Best-Selling Cars

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2016 (Q3) France: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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Renault Scenic at Geneva 2016

The top-selling carmaker in France during the first three quarters of 2016 was again the PSA Group with Renault the top brand and the Clio favorite model. New passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 5.7% to just over 1.5 million cars during the first nine months of 2016.

The French New Vehicle Market in 2016 (Q1)

During the first nine months of 2016, new passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 5.7% to 1,502,457 cars. The total motorized new vehicle market expanded by 6.3% to 1,802,482 vehicles with light commercial vehicle sales increasing by nearly 10%.

Although diesel remained the best-selling engine type for cars in France, diesel cars share of the market shrunk to 52.5% from 58% during the first nine months of 2015. Petrol driven cars increased market share from 38% to 43.5%.

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Fewer hybrid cars were registered during the first three quarters of 2016 compared to last year: 41,086 (2.73% share) against 43,576 (3.07%) in 2015.

Electric car sales in France during the first nine months of 2016 increased to 16,091 from 11,779 a year ago.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturing Groups in France in 2016 (Q3)

The top car manufacturing groups in France during the first nine months of 2016 according to new vehicle registration data released by the CCFA were:

Q1-3/2016

Q3/2015

% Change

Total Market

1,502,457

1,421,440

5.7

French

816,188

776,360

5.1

Imported

686,269

645,080

6.4

Manufacturers:

PSA Group

426,637

420,747

1.4

Peugeot

254,680

246,454

3.3

Citroen

149,278

151,732

-1.6

DS

22,679

22,561

0.5

RENAULT Group

388,761

354,795

9.6

Renault

303,637

280,148

8.4

Dacia

85,124

74,647

14.0

VW Group

188,883

183,174

1.1

Volkswagen

105,243

108,759

-3.2

Audi

47,091

42,938

9.7

Skoda

17,309

15,754

9.9

Seat

15,421

15,634

-1.4

Porsche

3,708

3,676

0.9

BMW Group

63,291

54,544

16.0

BMW

44,385

38,306

15.9

Mini

18,895

16,232

16.4

FORD Group

60,543

61,436

-1.5

TOYOTA Group

59,848

56,021

6.8

Toyota

56,158

6.3

FCA Group

59,108

53,080

11.4

Fiat

45,827

40,205

14.0

Jeep

7,544

6,388

18.1

Alfa Romeo

4,969

4,625

7.4

Lancia

163

1,313

-87.6

NISSAN Group

54,565

57,336

-4.8

Nissan

52,090

56,480

-7.8

GM Group

52,281

48,295

8.3

Opel

52,162

48,184

8.3

Chevrolet

92

96

DAIMLER Group

47,893

43,333

10.5

Mercedes Benz

41,737

38,027

9.8

Smart

6,156

5,306

16.0

HYUNDAI Group

45,084

38,665

16.6

Kia

24,845

21,670

14.7

Hyundai

20,239

16,995

19.1

VOLVO Group

11086

9849

12.6

Top-Selling Carmakers in France in 2016 (Q3)

The PSA Group remained the largest carmaker in France during the first nine months of 2016. However, sales of the PSA Group increased by a modest 1.4% with sales of Citroen down in an expanding market. DS sales were up by only half a percentage point while Peugeot’s 3.3% increase was only about half the growth of the broader market.

The Renault Group performed markedly better with sales up nearly 10% for the group with Renault branded sales up 8% and Dacia sales up a strong 14%. Renault remained by far the top-selling car brand in France.

The Volkswagen Group remained the strongest foreign car manufacturer in France during the first three quarters of 2016 but with sales increasing only 1.1% lost market share. Volkswagen brand sales were down by 3.2% but sales of Audi and Skoda increased by nearly 10%.

Sales of the BMW Group in France increased by 16% for both BMW and Mini brands. The BMW Group thus moved ahead of Ford, Nissan and Toyota.

