January to September 2017: the best-selling carmaker in France was the PSA Group, Renault the top-selling brand and the Clio the favorite car model of the French.
During the first three quarters of 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 4% to 1,560,885 cars. The PSA Group was again the largest car manufacturer in France with figures now bolstered by the addition of Opel. Renault was again the best-selling car brand in France but Peugeot gained market share. The favorite car models of the French were again the Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. Despite weaker sales during the first nine months of 2017, Volkswagen remained the best-selling foreign car brand in France with the aging VW Polo the favorite imported car model.
The French New Car Market in 2017 (Q3)
New passenger vehicle registrations in France during the first three quarters of 2017 increased by 3.9% to 1,560,885 cars – an increase of nearly 60,000 cars. French brands increased sales by 4.2% to take 54.51% of the French new car market. Foreign brand sales increased by a more modest 3.5%.
The market share of diesel passenger cars sold in France continued to shrink with diesels taking only 47% of the French new car market in September 2017. Thus far in 2017, diesel engine cars had a market share of 48% in France compared to 73% in 2012 and 52% in 2016.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in France in 2017 (Q3)
The top-selling car manufacturing groups in France during the period January to September 2017 according to the CCFA were:
|Q1-3/2017||Q1-3/2016||% Change 2017||% MS 2017|
|– Mercedes Benz||45,950||41,737||10.1||2.94|
|– Alfa Romeo||6,608||4,969||33.0||.42|
Note: Souce: CCFA / Figures exclude “others” & manufacturers selling fewer than 3,000 cars
Top Carmakers in France in 2017 (Q3)
The PSA Group remained easily the largest carmaker in France during the first three quarters of 2017 with an above average increase in sales and Peugeot the best-performing French brand thus far this year. PSA figures were bolstered by Opel numbers being included from September 2017 but DS sales fell by a third.
The Renault Group had higher sales but slightly underperformed the French market during the first three quarters of 2017. Renault remained the largest car brand in France but lost market share.
The Volkswagen Group remained the third largest car manufacturer in France despite weaker sales. The Volkswagen Groups weak performance was largely due to VW brand selling 4.1% fewer cars than a year ago. Other brands in the group had stronger sales with Seat increasing sales by a fifth and Skoda by a tenth.
The Toyota and FCA groups were the most-improved carmakers in France in 2017 with both manufacturing groups moving ahead of Ford. Alfa Romeo was the most-improved brand in France with sales up by a third.
The BMW Group had weaker sales for both BMW and Mini brands but stayed ahead of Nissan that performed inline with the market and Daimler that enjoyed stronger sales with the Mercedes Benz brand increasing sales by 10%. Smart sales were sharply down.
The Hyundai Group outperformed the market while the GM Group will soon be reduced to irrelevance, as Opel is now listed with PSA while Chevrolet and other GM brands playing an insignificant role in the French market.
Best-Selling Car Brands in France in 2017 (Q3)
The top-selling car marques in France during the first three quarters of 2017 according to the CCFA were:
|12||– Mercedes Benz||45,950||41,737||10.1|
Top 20 Car Brands in France in 2017 (Q3)
The top five best-selling car marques in France during the first three quarters of 2017 were unchanged. Renault remained the top-selling car brand in France but lost market share. Peugeot was again the second largest car marque in France and somewhat narrowed the gap to Renault with sales up by 7%. Citroen sales were inline with the broader market.
Volkswagen was the worst performing car brand of the ten largest marques in France thus far this year. VW sales were down by 4.1% or half a percentage point market share. Of the top-20 brands only DS performed worse. Volkswagen easily remained the largest foreign car brand in France.
Dacia sales were up by 5% to half the gap to VW compared to the first nine months in 2016.
Toyota was the most improved of the ten top-selling car brands in France thus far in 2017 with only Seat improving more of the top 20 brands. Toyota moved ahead of Ford. Ford and Nissan increased sales by 5.7%, which was sufficient for Nissan to move just ahead of Opel that slipped from 8th to 9th.
Fiat increased sales by 12% to move into the top 10 at the expense of Audi that slipped to 11th with flat sales in a growing market. Mercedes Benz and BMW swapped positions with Mercedes Benz sales up 10% while BMW sales were down by 2.7%.
Kia remained the 14th largest car brand in France in 2017 while Hyundai moved up one place and Skoda two places. Mini remained in 17th place despite weaker sales while Seat was the best performing brand with sales up by nearly a fifth to gain one rank position.
DS was the worst-performing brand in France thus far in 2017 with sales down by a third. DS slipped from 15th to 19th largest car brand in France. Volvo maintained its traditional 20th position.
Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2017 (Q3)
The ten most popular car models in France during the first nine months of 2017 according to the CCFA were:
|Make & Model||Q1-3/2017||Q3/2016||% Share|
|1||Renault Clio IV||86,585||80,785||5.5|
|3||Peugeot 3008 II||52,151||NA||3.3|
|5||Peugeot 308 II||50,759||58,951||3.3|
|6||Citroen C3 III||50,223||NA||3.2|
|9||Renault Mégane IV||38,648||31,246||2.5|
Top 10 Car Models in France in 2017 (Q1-3)
The list of the ten most popular car models in France during the first three quarters of 2017 followed a familiar pattern: the Clio and 208 at the top and a complete scramble for the remaining positions.
The Renault Clio easily maintained its traditional position as France’s best-selling car model with sales increasing by almost 6,000 cars compared to the first nine months of 2016. The Peugeot 208 was again firmly in second place despite slightly weaker sales.
The third most-popular model in France was the Peugeot 3008 II that entered the top-ten list for the first time since the original 3008 was 7th in 2013. It was followed by the Peugeot 2008 that improved one place from a year ago while the Peugeot 308 slipped one position.
The Citroen C3 III is a new entrant at sixth – the C3 II was seventh a year ago, and 82nd this year.
The Renault Captur slipped from 4th to 7th while the Dacia Sandero slipped from 6th to 8th despite increasing sales. The Renault Megane improved one position.
The Volkswagen Polo reentered the top ten list for the first time since 2013. The aging VW Polo – a new model will be launched during the fourth quarter of 2017 – was again the favorite foreign car model of the French.
The three cars slipping out of the top ten list were the Citroen C3 II, the Citroen C4 II Picasso (8th to 16th) and the Renault Twingo (9th to 11th).