year. Although defunct of any real meaning, these rankings nevertheless offer precious insights into a few carmakers’ various sales policies. Renault for example always registers the majority of its sales at the very end of every month – a clear indication of its heavy reliance on artificial channels such as demo sales and self-registrations – and therefore appears in a very uncharacteristic third place over the period, placing just one nameplate, the Clio, inside the Top 10.

…while the Citroen C3 is #1…

In contrast, very weak for the past year or so at home, Citroen starts July all guns blazing with volumes up 21% to  distance Renault by over 2.000 units, deserving of a 2nd place overall behind only Peugeot, itself trailing the market at +6%. Citroen even places the C3 in pole position over the period thanks to registrations up 14% year-on-year, the C3 Aircross at #7 – by far the most popular new launch on the country – and the C4 Cactus, whose 2nd generation has just replaced the C4 hatch, up 129% to #8 overall. Peugeot manages to place 3 nameplates in the Top 4: the 3008 (#2), 208 (#3) and 308 (#4).

…and the Citroen C3 Aircross #7.

Fiat shoots up 160% year-on-year to a fantastic 4th place just 82 sales below Renault (!) and has the 500 (+86%) at #10 but 60% of the Italian carmaker’s deliveries so far in July are to rental companies. Toyota (+24%) whose Yaris (+40%) is the best-selling foreigner over the period at #5 and Nissan (+23%) also shine while Kia breaks into the Top 10 whereas it only ranks 14th year-to-date. Meanwhile, Volkswagen (-36%) implodes and doesn’t place any nameplate in the Top 10 where the Polo ranked #4 exactly a year ago. Dacia also starts the month slowly at #9 vs. #4 so far in 2018 but will catch up for lost time over the next couple of weeks.

Previous post: France First Half 2018: Dacia passes Volkswagen to #4, Top 13 is 100% French for the first time since 1979

Previous month: France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to 3rd largest monthly volume in history

One year ago: France 1-17 July 2017: Peugeot 3008 in pole position

Full 1-9 July 2018 Top 10 brands and models below.

France First Half 2018: Dacia passes Volkswagen to #4, Top 13 is 100% French for first time since 1979

The new Duster (+46%) helps push Dacia up to #4 brand for the first time in a half-year ranking.

* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 270 models, Top 10 private sales, Top 10 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models – click on title to see *

“In a country caught by a forgotten fever, the French soccer team has instilled in the nation, by mimetism, a dose of energy and self-confidence that it sometimes misses (L’Equipe/La Croix).” Today we celebrate the French victory in the Soccer World Cup with complete June and H1 2018 data. We mentioned earlier the “World Cup” effect that can vitalise car sales in nations with a surprisingly good performance at the World Cup. During the year of its last victory in 1998, French new car sales saw a fantastic 14% uplift, and this year’s victory was also unexpected. As you will see below, the French new car market is already robust in 2018 but the team’s victory could strengthen sales further over the second half of the year. We’ll know more when September figures get released in early October, as Summer sales are always disrupted by holidays and this year they will be troubled further with registrations pulled forward before the WLTP implementation on September 1.

Helped by June sales amounting to the third largest volume of any month in history, new car sales in France gain a solid 4.6% year-on-year over the First Half of 2018 to 1.188.127 units. This is the largest H1 volume since the all-time record of 2011 (1.225.148) and the fifth largest ever, after 2001 (1.204.411), 1990 (1.200.103) and 2010 (1.189.434). Up until the nineties, the new model-year in France was in July and resulted in sales brought forward to that month and comparatively low H1 scores, but nowadays H1 sales are on average 17% higher than H2 in France, making the H1 records above the actual straight out half-year records. Keeping this in mind, the French market is headed towards at least 2.2 million registrations in 2018, which would put it at its best since 2011 again but only 8th all-time with the best years ever remaining 1990 (2.309.130), 1989 (2.274.307) and 2009 (2.268.671). Yet another 4.5% uplift in 2019 would result in a straight out record year. Private sales have outpaced the market through the entire semester, reversing a five-year old trend and giving a welcome injection of health into the overall market: they gain 6.3% over the period to 560.832 units and 47.2% share vs. 46.4% a year ago.

