In 2015, the PSA Group (Peugeot Citroen) was the best-selling car manufacturer in France, Renault the most-popular brand and VW the top imported marque. The French car market expanded by 6.8% to 1,9 million new passenger vehicle registrations – the best performance since 2011. Almost all carmakers and brands in France had an increase in car sales in 2015. The popularity of diesel cars in France continued to wane.
The French New Car Market in 2015 (Full Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations in France in 2015 increased by 6.8% to 1,917,230 cars – the highest number since 2011 when 2.2 million cars were sold. In 2015, over 10,000 more cars were sold per months than in 2014.
French car producers underperformed the broader market. Sales increased by only 4.6% to 1,039,901 cars and an overall market share of 54.2%. It was the first year that French car producers sold over a million cars in France in a single calendar year since 2011.
Sales of imported brands increased by a stronger 9.4% to 877,329 cars – the highest number since 2012 and a percentage increase in market share from a year ago.
Diesel and Electric Cars in France in 2015
The popularity of diesel-engined cars in France have been waning since before the Volkswagen emission scandal broke in September 2015 but the downward trend accelerated during the final quarter of the year.
Diesel engines had a record high 73% market share of new passenger vehicles registered in France in 2012 but that percentage slipped to 67% in 2013, 64% in 2014 and only 57% in 2015. During the final three months of 2015, the market share has been well below 55%
The number of new electric passenger vehicles registered in France in 2015 increased to 17,266 or 0.9% of the market. In 2014, 10,561 electric cars were registered. The Renault Zoe was the most popular electric car and with 10,407 sales the 42nd most popular car model in France in 2015.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2015
The strongest carmakers in France in 2015 according to car sales statistics released by the CCFA were:
|FY 2015||% Share||% Change||FY 2014|
|Manufacturers:||FY 2015||% Share||% Change||FY 2014|
|– PSA Group||558,715||29.1||4.2||536,146|
|– RENAULT Group||479,945||25.0||5.2||456,425|
|– VW Group||246,710||12.9||3.9||237,544|
|– FORD Group||80,730||4.2||7.5||75,090|
|– TOYOTA Group||76,212||4.0||8.5||70,262|
|– BMW Group||76,077||4.0||15.3||65,973|
|– NISSAN Group||75,241||3.9||9.5||68,741|
|– FIAT Group||71,558||3.7||13.9||62,839|
|– GM Group||64,324||3.4||-1.7||65,442|
|– MERCEDES Group||63,484||3.3||19.1||53,298|
|– HYUNDAI Group||53,114||2.8||17.1||45,351|
Source: CCFA. Data excludes “others”
Top-Selling Carmakers in France in 2015
Despite slightly underperforming the broader market, both the PSA and Renault groups maintained their hold at the top of the French car market. Both top brands – Renault and Peugeot – slightly outperformed. However, Citroen sales were flat and both DS and Dacia saw sales slipping by 5%.
The Volkswagen Group was again the strongest imported car manufacturer in France in 2015. However, all main brands in the group – VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda – underperformed. The VW Group was the least improved of all the leading manufacturers and is likely to feel more fall-outs from the emissions scandal in 2016. Volkswagen brand sales were sharply down (-15%) in December 2015.
Ford and Toyota maintained their relative positions with sales just above market average. BMW Group Sales were up a strong 15% with both BMW and Mini brands much improved. BMW took the sixth place from Nissan despite the Japanese group also enjoying stronger sales. The BMW Group and BMW brand had the best year ever in France in 2015.
The Fiat Group also enjoyed strong sales. The Fiat 500 was the 20th most-popular car model in France in 2015. Following rebranding in the group, Jeep is a new leading marque in France while Alfa Romeo and Lancia continued the slide into insignificance.
GM was the only car-manufacturing group in France in 2015 with lower sales but this was mostly due to Chevrolet withdrawing from the market. Opel sales were up and the highest unit numbers in three years. However, Opel sales in France in 2015 were almost 30,000 cars fewer than in 2011.
The Mercedes Group had its best year ever in France and was with sales increasing by 19% the most-improved car manufacturer in 2015. Mercedes Benz brand sales were up 13% while smart sales nearly doubled – no brand did better.
After two weaker years, sales of the South Korean manufacturers were again up strongly by 17% in 2015. However, sales were still over 8,000 cars less than in the record 2012 year.
Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2015 (Full Year)
The most-popular car marques in France in 2015 according to car sales statistics released by the CCFA were:
|Brand||FY 2015||FY 2014||% Change|
Top-Selling Car Brands in France in 2015 (Full Year)
The list of top-twenty most-popular car marques in France in 2015 remained almost unchanged from a year ago. Only two pairs of brands swapped place – incidentally in both cases a very good performing brand was surpassed by a marque performing even better – Fiat (+19%) replaced BMW (+12%) and sales up a quarter for Mini was even bettered by 40% for Hyundai.
Only two top-20 brands had weaker sales in France in 2015. Despite Dacia and DS slipping 5% each, neither was punished in the rank order.
At the top of the list, Renault increased its share of the French new car market to a fifth of the overall market – approaching similar figures to the strangle hold that Volkswagen has in Germany.
See also: 2015 France: Top-Selling Car Models – Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 leading the way again.