2022 (Full Year) France: New Car Market Overview and Analysis

In full-year 2022, the French new car market contracted by 8% with passenger vehicle registrations in France at historic lows.

In full-year 2022, the French new car market contracted by 8% with passenger vehicle registrations in France at historic lows.
Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo © Stellantis

January to December 2022: new car sales in France were down 8% with the French new car market significantly smaller than two million units for the third consecutive year. Although battery-electric cars continued to gain market share in France, petrol remained by far the most popular fuel for new cars. SUVs are increasingly popular.

→ See also Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands and Top 20 Car Models in France in 2022 for more details.

Latest French Car Sales Statistics — 2023: Market Overview, Brands, Models; 2022, 2021, 2020.

New Car Market in France in 2022 (Full Year)

In 2022, new passenger vehicle registrations in France contracted by 7.83% to only 1,529,035 cars. This was the third consecutive year that the French new car market was smaller than two million vehicles and the lowest total for well over a decade.

According to statistics released by the CCFA total light vehicle sales in France in 2022 amounted to 1,877,107 vehicles. This number includes:

  • 1,529,035 (-7.9%) passenger vehicles (voitures particulières), and
  • 348,072 (-19.5%) light commercial vehicles (vehicules utilitaires legers / less than 5.1 t).

Heavy commercial vehicles (vehicules industriels / 5.1 t plus) sales were flat at 44,016 (-0.3%) sales.

Car market and monthly sales in France in 2022
© CCFA

Like other markets, car sales in France were more affected by a lack of car production due to component shortages and other production problems than a lack in demand. This was particularly problematic early in the year with sales lower during the first eight months of the year compared to the already weak sales in 2021. The outlook for sales in 2023 is more positive although economic uncertainty may add another uncertain factor.

Passenger Car Sales in France by Year (2009 to 2022)

New passenger vehicle registrations in France were as follows in the full calendar years since 2009:

YearSales% Change
20221,529,035-7.83
20211,659,0080.54
20201,650,082-25.5
20192,214,2791.9
20182,173,4813
20172,110,7514.7
20162,015,1865.1
20151,917,2306.8
20141,795,9130.3
20131,790,473-5.7
20121,898,872-13.9
20112,204,229-2.1
20102,251,6692.2
20092,302,398
Source: CCFA

France New Car Sales in 2022: Market Analysis

2022 was a dismal year for the French car market. Sales were lower than in any year in at least the past decade and half and even weaker than the two years mostly affected by Covid. The total car market contracted by nearly 8% with most manufacturers selling lower volumes.

Stellantis remained the largest car manufacturer but sales were down 15% while Renault outperformed the market due to a strong performance by Dacia. Peugeot was the best-selling car brand followed by Renault while the Peugeot 208 was again the favorite car model of the French.

→ See also Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands and Top 20 Car Models in France in 2022 for more details.

SUVs continue to gain market share in France with 45% of new car sales in France tout-terrain (SUV) and 46% berline (sedan and hatchback) — the reference to body shape rather than off-road capabilities.

Fuel Types of New Cars in France in 2022

Car sales by main types of energy in France in 2022 were as follows:

Fuel Type2022% Share2021% Share2020% Share
Petrol568,88037.2667,50340,2774,38346,9
Diesel239,11115.6349,48221,1504,17830,6
Hybrids459,21230.0427,53725,8243,67614,8
— of which plug-ins126,5498.3141,0128,574,5924,5
Battery Electric203,12113.3162,1069,8110,9166,7

Petrol remains the most popular fuel for new cars in France in 2022 while the share of diesel continued to contract. As recently as 2020, more than 30% of new cars in France used diesel. Many of these sales were lost to hybrids, which include the sales of mild hybrids. The market share of plug-in hybrids declined and is likely to remain low as tax incentives change and especially German carmakers have less of an incentive than previously to manufacture these vehicles.

Battery-electric vehicles continued to gain market share with 13.3% of all new cars registered in France in 2022 full electric vehicles . The small Dacia Spring was likely the most popular electric car in France in 2022.

Latest French Car Sales Statistics — 2023: Market Overview, Brands, Models; 2022, 2021, 2020.