Dacia is the #3 brand in France for the first time in history. Picture largus.fr
22/06 update: Now with Top 150 models.
New car sales in France slow down their fall in May to -10.1% to 126,813 units vs. -22.6% in April. The market is down -34.6% on pre-pandemic April 2019 (193,948). This marks the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in France. Year-to-date, sales are down -17% to 600.897 but down -35.8% over the same period in 2019. Sales of BEV are up 32% to 12% share, HEV are up 3% to 29% of the market vs. 36% for petrol sales. However PHEV sales drop -13% while diesels sink -28% to 18% share. Long term leases now represent 61% of the market, with 54% of private buyers opting for this formula. According to AAA Data, this type of “purchase” favours brand loyalty: 84% of buyers in long term leases renew their lease within the same brand.
In the brands ranking, Renault (-12.2%) reclaims the top spot for the first time since last December with 18.1% share. Peugeot (-8.3%) is down to #2 but resists better year-on-year. We have a rare event in third place: Dacia (+4.2%) swims upstream and reaches the third spot for the first time in French history. The French-Romanian low cost brand takes advantage of a particularly bad month from Citroen (-29.5%): it falls to 6.8% share, which we believe is Citroen’s weakest market share at home in over 100 years, its previous lowest being 7.4% in December 2017. See all French Historical Data here. 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.
The Renault Arkana is up to a record 7th place at home this month.
Volkswagen (-32.5%) is also hit hard but remains in 5th place with 5.8% share just above Toyota (-6.2%) resisting better than the market. Hyundai (+30.1%) signs the best performance in the Top 10, hitting an all-time best 7th place also reached in July 2021 and January 2022. Hyundai also breaks its all-time market share record at 3.7%. Mercedes (+7.5%), BMW (+5%) and Fiat (+19.7%) close out the Top 10 in shining fashion. Below, notice Mitsubishi (+257%), Cupra (+91.8%), Nissan (+60.8%), Opel (+18.6%) and Kia (+15.1%) all up in the double-digits in the remainder of the Top 30. In contrast, Volvo (-62.4%), Land Rover (-58.1%), Seat (-57.3%) and Lexus (-36.6%) all implode. Newcomer Lynk & Co is up four spots to a best-ever #26, overtaking fellow Chinese fare MG (-26.2%). This month we welcome Mobilize, the Renault Group car-share venture, at #38.
Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 (+15.3%) easily retains the top spot for the 6th month in a row with 5.7% share while its archenemy the Renault Clio (-30.8%) climbs back up 7 spots on a devastated April result to #2 and 4.8% of the market. The Clio however remains #3 year-to-date below a Citroen C3 (-25.3%) down to #8 for the month. The Dacia Sandero (-26.7%) is back on the podium with 3.6% share, knocking the Peugeot 308 III down to #4. The Peugeot 2008 (-38.7%) passes the Renault Captur (-24.4%). The Renault Arkana (+269.8%) is up to a record #7, also hit last September while the Fiat 500 (+43.4%) remains in the Top 10 to reclaim the title of best-selling foreigner YTD. It’s a swan song for the Renault Kadjar (+121.2%) up 12 spots on April to #13 thanks to heavy discounts as the model ends its career with the arrival of its replacement, the Austral. The Toyota Yaris Cross is up two ranks on last month to #14 and is back above the Yaris (-36.7%). It is the most popular recent launch above the Dacia Jogger (#29), Toyota Aygo X (#41), Renault Megane V (#44) – both models breaking into the French Top 50 for the first time, the VW Taigo (#47), DS 4 (#64) and Lynk & Co 01 (#65).
Previous month: France April 2022: Market down -22.6%, Peugeot 308 III cracks podium, Ford Puma in Top 10
One year ago: France May 2021: Renault Clio V and Dacia Sandero III lead market up 46.5% on 2020 but down -27.3% on 2019
Full May 2022 Top 55 All-brands and Top 150 models below.