France – annual and half-year all time volume records:

Meanwhile diesel sales continue to freefall and are now down to 40.3% share over the First Half of 2018 vs. 47% in FY2017 and 67% five years ago in 2013 (see CCFA graph above). Renault is the king of diesel registrations at home in terms of volume at 110.654 units ahead of Peugeot (90.584), Citroen (37.754), Dacia (35.538) and Volkswagen (29.055). In terms of sales ratio, 91.6% of all Land Rovers purchased in France over the period are diesel, ahead of Jaguar (84%), Mercedes (75%), Volvo (72.4%), BMW (65%) and Audi (56%). Mass market brands have seen diesel sales plunge below 50%, for example Renault (46.9%), Dacia (45.7%), Peugeot (42.4%), Volkswagen (38.7%), Citroen (33.1%), Fiat (24%), Suzuki (7%) and Toyota (4%).

The 3008 enables Peugeot to deliver a 7.6% uplift so far in 2018. Picture auto.fr

Among the Top 3 French carmakers, Peugeot is clearly above the rest performance-wise (but #2 in volume) and the only one outpacing its home market with a 7.6% gain to 18% share. Renault (+2.3%) is more discreet and falls below the symbolic 20% share mark as a result while Citroen (-0.4%) inexplicably struggles even with the new C3 now in cruise control and the arrival of the C3 Aircross. It’s the second consecutive semester (and potentially second ever) below 10% for the carmaker that became famous with the original DS. Note Renault owes its pole position in great part to very generous sales (and discounts) to rental companies at 41.970 vs. 29.641 for Peugeot and 15.803 for Citroen. Thanks to the new Duster and an ever-green Sandero, this year Dacia surges 20.8%, stepping up to a new dimension by overtaking Volkswagen to rank #4 overall for the first time in any semester in France. In the private sales channels Dacia cements its third place below just Renault and Peugeot but above Citroen and, of course, Volkswagen. This is a stunning performance for a brand that was completely unknown by the entire French population only a little over a decade ago. Adequately, its 6.5% share and 77.700 volume are the highest 6-month results in the brand’s history in France with a new all-time record monthly share (7.5%) hit in April.

Fiat sales are up 19.7% year-on-year, prodded by the 500 and Panda.

Only Fiat (+19.7%) markedly outperforms the market in the remainder of the Top 10, wth Toyota (+5.1%) matching the overall growth, Volkswagen (+3.3%) trailing slightly behind and Nissan (-13.7%), Ford (-4.5%) and Opel (-4.2%) all receding. The latter three despite very strong rental sales accounting for 20.4% of Nissan’s mix, 23.4% of Ford’s and 24.3% of Opel’s. Toyota remains the king of hybrids with 33.091 sales or 67.3% of its H1 volume and 63% of the hybrid market itself up 33% year-on-year. Just outside the Top 10, the 3 premium Germans are all in difficulty and see their order completely reshuffled. Mercedes (+0.8%) is now the most popular thanks to a meagre increase whereas BMW (-2.9%) remains in 2nd place and Audi (-13.7%) implodes. In contrast, Jeep (+37.1%) partly due to rental sales at a market-best 35.7% of its mix, Hyundai (+25.6%), Skoda (+21.7%), DS (+20.1%), Kia (+19.6%), Suzuki (+18.8%) and Seat (+18.2%) all post very vigorous gains further down. Below Dacia (84%), Suzuki (77.3%), Toyota (64.7%) and Hyundai (63.3%) showcase the highest private sales ratios in market. Alpine (#34) confirms its renaissance with 384 sales of the new A110 over the period.

The Renault Clio is headed towards an 8th consecutive title of best-selling car in France.

