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2015 (Q3) France: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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PSA was the strongest carmaker in France during the first three quarters of 2015 with Renault the top-selling brand and the Clio the best-selling model. New passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 6.3% during the first nine months of 2015. French car manufacturers and brands lost market share while German luxury brands Mercedes Benz and BMW experienced strong growth.

Peugeot Quartz at the Geneva Auto Show 2015

The French New Car Market in 2015 (Q3)

New passenger vehicle registrations in France increased during the first nine months of 2015 by 6.3% to 1,421,440 cars.

French car manufacturers underperformed the market and with sales increasing by only 3.4% to 776,360 cars, market share slipped from 56.13% to 54,62%. Sales by foreign car brands increased by a stronger 9.9%.

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Best-Selling Carmakers and Brands in France in 2015 (Q3)

New passenger vehicle registrations by manufacturing group and marque in France during the first nine months of 2015 were as follows according to car sales statistics released by the CCFA:

Q1-3/2015

Q1-3/2015

Q1-3/2014

Market Share

% Change

Total Market

1,421,440

1,337,315

100.00

6.3

French

776,360

750,605

54.62

3.4

Imported

645,080

586,710

45.38

9.9

Manufacturers:

PSA Group

420,747

403,670

29.60

4.2

Peugeot

246,454

227,915

17.34

8.1

Citroen

151,732

150,420

10.67

0.9

DS

22,561

25,335

1.59

-10.9

RENAULT Group

354,795

346,005

24.96

2.5

Renault

280,148

266,871

19.71

5.0

Dacia

74,647

79,134

5.25

-5.7

VW Group

183,174

173,563

12.89

5.5

Volkswagen

108,759

102,296

7.65

6.3

Audi

42,938

41,031

3.02

4.6

Skoda

15,754

14,993

1.11

5.1

Seat

15,634

15,179

1.10

3.0

FORD Group

61,436

56,569

4.32

8.6

NISSAN Group

57,336

50,942

4.03

12.6

TOYOTA Group

56,021

51,486

3.94

8.8

BMW Group

54,544

45,412

3.84

20.1

BMW

38,306

33,061

2.69

15.9

Mini

16,232

12,340

1.14

31.5

FIAT Group

53,080

46,680

3.73

13.7

Fiat

40,205

34,114

2.83

17.9

Jeep

6,388

1,214

0.45

426.0

Alfa Romeo

4,625

5,708

0.33

-19.0

Lancia

1,313

5,159

0.09

-74.5

GM Group

48,295

50,422

3.40

-4.2

Opel

48,184

46,418

3.39

3.8

Chevrolet

96

3,998

0.01

-97.6

MERCEDES Group

43,333

37,669

3.05

15.0

Mercedes Benz

38,027

34,839

2.68

9.2

Smart

5,306

2,830

0.37

87.5

HYUNDAI Group

38,665

32,591

2.72

18.6

Kia

21,670

21,069

1.52

2.9

Hyundai

16,995

11,522

1.20

47.5

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2015 (Q1)

French car manufacturing groups PSA and Renault continued to dominate the French new vehicle market during the first nine months of 2015 with a combined market share of 55%. However, with the exception of Peugeot, all French car brands underperformed the broader market. PSA’s new luxury marque DS continued to struggle as an independent brand while Renault’s budget brand Dacia also sold fewer cars due to an aging model range. Only five car bands failed to increase sales volume during the first nine months of 2015.

All brands in the Volkswagen Group increased sales but underperformed the broader market. Volkswagen-branded car sales increased in line with the market but Audi, Skoda and Seat all slightly underperformed. Skoda overtook Seat as the third strongest brand of the Volkswagen Group in France. Despite strong growth by BMW and Mercedes, Audi remained the top-selling premium German car brand in France.

All other foreign car-manufacturing groups, with the exception of GM, outperformed the broader market in France during the first nine months of 2015. Ford maintained its fourth position while Nissan moved ahead of Toyota with a strong performance.

