Renault was the top-selling car brand in France during the first half of 2017, the Clio the favorite car model of the French and PSA the top car manufacturer.
New passenger vehicle registrations in France during the first six months of 2017 increased by 3% to 1,135,281 cars. The PSA Group remained the largest car manufacturer in France followed by Renault and the VW Group. Despite a weak performance, Renault remained the best-selling car brand in France ahead of Peugeot, Citroen and Volkswagen. VW was the only top-ten brand with weaker sales in France during the first semester of 2017. The favorite car models of the French during the first half of 2017 remained the Renault Clio and Peugeot 208.
The French Car Market in 2017 (First Half)
The new car market in France expanded by 3% during the first semester of 2017 to 1,135,281 new passenger vehicle registrations. The market for light commercial vehicles expanded by a faster 6.3% to 229,618 registrations while heavy goods vehicle sales increased by 6.4% to 26,163 registrations.
The popularity of diesel cars in France continued to decline during the first six months of 2017. New diesel car registrations had with 544,001 diesel cars a market share of 47.925 compared to 52.81% during the first semester of 2016. Petrol driven cars with 537,782 registrations increased market share from 43.46% to 47.37%.
Hybrid car sales in France during the first half of 2017 increased to 39,360 (3.47% share) from 29,267 (2.65% share) a year ago. Electric car sales in France during the first six months of 2017 increased to 13,553 cars (1.19% market share) from 12,338 (1.12% share) sold between January and June 2016.
Most of the increase in new car sales in France during the first half of 2017 accrued to foreign marques. The French share of the market slipped to 54.55% in 2017 from 55.19% a year ago.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2017 (Half Year)
The top-selling carmakers in France during the first six months of 2017 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the CCFA were:
|Manufacturer||HY 2017||HY 2016||% Change|
|– Alfa Romeo||4,601||3,328||38.3|
|– Mercedes Benz||30,948||27,606||12.1|
Figures exclude “others” & manufacturers selling fewer than 3,000 cars
Top-Selling Carmakers in France in 2017 (First Half)
The PSA Group remained the largest carmaker in France during the first six months of 2017. The Peugeot brand was the best performing French brand but Citroën narrowly underperformed the market while DS was the worst performing brand of any car marque selling more than 3,000 cars in France during the first half of 2017.
The Renault Group was again the second largest carmaker in France during the first half of 2017 but increases were below market average. Renault remained the top-selling car marque in France but sales were flat. Dacia outperformed the market.
The VW Group remained the top foreign car-manufacturing group in France during the first half of 2017 but sales were marginally lower. Most of the damage was due to a very weak performance by Volkswagen branded cars – sales were down by 5.5% – the weakest performance by a top brand and the third weakest overall. Audi sales were flat but Seat sales were up by a fifth and Skoda sales also increased strongly.
The Toyota Group was the most improved carmaker in France during the first semester of 2017 with sales increasing by over 16%. The Toyota Group thus moved ahead of Ford, BMW and the FCA Groups.
Ford sales in France during the first half of 2017 improved by a strong 8.5%.
The FCA Group also performed strongly in France during the first six months of 2017 with sales up by nearly 12%. Fiat sales grew strongly at 11%. Although Jeep sales were slightly weaker, Alfa Romeo sales increased by 38% – the strongest performance by any brand in France thus far in 2017.
The BMW Group was the worst performing carmaker in France during the first half of 2017 and together with the VW Group the only two car manufacturers with lower sales volumes this year. Both BMW and Mini brands had weaker sales in France thus far in 2017.
The GM Group – now down to basically just Opel in Europe – narrowly outperformed the general market and moved ahead of the Nissan Group. (Opel was acquired by the PSA Group in March 2017 but the deal is still subject to some regulatory approvals.)
The Nissan Group had flat sales and slipped behind the Opel Group.
The Daimler Group had stronger sales in France during the first half of 2017. Mercedes Benz sales were up a strong 12% allowing the German premium brand to overtake BMW in France. Smart sales were sharply down – only DS performed worse.
The Hyundai Group increased sales in France during the first semester of 2017. Kia sales were up by a strong 12% while Hyundai slightly underperformed the broader market.
The Volvo Group increased sales by 4.5%
Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2017 (First Half)
The top-selling car marques in France during the first six months of 2017 according to the CCFA were:
|Manufacturer||HY2017||HY 2016||% Change|
|12||– Mercedes Benz||30,948||27,606||12.1|
|22||– Alfa Romeo||4,601||3,328||38.3|
The rank order of the top ten best-selling car brands in France during the first semester of 2017 was unchanged from a year ago. Despite weak sales, Renault was again the top-selling car marque in France. Peugeot sales were up 6% – adding more than 12,000 cars. Citroën sales were higher but below market average.
Volkswagen remained the top-selling foreign car brand in France thus far in 2017 but sales were down 5.5%. VW was the only top-ten marque with lower sales in France. Only DS and Smart had a weaker performance in France during the first half of 2017.
Dacia, Ford, Toyota and Opel all outperformed the broader market. Toyota was the most improved top-ten best-selling car brand in France thus far in 2017 and the third most improved brand overall.
Nissan sales were up 2% while Fiat sales were up a strong 11%.
In the premium German car brand stakes, Audi maintained its 11th place despite flat sales in France while a strong performance by Mercedes Benz allowed it to move ahead of BMW.
DS was the worst performing car brand in France thus far in 2017. PSA’s premium brand slipped from 15th to 19th while Mini slipped from 17th to 18th. As a result, Hyundai, Skoda and Seat all moved up in the relative sales ranks.
A resurgent Alfa Romeo moved ahead of a Smart. Alfa sales were up 38% – by far the most-improved brand in France during the first semester of 2017 while Smart sales were down by a fifth – only DS fared worse. Volume numbers remain low though.
Top-Selling Car Models in France in 2017 (Half Year)
The ten best-selling car models in France from January to June 2017 according the CCFA were:
|Model||Cars Sold HY 2017||Cars Sold HY 2016|
|1||Renault Clio IV||64,408||62,206|
|4||Peugeot 308 II||37,860||44,000|
|6||Peugeot 3008 II||37,197||New|
|7||Citroen C3 II||36,341||31,092|
|9||Renault Mégane IV||28,847||21,801|
Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2017 (First Half)
The list of the top-selling car models in France is often very stable and the first six months of 2017 saw only minor changes. The Renault Clio was again the favorite car of the French with the Peugeot 208 again the second best-selling car model in France in 2017.
The Peugeot 2008 moved from fifth to third with stronger sales. The Peugeot 308 and Renault Captur each slipped down one rank position with both selling fewer cars than a year ago.
The Peugeot 3008 II is a new entrant on the list at sixth. It was 16th a year ago but sales of the updated model only started a few months into the year.
The Citroen C3 maintained its seventh place while the Dacia Sandero slipped from 6th to 8th despite stronger sales.
The Renault Mégane IV is another new entrant on the top-ten list from 12th a year ago.
The VW Polo was again the tenth best-selling car model in France during the first six months of 2017. The Polo remained the favorite foreign car model of the French. Sales were lower than a year ago – a full model change of the Polo is expected later in 2017.
The two cars slipping out of the top-ten list of best-selling car models in France during the first half of 2017 were the Renault Twingo (down to 11th from 9th) and the Citroen C4 II Picasso that slipped to 16th from 8th.