Over in the models ranking, there is no surprise on top with the Renault Clio (+9%) headed towards an 8th consecutive annual win, the longest winning streak for any nameplate in France since the Renault 5 topped the annual charts for ten consecutive years from 1974 to 1983. The Clio even widens the gap with its eternal rival the Peugeot 208 (+3%). But below the two leaders, the ranking gets a good shake. The Peugeot 3008 soars 26% to land on the third step of the podium, a position it has already managed over the Full Year 2017. The 3008/5008 tandem was even the “unofficial” best-selling vehicle in France in January, February, April and May. Still reaping the added sales of the new generation, the Citroen C3 (+13%) leaps three spots to #4, overtaking the Renault Captur (+7%), Peugeot 2008 (-4%) and 308 (-7%) while the Dacia Sandero jumps 12% and two ranks to #6. The Sandero however remains by far the favourite choice of private buyers at almost 33.000 units (+10%) ahead of the Peugeot 208 over 28.000 (+18%) and the Renault Clio under 27.000 (+15%).

The Citroen C3 Aircross is the most popular new launch and marks 13 French nameplates in the Top 13.

But the best performer in the Top 10 is the Dacia Duster, propped up 46% by the new generation and up five spots to #9, making it two Dacias in a half-year Top 10 for the first time in French history. The Duster hasn’t ranked inside the French annual Top 10 since 2011 which was its only stint so far among the country’s ten favourites. The Duster also ranks 5th in the private sales ranking at +53% – that’s two Dacias in the private Top 5, a record. Below the Renault Scenic (-2%), Twingo (+27%) and Megane (-10%), the Citroen C3 Aircross lands directly at #13 with over 21.000 sales and 1.8% share. This means that counting Dacia as French because Renault-owned, there are 13 French nameplates in the Top 13 vs. 12 in the Top 12 over H1 and FY 2017. If held until the end of the year, this would be the strongest contingent of French nameplates since 1979 when the Top 15 best-sellers were French, the most popular foreigner then being the Golf at 2% share. This year, the #1 foreign car is once again the VW Polo (+0.2%) hardly up despite a brand new generation, ahead of the Toyota Yaris (+14%), Fiat 500 (+21%) and VW Golf (-1%).

The VW T-Roc directly lands inside the Top 30.

The VW T-Roc (#28) is the only other all-new nameplate in the Top 50, and is followed by the Opel Grandland X (#58), Seat Arona (#67), DS 7 Crossback (#70), Kia Stonic (#84) and Hyundai Kona (#86). The Opel Crossland X (+924%) celebrating just over one year in market, Renault Koleos (+203%), Peugeot 5008 (+163%), Ford Mondeo (+120%), Fiat Panda (+107%), Nissan Micra (+98%), Kia Picanto (+68%), Suzuki Swift (+61%), Ford Ecosport (+56%) and Mini Countryman (+55%) also perform greatly. Sales of light commercial vehicles outpace passenger cars at +5.1% over the First Half 2018 to 241.265 units. Distant brand leader Renault trails the market slightly at +3.1%, leading to a thawed share at 30.8% vs. 31.4% a year ago. Peugeot (+4.7%) matches the overall growth at 17.2% share while contrary to its passenger car performance, Citroen (+13.9%) is the most dynamic Big 3 French carmaker when it comes to LCV sales, seeing its share jump from 14.9% a year ago to 16.2% now.

The Citroen Jumpy LCV is up 11% year-on-year so far in 2018.

