2014 (Q3) France: Best-Selling Car Brands and Models

Renault Clio Break Geneva Auto Salon2014 (Q1-3): The French car market expanded by 2.1%, PSA remained the strongest manufacturer, Renault the strongest brand and the Clio the favorite car model of the French. Growth in new passenger vehicle registrations in France during the first nine months of 2014 was mostly due to French car makes selling 7% more than in 2013 – imported car sales were down 3.6%. PSA, Renault and Volkswagen remained the strongest car manufacturing groups in France with Renault, Peugeot, Citroen and VW the strongest marques. The Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 were the top-selling car models in France thus far in 2014.

The French New Car Market in 2014 (Q1-Q3)

New passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 2.1% to 1,337,327 cars during the first nine months of 2014. However, the French car market remains relatively weak.

The increase in car sales must be seen against the background of 2013 being a particularly bad year for new vehicle registrations in France. Car sales in France from January to September 2014 were nearly 100,000 cars less than in 2012 and 300,000 less than during the same period in 2011.

Top-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands in France in 2014 (Q3)

The best-selling car manufacturing groups and marques in France from January to September 2014 according to car sales statistics released by the CCFA were as follows:

Q1-3/2014 % change Q1-3/2013 Q1-3/2012
Total Market 1’337’327 2.1 1’309’858 1’430’832
French 750’611 7 701’249 766’074
Imported 586’716 -3.6 608’609 664’758
Manufacturers: Β  Β  Β  Β 
PSA 403’671 4.6 385’809 438’232
Peugeot 227’915 7.5 212’047 234’027
Citroen 175’756 1.2 173’762 204’205
RENAULT Group 346’010 9.9 314’893 326’152
Renault 266’874 6.9 249’602 265’339
Dacia 79’136 21.2 65’291 60’813
VW Group 173’564 -1.2 175’732 196’467
Volkswagen 102’297 0.6 102’943 116’373
Audi 41’031 -4.1 42’787 45’466
Seat 15’179 -7.3 16’378 18’107
Skoda 14’993 10.6 13’556 16’136
FORD 56’569 -0.1 56’615 70’865
TOYOTA Group 51’490 -3.3 53’269 49’867
NISSAN Group 50’942 6.2 47’969 53’155
GM Group 50’422 -18.1 61’580 75’097
Opel 46’418 2.9 45’108 55’613
Chevrolet 3’998 -75.7 16’464 19’468
FIAT Group 46’681 1 45’355 44’312
Fiat 34’115 -4 35’541 32’002
BMW Group 45’412 -1 45’850 48’898
BMW 33’061 1.8 32’478 33’478
Mini 12’340 -7.6 13’361 15’402
MERCEDES_Group 37’669 1.1 37’272 37’261
Mercedes-Benz 34’839 3.8 33’579 33’377
HYUNDAI Group 32’591 -26.7 44’451 44’303
Kia 21’069 -13.7 24’408 24’057
Hyundai 11’522 -42.5 20’043 20’246

Exclude β€œothers” and brands selling fewer than 10,000 cars.

Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2014 (Q1-3)

French car manufacturers performed far better than imported brands during the first nine months of 2014. French brands increased sales by 7% to gain nearly 2.5% market share from foreign brands. Market share of new cars sold in France thus far in 2014 divides as 56% French vs. 44% foreign.

PSA easily remained the strongest carmaker in France but Renault was the leading marque followed by Peugeot and Citroen. Dacia was the most-improved brand during the period with sales up by more than a fifth.

The Volkswagen Group performed better than other foreign brands but still lost market share to the French manufacturers. Sales of Volkswagen branded cars were flat while Audi and Seat were much weaker. Skoda sales increased by 10% but the numbers are low.

The GM Group slipped three places from a year ago – largely due to Chevrolet (-75%) withdrawing from the European market. In contrast, Opel had positive numbers.

Ford, Toyota and Nissan all moved up one place at the expense of GM. Ford sales were flat; Toyota slightly weaker while Nissan (+6%) was the most improved foreign group and second overall only to its partner Renault (+10%).

Fiat and BMW swapped relative positions. The BMW Group sales were hurt by the change of the Mini model earlier in the year – sales of new Minis were very strong in recent months.

Mercedes sales were slightly up with the Mercedes-Benz brand sales up 4%. Smart sales were down be nearly a quarter – a new model is due in coming months.

The Hyundai Group saw sales slipping by nearly a quarter. Kia sales were down by 14% while Hyundai sales were down 43% – only Chevrolet performed worse.

Top-Selling Car Models in France in 2014 (Q1-Q3)

The top 10 best-selling car models in France from January to September 2014 according to the CCFA were as follows:

Q1-3/ 2013 Q1-3/ 2014 Make & Model Q1-3 /2014 % Market Share Q1-3 /2013
1 1 Renault Clio IV 78’062 5.8 77’428
2 2 Peugeot 208 63’011 4.7 69’446
12 3 Renault Captur 46’351 3.5 23’935
5 4 CitroΓ«n C3 II 44’186 3.3 34’202
95 5 Peugeot 308 II 43’219 0.2 3’135
28 6 Peugeot 2008 39’789 3 13’794
3 7 Renault ScΓ©nic III 37’800 2.8 38’114
9 8 CitroΓ«n C4 II 35’047 2.6 28’140
6 9 Dacia Sandero 34’840 2.6 30’181
4 10 Renault MΓ©gane III 33’257 2.5 34’473

The Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 easily remained France’s favorite car models during the first nine months of 2014. Sales of the Clio remained steady while the Peugeot lost half a percentage market share.

The Renault Captur, which was launched at the end of the first quarter in 2013, improved from 12th a year ago to third this year. Small SUV crossover compact cars are in vogue in France and most Europe.

In contrast, last year’s number 3 and 4 – the Renault ScΓ©nic and Renault MΓ©gane slipped down the list despite unit sales only marginally weaker than during the first nine months of 2014.

The Citroen C3 improved one position while the Peugeot 308 II shot up from 95th a year ago. This huge improvement was largely due to the car being launched during Q3/2013 – its predecessor 308 was in 13thplace last year.

The Peugeot 2008 similarly entered the top-ten list this year from 28th a year ago when it was not on the market for the full period.

The Citroen C4 slipped on place and the Dacia Sandero slipped from 6th to 9th despite both models selling many more cars than a year ago.

The three cars slipping out of the top-ten list from last year were the Peugeot 3008 (7 to 14), Renault Twingo II (8 to 15) and the VW Polo (10 to 13). The all-new Twingo, a joint development with the Smart of Mercedes-Benz, should be available during the fourth quarter of 2014 and most likely will reenter the top-10 list during 2015.

The Volkswagen Golf with 31,044 sales was at eleventh place France’s favorite foreign car model.

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