BMW was the most-improved car manufacturer in France during the first three quarters of 2015 with group sales up by a fifth allowing BMW to move ahead of both Fiat and GM. Sales of Mini cars were up by nearly a third while BMW-branded car sales increased by 16%.

The Fiat Group also moved ahead of GM with a strong performance by its main Fiat brand. The Jeep brand was the most-improved brand in France thus far in 2015 but its impressive performance was mainly due to a shakeup in the group’s branding. It was balanced by Alfa Romeo and Lancia being two of only five brands with lower sales in France in 2015.

The GM Group was the only manufacturer in France with lower car sales during the first nine months of 2015 compared to a year ago. Sales of Opel increased but below market average and not sufficient to make up for the decline in sales due to Chevrolet’s withdrawal from the European market.

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The Mercedes Benz Group enjoyed strong sales growth in France during the first three quarters of 2015. Mercedes Benz car sales increased by 9.9%. However, Smart was the best-performing brand in France (apart from Jeep) with sales up by 88%

The Hyundai Group enjoyed strong sales in France thus far in 2015. Kia sales underperformed but sales of Hyundai branded cars increased by a strong 48%.

Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2015 (Q3)

The top 10 best-selling car marques in France in 2015 (Q1-Q3) according to the CCFA were as follows:

Q1-3/15

Q1/2015

Q1-3/2015

Q1-3/2014

1

Renault

280,148

266,871

2

Peugeot

246,454

227,915

3

Citroen

151,732

150,420

4

Volkswagen

108,759

102,296

5

Dacia

74,647

79,134

6

Ford

61,436

56,569

7

Nissan

57,336

50,942

8

Toytota

56,021

51,486

9

Opel

48,184

46,418

10

Audi

42,938

41,031

The only change in relative rank positions amongst the top-ten car marques in France was that Nissan and Toyota swapped places from a year ago.

Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2015 (Q3)

The ten top-selling car models in France during the first nine months of 2015 were as follows according to the CCFA:

Q1-3 / 2015

Make & Model

Q1-3 /2015

% Market Share

Q1-3 /2014

1

Renault Clio IV

81,099

5.7

78,062

2

Peugeot 208

66,944

4.7

63,011

3

Peugeot 308 II

57,005

4

43,219

4

Renault Captur

53,840

3.8

46,351

5

Peugeot 2008

46,966

3.3

39,789

6

Citroën C3 II

42,291

3

44,186

7

Renault Scénic III

35,624

2.5

37,800

8

Dacia Sandero

34,703

2.4

34,840

9

Renault Twingo III

34,291

2.4

10

Citroën C4 II Picasso

34,280

2.4

Top-Ten List of Best-Selling Car Models in France

There were only minor changes in the composition of the list of the favorite car models of the French. The Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 remained the favorite cars of the French with market shares identical to the same three quarters in 2014.

The Peugeot 308 II moved up from fifth to third, which was as expected as the 2014 figures were distorted by the 308 and 308 II being listed separately.

The Renault Captur slipped one position despite increasing volumes and gaining 0.3% market share. The Peugeot 2008 gained similar market share and improved from sixth a year ago. Each model increased sales by over 7,000 cars.

The Citroen C3 II slipped two places from last year while the Renault Scenic III maintained its seventh place. Both models each lost 0.3% in market share. Sales of the Dacia Sandero were similarly weaker but the budget-brand Renault gained one rank position.

New on the top-ten list of best-selling car models in France was a return of the Renault Twingo in its third model version and the Citroen C4 II Picasso. The two models dropping off the list were the Citroën C4 II from 8th to 19th and the Renault Mégane III from 10th to 12th.

The favorite imported car models of the French were the Volkswagen Polo at 11th and the VW Golf at 15th. The top-selling Japanese car in France was the Toyota Yaris (16th), the best-selling Italian car the Fiat 500 (21st) and the favorite Korean car the Kia Sportage (62nd).

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