Fiat (+1.5%) easily remains the #1 foreign brand at 9.1% share, distancing Ford (+3.7%) while Mercedes (+9.6%) overtakes Volkswagen (-3%) to #6. The Renault Kangoo (-1%) and Clio (-1%) easily cement their lead despite declines while the Renault Master (+6%) and Citroen Berlingo (+18%) advance in the ranking to close up the Top 4. Other great performers include the Citroen Jumper (+20%), Peugeot Boxer (+18%), Peugeot Expert (+17%) and Citroen Jumpy (+11%). In the pickup truck aisle, the Ford Ranger (+11%) keeps the title of best-seller at #20 overall, distancing the Toyota Hilux (+7%) at #25. The Nissan NP300 (-8%) is in difficulty at #30 but the VW Amarok (+11%) and Isuzu D-Max (+24%) are all guns blazing as is the Renault Alaskan making its appearance at #54 vs. #63 over the Full Year 2017. The twins Mitsubishi L200 (-7%) and Fiat Fullback (-24%) decline.

Previous post: France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to 3rd largest monthly volume in history

One year ago: France First Half 2017: Market lifted up 3% by tactical sales

Full H1 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 270 models, Top 10 LCV brands and Top 100 LCV models below.

France June 2018: Renault, Dacia, Fiat lift market to third largest monthly volume in history

Fiat is up 42.4% to hit its highest ranking in France this decade at #6

* Now updated with the Top 45 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales – click on title to see *

At +9.2% to 252.222 registrations in June, the French new car market posts a sixth consecutive year-on-year gain, its largest leap this year so far and, most impressively, a new all-time record for June – beating the 235.137 previous best established in 2009. It is also the largest outright monthly volume in two decades, the third largest monthly volume in history and only the third time the French market surpasses the quarter-million mark in a single month after July 1999 (292.625) and December 1988 (257.349). Satisfyingly, as it has been the case in 2018 this growth is relatively healthy, with private sales up 7.1% to 112.271 and company/government sales + leases up 12.5% to 56.263. Self-registrations by manufacturers sink 47.8% to 1.187, demo sales trail the market at +5% to 39.818 but short-term rental sales shoot up 33.7% to 32.193 as rental companies stock up for the summer holiday season. Diesel sales have stabilised at 40% of the market since March vs. 49% in June 2017.

Renault Twingo sales surge 62% year-on-year in June.

As is the tradition with the carmaker, Renault backloads its sales at the end of the quarter even more so this year at +12.4% to 23.6% share vs. 19.9% YTD. The is Renault’s highest share at home in two years, since the 25.1% hit in June 2016. The carmaker is particularly strong in the company/lease channel at a splendid +41% to 21.047 units, but also through typically artificial channels such as short-term rentals shooting up 86% to 9.437. Demo sales are also down (-4.2%) but remain high at 8.899. Reading through the lines, in fact private buyers have scolded the brand this month at a painful -15% to 16.820 units, only representing 28% of Renault’s June sales and frankly outsold by Peugeot (18.472) which is an impressive feat as end of periods are normally “owned” by Renault across all channels.

The 5008 (+41%) helps Peugeot up 4.6% in June at home.

Peugeot advances much more slowly at +4.6% to 17%, but its growth is somewhat healthier than Renault with private sales up 5.4% to top the market, even though demo sales (+12.7%) and short-term rental sales (+22.5%) are more dynamic. Finally feeling the benefits of the new C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus and with the C5 Aircross just hitting the market, Citroen records its first double-digit gain of the year at +11.1% to 9.7%, lifted by an exceptional performance with private buyers at +23.7% to 11.287.

Dacia ranks 4th brand overall for the 4th time this year.

Dacia at #4 overall above Volkswagen has become the new normal in 2018 (January, April, May and June) but it had only ever happened twice before this year: in March 2010 and August 2017. In June, the low-cost brand posts another spectacular 28.2% year-on-year gain to 6.6% share and remains #3 with private buyers above Citroen, up 24.5% to 12.522. Not that Volkswagen isn’t keeping up either: the German carmaker confirms it has no competition among foreign brands with deliveries up 19% to 6.3%, a dynamism spread across demo sales (+32%), short-term rentals (+31.3%) and private sales (+16.4%).

Seat is up 50.4% thanks mainly to its best-seller the Arona.

