2014 (Half Year) France: Best-Selling Car Makes and Models

The French new car market grew 2.9% during the first six months of 2014. Renault was the strongest brand while the Clio was the favorite car model of the French.

Renault Stand Geneva Auto Salon 2013

During the first half of 2014, the French car market expanded by nearly 3% with domestic manufacturers showing the strongest growth. However, for the second year in a row, new passenger vehicle registrations in France failed to clear the million-car mark during the first six months of the year. Domestic manufacturers saw car sales increase by nearly 10% while imported brands were down 4.5%. PSA (Peugeot Citroën) remained the strongest car-manufacturing group in France while Renault increased its position as the leading brand in France. The VW Group and Volkswagen brand remained the strongest importers. The Renault Clio was the best-selling car model in France during the first semester of 2014.

The French Car Market in 2014 (January to June)

During the first half of 2014, new passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 2.9% to 958,776 cars compared to 931,476 in 2013. However, this figure is still well down on the 1.05 million and 1.225 million recorded during the first six months of 2012 and 2011.

The total light vehicle market in France grew by 2.7% to 1,149,604 cars and light delivery vehicles registered from January to June 2014.

Best-Selling Car Makes in France in 2014 (First Semester)

The top-selling car manufacturing groups and brands in France during the first six months of 2014 according to the CCFA were:

HY 2014 HY 2014HY 2013 HY 2013 %
Group / BRANDVolume % ShareVolume% ShareChange
Total Market958’776100,00931’476100,002,9
French Manufacturers543’19556,66496’27253,289,5
PSA Group288’74630,12275’65629,594,7
RENAULT Group253’88726,48220’23023,6415,3
Imported Brands415’58143,34435’20446,72-4,5
VW Group122’69612,80125’87913,51-2,5
Ford Group41’6924,3543’3824,66-3,9
GM Group38’0043,9643’0744,62-11,8
Nissan Group36’3293,7935’0183,763,7
Toyota Group35’9403,7536’2823,90-0,9
Fiat Group33’6533,5133’5143,600,4
BMW Group29’8933,1231’5803,39-5,3
Mercedes Group25’7252,6826’8592,88-4,2
Hyundai Group22’8062,3831’9143,43-28,5


Top-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2014 (Half Year)

During the first six months of 2014, domestic marques gained the most from the expansion of the new car market in France. French carmakers increased sales by 9.5% to take 56.7% of the French new car market.

For once, all four French brands saw growth, including Citroën, which has been struggling in recent years. Dacia, the Renault Group’s budget brand saw the strongest growth of any major brand while Renault-branded cars also sold 11% more than a year ago.

Car importers in France strongly underperformed the broader market with most makes showing negative numbers including imported car market leader Volkswagen. Nissan and Fiat were the only foreign manufacturing groups with positive growth. Nissan to overtook Toyota, which had flat sales thus far in 2014.

South Korean brands seem to have lost their appeal to French car buyers – the Hyundai Group slipped behind Mercedes with the Hyundai brand down by almost a half.

Opel showed positive growth but with Chevrolet (down 62%) withdrawing from European markets, the GM group was down overall. Also strange happenings in the Fiat Group with Lancia and Jeep showing impressive percentages but low numbers overall.

Top 10 Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2014 (Half Year)

The ten top-selling car models in France during the first semester of 2014 according to car sales figures released by the CCFA were:

Rank HY 2013Rank HY 2014Make & ModelHY 2014% Market ShareHY 2013% Market Share
11Renault Clio IV56,8955.955’8876
22Peugeot 20849,9324.751’6405.6
253Renault Captur33,7303.5112721.2
54Citroën C3 II32,4533.423’3342.5
125Peugeot 308 II29,0523173881.9
366Peugeot 200829,015364710.7
37Renault Scénic III27,9272.927’0452.9
108Dacia Sandero25,7552.719’7492.1
169Citroen C4 II Picasso25,7182.7147581.6
410Renault Mégane III24,8532.625’4352.7


Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2014 (Half Year)

As is often the case in France, the composition of the top ten most popular cars is much different from a year ago. Four new models joined the top-ten list.

The Renault Clio comfortably remained the most popular car in France during the first semester of 2014. The Peugeot 208 similarly was the second most popular car in France from January to June 2014. Both top sellers lost market share with the 208 selling fewer cars as well.

Two small SUVs were the biggest gainers: the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Both cars entered the French market during the first half of 2013 with the Captur now the third most-popular car in France.

The Citroën C3 gained one place while the Peugeot 308 II and Citroen C4 II Picasso entered the top-ten list this year. The Renault Scenic slipped from third place a year ago while the Renault Megane slipped from fourth to tenth.

The Dacia Sandero improved from tenth to eighth – the Dacia Duster was eleventh.

Cars that slipped out of the top-ten list from a year ago were the Peugeot 3008 (6 to 13), Citroen C4 II (7 to 17), the Volkswagen Polo (8 to 15) and the Renault Twingo II (9 to 14). The VW Polo lost the position as France’s favorite imported car model to the Golf VII (12th during the first semester of 2014).

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.