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Ford slipped behind BMW in France with weaker sales – only Nissan performed worse. Both the Toyota and FCA Groups overtook the Nissan Group. Fiat and Jeep sales were much improved while even Alfa Romeo outperformed the broader market. Nissan was the worst performing car manufacturing group and brand in France thus far this year.

Sales of the GM Group – now basically just Opel – in France increased by 8.3% during the first nine months of 2016.

Sales of the Daimler Group in France increased by more than 10% with Mercedes Benz sales up nearly 10% and Smart sales up 16%.

The Hyundai Group was the most-improved carmaker in France thus far this year with Hyundai (19%) the most-improved brand.

Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2016 (Q1-3)

The 20 top-selling car marques in France during the first nine months of 2016 according to the CCFA were:

Marque

Q1-3/2016

Q1-3/2015

% Change

1

Renault

303,637

280,148

8.4

2

Peugeot

254,680

246,454

3.3

3

Citroen

149,278

151,732

-1.6

4

Volkswagen

105,243

108,759

-3.2

5

Dacia

85,124

74,647

14.0

6

Ford

60,543

61,436

-1.5

7

Toyota

56,158

52,819

6.3

8

Opel

52,162

48,184

8.3

9

Nissan

52,090

56,480

-7.8

10

Audi

47,091

42,938

9.7

11

Fiat

45,827

40,205

14.0

12

BMW

44,385

38,306

15.9

13

Mercedes Benz

41,737

38,027

9.8

14

Kia

24,845

21,670

14.7

15

DS

22,679

22,561

0.5

16

Hyundai

20,239

16,995

19.1

17

Mini

18,895

16,232

16.4

18

Skoda

17,309

15,754

9.9

19

Seat

15,421

15,634

-1.4

20

Volvo

11,086

9,849

12.6

There were very few changes in the rank order of the top 20 best-selling car brands in France during the first three quarters of 2016. The order of the top six brands remained unchanged despite half of these brands selling fewer cars than a year ago. Citroen, VW and Ford all had weaker sales in France in 2016 compared to a year ago.

However, Nissan with sales down 7.8% was by far the weakest performer in France during the first three quarters of 2016. Nissan slipped two rank positions allowing both Toyota and Opel to each improve one position each.

The only other rank order change was Kia and DS swapping places.

Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2016 (Q3)

The top ten best-selling car models in France during the first nine months of 2016 according to the CCFA were:

Make & Model

Q1-3/2016

Q1-3/2015

% Market Share

1

Renault Clio IV

80,785

81,099

5.4

2

Peugeot 208

74,727

66,944

5.0

3

Peugeot 308 II

58,951

57,005

3.9

4

Renault Captur

54,661

53,840

3.6

5

Peugeot 2008

50,640

46,966

3.4

6

Dacia Sandero

44,113

34,703

2.9

7

Citroën C3 II

41,317

42,291

2.7

8

Citroën C4 II Picasso

32,263

34,280

2.1

9

Renault Twingo III

31,274

34,291

2.1

10

Renault Mégane IV

31,246

2.1

The rank order of the top five best-selling cars in France during the first three quarters of 2016 remained unchanged from a year ago. The Renault Clio remained the favorite car of the French although fewer Clios were sold than a year ago. In contrast, the Peugeot 208, 308, 2008 and Renault Captur all increased sales.

Dacia sold 10,000 more Sanderos in France during the first nine months of 2016 compared to a year ago allowing Renault’s budget brand car to move up from eighth to sixth. The Citroen C3 slipped on place.

The Citroen C4 Picasso improved from 10th a year ago while the Renault Twingo remained in ninth place.

The Renault Mégane re-entered the top ten while the Renault Scénic III slipped from seventh a year ago to 14th. Sales of both cars were affected by model changes.

The VW Polo was again the top imported car model in France at 11th place while the Toyota Yaris (17th) was the favorite Japanese model.

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