It’s however Fiat, at polar opposites from its paltry performance at home in Italy, that manages the largest gain in the Top 15 at +42.4%, hitting its highest monthly ranking this decade at #6, compared with #12 during the tail end of 2017 in both November and December. And for once, Fiat’s growth is healthy with private sales up 57%, helped by short-term rentals up 75% and demo sales up 10.7%. Toyota (+15.7%) also impresses in the remainder of the Top 10 while below, Seat (+50.4%), DS (+38.7%) thanks solely to the 7 Crossback (#38) representing 42% of the brand’s June deliveries, Kia (+30.3%), Skoda (+23.1%) and Volvo (+22.3%) make themselves noticed. At the other end of the scale, Ford (-21.6%), Nissan (-15.2%) as well as the Top 3 premium Germans Mercedes (-19.6%), BMW (-11.8%) and Audi (-4.5%) all endure painful falls.

The DS 7 Crossback is up to a record #38, pushing DS sales up 38.7% this month.

Propelled by backloaded artificial deliveries, the Renault Clio sails off at +19% to 7% share, that’s 60% above its long-term rival the Peugeot 208 (+7%). The Renault Captur(+11%) is back on the podium as it has been the case over the past five quarter ends, knocking the Peugeot 3008 (now plateauing at -1%) down to #4. The Renault Twingo (+62%), Dacia Duster (+29%), Sandero (+27%) and Citroen C3 (+19%) also frankly outpace the market near the top. The Citroen C3 Aircross drops one spot on May to #13 but remains by far the best-selling recent launch in France (<12 months) ahead of the VW T-Roc (#28), DS 7 Crossback (#38) and the Seat Arona (#55). Strong performers also include the Opel Crossland X (+178%), Fiat Panda (+117%), Kia Picanto (+101%), BMW X1 (+67%), Toyota C-HR (+55%), Renault Koleos (+47%) and Kangoo (+46%).

Previous month: France May 2018: Peugeot 3008 up to #2, Dacia Duster at highest in 4 years

One year ago: France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

Full June 2018 Top 45 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.

France May 2018: Peugeot 3008 up to #2, Duster at highest in 4 years

The Peugeot 3008 breaks its ranking record at home in May, lifting it to #2.

* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales *

The April 2018 post has also been updated with the Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales

New car sales in France post a very timid 0.2% year-on-year gain in May at 191.708 registrations, partly due to one less opening day compared to May 2017 with the daily selling rate up a much more vigorous 5.4%. The year-to-date volume remains solid at +3.5% to 935.902 units. Once again the good news is the health of the private sales channel up 1.9% to 88.668 and 46.3% share vs. 45.5% a year ago, with the YTD volume now up 6.1% to 448.561 and 47.9% share vs. 46.7% over the same period in 2017. Leases are also up at +0.6% but all tactical channel drop: self-registrations (-8.5%), short-term rentals (-3.7%) and demo sales (-0.2%). The share of diesel sales seems to have stabilised at 40%, to be compared with 48% in May 2017 and 54% in May 2016. Year-to-date, petrol sales are up 17% to 502.892 units and 53.7% share vs. 47.5% over the same period in 2017, diesel sales are down 12.2% to 378.501 and 40.4% share vs. 47.7% in 2017, hybrid sales are up 32% to 42.021 and 4.5% share vs. 3.5%, including plug-in hybrids up 57.2% to 5.607 and pure electric sales edge up a somewhat disappointing 4% to 11.215 and an unchanged 1.2% share.

The Dacia Duster hits its highest overall spot in over 4 years, also ranking #3 private sale.

