Renault, Peugeot and Citroen were the top-selling car manufacturers in France during the first quarter of 2013. The Clio was the most popular car model.
First quarter 2013 car sales in France were down almost 15% with all major manufacturers seeing a decline in unit sales. The PSA group remained the strongest manufacturing group while Renault is the strongest car brand in France. Volkswagen is the top imported brand. German luxury car manufacturers BMW and Mercedes outperformed the general market while South Korean brands Kia and Hyundai further increased market share with positive sales growth. The Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 were the most popular models.
The French Automobile Market in 2013 (Q1)
The French passenger car market contracted by 14.7% during the first three months of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012. From January to March 2013, new passenger vehicle registrations in France totaled 433,297 cars compared to 507,830 a year ago.
The contraction of the French car market during the first quarter of 2013 is in line with the overall 14% shrinking of the new passenger vehicle market in 2012 and less severe than the 22% decline during the first quarter of 2012. If corrected for the two fewer workdays in 2013, the decline in car sales was 12%.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2013 (Q1)
The top-selling passenger vehicle manufacturers and brands in France during the first quarter of 2013 according to car sales figures released by the CCFA were:
Car Sales Q1/2013
|% Market Share||% Change from Q1 / 2012||Car Sales Q1/2012|
Changes in the Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2013 (Q1)
Compared to a year ago, when French car brands were performing markedly worse than imported brands, the balance has been restored in 2013 with equal amounts of red ink everywhere. Renault, Peugeot, and Citroen remain the strongest car brands in France but all continue to underperform the general market, although less markedly than in 2012. Dacia, Renault’s low-cost brand, saw strong growth.
The Volkswagen Group and VW brand remain the strongest imported car manufacturer and marque in France. However, all brands in the Volkswagen Group, with the exception of Audi, underperformed the overall market. Ford and Opel continue to perform dismally.
Toyota sales in France improved by 3% from January to March 2013 allowing the Japanese carmaker to leapfrog Nissan, Fiat and BMW in sales rank compared to a year ago.
The Hyundai Group moved past BMW and Fiat with positive sales growth for both Kia (if only just) and Hyundai (+24%). Fiat, down 37% in the first quarter of 2013, for once showed positive sales growth at the start of 2013 but weak sales for Alfa Romeo and Lancia dragged the Italian group down.
Sales of BMW and Mercedes were both lower but both German manufacturers and brands outperformed the general market to gain further market share in France.
The Top-Ten Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2013 (Q1)
The most popular car models in France during the first three months of 2013 according to car sales statistics released by the CCFA were:
|Rank||Make & Model||Sales Q1/2013||% Market Share|
Compared to full year 2012, the Renault Clio remains France’s favorite car model. The Peugeot 208 moved from fifth place last year to second at the start of 2013 while the Mégane slipped on place to third.
The Renault Scenic reentered the top ten list at fourth place while the Citroën C3 slipped from third. The Peugeot 3008 is up from 9th, and the Renault Twingo from tenth.
The Volkswagen Polo maintained its eighth place and the title of France’s favorite imported car model. The VW Golf VII was the eleventh best-selling car in France during the first quarter of 2013 – if Golf VII and Golf VI sales are added the Golf would have been the sixth best-selling car model in France.
The Citroën C4 slipped from fourth while the Dacia Sandero is a new entrant in the top ten list. The Peugeot 207 slipped from sixth last year to 15 th and the 308 from seventh to 12th.
The weakening in the French car market during the first quarter of 2013 was not as dramatic as the very weak start of 2012 but there are still very few positive signs. New passenger vehicle registrations in France are likely to remain very weak for the duration of 2013.