In the brands ranking, Renault (-6.2%) reclaims the top spot at 18.9% but its steep decline sends its YTD volume down 0.6% at 18.9% share also. Peugeot edges up 0.8% to 17.3%, well below the 18.2% it holds YTD (+8.4%). Despite the arrival of the C3 Aircross, Citroen is still in great difficulty, dropping a sharp 12.4% to 9% share, its lowest this year so far. Once again low-cost carmaker Dacia is the hero of the Top 10, scoring the largest year-on-year gain at +25.2% and remaining in 4th place overall for only the 5th time in history after March 2010, August 2017January and April 2018, distancing Volkswagen (-11.2%) both this month and YTD. Fiat (+20.1%), Mercedes (+10.1%) and Toyota (+10%) also post double-digit gains in the Top 10, with Mercedes snapping the Premium YTD lead off BMW. Jeep (+72.7%), Hyundai (+32.5%), Skoda (+29.8%), DS (+28.4%), Suzuki (+21%), Seat (+18.2%) and Kia (+14.2%) also impress.

The DS 7 Crossback breaks into its home Top 40 for the first time in May. Pictures largus.fr

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (-2%) posts a 21st consecutive monthly win (no interruption since September 2016), but the hero of the month is the Peugeot 3008 shooting up 32% year-on-year to snap the overall 2nd place for the first time in the history of the nameplate with 8.078 sales and 4.2% share. These are the 2nd best volume and share ever reached by the SUV (bests are 8.743 in June 2017 and 4.7% in January 2018). The 3008 therefore outsells the 208 (-13%) to become Peugeot’s best-seller at home for only the second time in history after last December. Its 7-seat variant, the 5008, is also in olympic form, hitting a new volume record (2.924). The result: with 11.002 sales and 5.7% share, the 3008/5008 tandem is the unofficial best-selling vehicle in France for the 5th time in the past 7 months. Having a nameplate other than the traditional Renault/Peugeot superminis in the monthly Top 2 is a relatively rare occurrence in France: it happened 15 times in the past 100 months (= this decade) and only for the 2nd place, meaning either the Clio or the 206/207/208 ranked #1 every month since February 2010. The Renault Captur has been the most disruptive so far, ranking #2 four times (June 2014, June 2015, June 2016, Dec 2017), followed by the Renault Megane (Sept 2011, April 2012, May 2012), Citroen C3 (Mar 2011, Dec 2013), Peugeot 308 (May 2015, Jan 2016), Dacia Sandero (Mar 2010), Renault Scenic (June 2012), Twingo (Feb 2010) and now Peugeot 3008 (May 2018). The last time a different nameplate ranked #1 in France was 9 years ago in April 2009 (Renault Twingo).

Mercedes (+10.1%) reclaims the #1 premium brand title in France.

Dacia places the Sandero (+14%) at #4 overall for the 2nd month running and the Duster up 79% to #7 (up 51% to #9 YTD). This is the Duster’s highest ranking in France since April 2014 and second best ranking below the #5 it hit in November 2011 and February 2013. That’s two Dacias in the Top 10 for the 6th month in a row but the first time the French monthly ranking ever features two Dacias in the Top 7. The Renault Captur (+11%) is up three spots on April to #5, a position it now also holds YTD (+2), bypassing its archenemy the Peugeot 2008 (-10%). The Citroen C3 (-11%), Peugeot 308 (-15%), Renault Megane (-18%) and Scenic (-23%) are all hit hard. The Citroen C3 Aircross gains two spots on last month to #12, by far the best-selling recent launch above the VW T-Roc at #27 (+1). The Top 12 best-sellers are 100% French with the VW Polo (-27%) the #1 foreigner at #13 followed by the Fiat 500 (+34%) at #15, the Ford Fiesta (-14%) at #19 and the Opel Corsa (+6%) at #20.

The Peugeot Rifter has landed in the French sales charts.

Among other recent launches, the DS 7 Crossback breaks into the Top 40 for the first time at #40, representing half of the brand’s May sales at home, the Seat Arona is up 10 spots on April to #53, a new all-time high, but the Opel Grandland X is down 16 to #57. The Jeep Compass is up 8 to #63, the Hyundai Kona up 11 to #75, the Kia Stonic up 8 to #89, the BMW X2 breaks into the French Top 100 for the first time at #91 (+26) and the Skoda Karoq is up 3 to #96. After appearing for the first time in the French charts last month, the Peugeot Rifter is up 27 spots to #169 while the Citroen C4 Spacetourer, the new naming of the C4 Picasso, lands at #173. Looking at private sales only, the Dacia Sandero (+7.9%) easily tops the ranking with a 1.500 sales advantage over the Peugeot 208 (+10.9%). The outstanding performer in May is the Dacia Duster (+73.2%) climbing onto the private sales podium at #3 for the first time since we started following private sales monthly in August 2015. Yes, that means there are two Dacias in the Top 3! The Peugeot 3008 surges 28.1% to #7 and the Citroen C3 Aircross remains inside the private Top 10 at #10 and #9 YTD.

Previous month: France April 2018: Peugeot #1, Dacia hits all-time record share

One year ago: France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into Top 5

Full May 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales below.

France April 2018: Peugeot #1, Dacia hits all-time record share

Never before had Dacia held such a high market share in France. The Duster is up 45%.

* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales *

The French new car market is up a very robust 9% year-on-year in April to 187.396 registrations, lifting the year-to-date volume up 4.4% to 744.238. If this month’s result was helped by one additional selling day (the daily growth is +3.6%), as it has been the case every single month this year so far private sales pull the market up, this time with a stunning 16% uplift to 91.770 units or almost 13.000 more than in April 2017, with the private sales share rallying back up from 46.1% last year to 49%. Company sales are up 12.8% to 16.871, company leases are up 9.9% to 17.406 while tactical sales for once lose significant share due to a meagre 1.1% year-on-year improvement: short-term rentals are down 0.1% to 29.996, self-registrations are down 2% to 2.415 and demo sales up 3.2% to 21.793.

The 3008 (+34%) helps Peugeot rank #1 at home for the 3rd time in the past 4 months.

Brand-wise, Peugeot impresses once again and snaps the pole position off Renault thanks to deliveries up a market-beating 12% to 18.5% share, marking a third monthly win in the past four months, a record this decade at home according to BSCB data. Renault edges up just 4% to 18% but keeps the YTD lead at 18.9% (+0.9%) vs. 18.5% (+10.4%) for Peugeot. Citroen (-4.9%) is the only Top 10 carmaker with Audi (-7.1%) to post a negative result for April, resulting in a weak 9.1% share vs. 9.7% (-0.6%) so far this year. The best performing Top 10 manufacturer is used to that title: Dacia surges 31.3% to hit 7.5% share, and according to BSCB records this is a new all-time high for the brand, its previous best being 7.3% in August 2017. This record level enables Dacia to return to #4 overall above Volkswagen (+10.5%) for only the fourth time in history after March 2010, August 2017 and January 2018. Dacia is also back above VW YTD at 6.5% (+17.4%) vs. 6.3% (+3.3%).

The C-HR (+43%) helps lift Toyota up 25.5%.

Below, Toyota soars 25.5% to return to the 6th spot it holds YTD, ahead of Ford (+8.1%) while Fiat does even better at +28.9% but drops one spot on February to #8. As mentioned above, Audi sinks 7.1% to 2.6% but is back to the #1 premium place above Mercedes (+1.7%) and BMW (+4.8%) all underperforming. If Nissan (-20.6%) registers the heaviest fall in the Top 20, DS (+68.4%), Hyundai (+43.2%), Suzuki (+25.5%), Kia (+23.1%) and Skoda (+22.4%) all lodge spectacular gains. Among smaller carmakers, Lexus is up 59.9%, Jeep up 36% but Infiniti implodes at -66.2%. Alpine delivers its first three-digit sales figure since its renaissance at 114 units, pushing its YTD total to 145.

The Dacia Sandero (+25%) hits its highest ranking since last August.

The Renault Clio is up a splendid 15% to remain the most popular nameplate at home, distancing the Peugeot 208 (+5%) and 3008 (+34%). Note that the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 combined add up to a staggering 10.633 sales, outselling both the Clio (9.869) and 208 (9.002) to become the #1 vehicle in France for the fourth time in the past six months. The Dacia Sandero justifies the brand’s record performance with a 25% gain to #4, its highest national position since last August (#3), frankly outselling the Peugeot 2008 (-5%), Citroen C3 (-5%), Peugeot 308 (-8%) and Renault Captur (+3%). At #9, the Dacia Duster posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 at +45%, making it two Dacias in the French Top 10 for the 5th consecutive month.

First French Top 50 for the Opel Grandland X. Picture largus.fr

Below the Renault Twingo (+19%), Megane (-5%) and Scenic (-2%), the VW Polo (+7%) remains the best-selling foreigner in France but is stuck at #13 above the Citroen C3 Aircross (+1) and the Toyota Yaris (+39%). The Peugeot 5008 is up 4-fold on the previous gen a year ago and back up 9 spots on March to #17, with the Fiat 500 (+47%) and VW Golf (+18%) the only two other foreign nameplates in the April Top 20. Further down, notice the Ford Fiesta up 41% to #22, the Toyota C-HR up 43% to #25, the VW T-Roc lifting its ranking record to #28 (+5), the Nissan Micra up 83% to #31, Toyota Aygo up 36% to #33, Fiat Panda up 137% to #37, Toyota Auris up 54% to #39, Kia Picanto up 85% to #45, Mercedes GLC up 45% to #48 and Ford Ecosport up 52% to #51. Two recent launches break into the Top 50 for the first time: the Opel Grandland X at #41 (+19), outselling its little brother the Crossland X (#47) also for the first time, and the DS 7 at #50 (+47).

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

One year ago: France April 2017: Peugeot 2008 and 3008 lead their segments

Full April 2018 Top 40 brands, Top 265 models and Top 10 private sales.

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 motori.it

* Now updated with the Top 40 brands, Top 260 models and Top 10 private sales – click on title to see *

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 (#33) is hurting the Tiguan (-15%).

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 (+5%) and Peugeot 208 (+5%) jealously hold onto the two top spots, both of them even beating the market in the process. The Renault Captur (+13%) 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 (+19%) posts a second consecutive double-digit gain just as the Dacia Duster delivers the most impressive improvement in the Top 10 at +45% 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%. After two months of Toyota Yaris reign, the VW Polo (+14%) reclaims the #1 foreigner title for the first time in 2018, but only just: it outsells the Fiat 500 (+30%) by just 30 units, and like in February the Top 12 is 100% French. The VW Golf (+38%) and Tiguan (-15%) also make it into the March Top 20. The Kia Picanto (+224%), Ford Mondeo (+147%), Ecosport (+137%), Peugeot 5008 (+137%), Nissan Leaf (+131%), Mercedes GLA (+130%), Suzuki Swift (+109%) and Mini Countryman (+83%) all surge ahead.

The Renault Koleos is back up 47 spots on last month to #56. Picture largus.fr

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Citroen C3 Aircross is down one spot to #15, the VW T-Roc is up 9 ranks on last month to a new record at #33, above the Opel Crossland X at #47 (-7), Renault Koleos at #56 (+47), Opel Grandland X at #60 (+11) and Seat Arona at #62 (+31). In the private sales channel, the Peugeot 208 (+16%) takes the lead ahead of the Renault Clio (+14%), both overtaking the Dacia Sandero (+1%), leader in February. Year-to-date, the 208 (+23%) distances the Sandero (+2%) and Clio (+17%). The Renault Captur (+8%) is up two spots to #4 in March but lags at #7 YTD, while the Dacia Duster surges 67% to remain in 5th place, a ranking it also holds YTD (+41%). The Renault Twingo (+18%) now ranks inside the YTD Top 10 at #9 (+25%) while the VW Polo is boosted up 54% to #9 by the new generation.

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 40 brands, Top 260 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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 largus.fr 

* 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 largus.fr

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.

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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