Dacia is the number three brand in France for the first time in history. Photo largus.fr
Update 22/06: Now with the Top 150 models.
New car sales in France slowed their fall in May to -10.1% to 126,813 units compared to -22.6% in April. The market is down -34.6% compared to pre-pandemic April 2019 (193,948). This is the 12th consecutive month of decline over one year in France. Year-to-date, sales are down -17% to 600,897 but down -35.8% compared to the same period in 2019. BEV sales are up 32% to 12% share, HEVs are up 3% to 29% of the market versus 36% for gasoline sales. However, PHEV sales are down 13% while diesels are down 28% to 18% share. Long-term rentals now represent 61% of the market, with 54% of private buyers opting for this option. According to AAA Data, this type of “purchase” promotes brand loyalty: 84% of long-term lease buyers renew their lease with the same brand.
In the brand rankings, Renault (-12.2%) regained first place for the first time since last December with an 18.1% share. Peugeot (-8.3%) has fallen back to second place but is holding up better than last year. We have a rare event in third place: Dacia (+4.2%) swims upstream and reaches third place for the first time in French history. The Franco-Romanian low-cost brand benefits from a particularly bad month for Citroën (-29.5%): it falls to 6.8% share, which we believe is Citroën’s lowest home market share in over 100 years., its previous low being 7.4% in December 2017. See all French historical data here. Originally launched in 1919, the Citroën brand was an immediate success, importing into France the industrial production methods pioneered by Henry Ford. Its first vehicle, the Type A, was the first mass-produced car in Europe and went from only 2,810 units in 1920 (or 4% of a booming post-war market) to 12,244 in 1921, which already represented about 20% of the French market at the time.
The Renault Arkana reaches a record 7th place at home this month.
Volkswagen (-32.5%) is also hit hard but remains in 5th place with a 5.8% share just above Toyota (-6.2%) which is resisting better than the market. Hyundai (+30.1%) is the best performer in the Top 10, reaching 7th place, an all-time high also achieved in July 2021 and January 2022. Hyundai also broke its all-time market share record at 3.7%. Mercedes (+7.5%), BMW (+5%) and Fiat (+19.7%) close the Top 10 in a resounding manner. Below that, we notice that Mitsubishi (+257%), Cupra (+91.8%), Nissan (+60.8%), Opel (+18.6%) and Kia (+15.1%) are all up double digits in the rest of the Top 30. On the other hand, Volvo (-62.4%), Land Rover (-58.1%), Seat (-57.3%) and Lexus (-36.6%) are all down. Newcomer Lynk & Co. moved up four places to 26th place, overtaking its compatriot MG (-26.2%). This month, we welcome Mobilize, the Renault Group’s carpooling company, at number 38.
In terms of models, the Peugeot 208 (+15.3%) easily retains the top spot for the 6th consecutive month with 5.7% of the market, while its nemesis, the Renault Clio (-30.8%) moves up 7 places after a catastrophic month of April, to 2nd place and 4.8% of the market. However, the Clio remains in third place since the beginning of the year, behind a Citroën C3 (-25.3%) which falls to eighth place for the month. The Dacia Sandero (-26.7%) is back on the podium with 3.6% market share, knocking the Peugeot 308 III into fourth place. The Peugeot 2008 (-38.7%) is ahead of the Renault Captur (-24.4%). The Renault Arkana (+269.8%) has reached the record of 7th place, also reached last September, while the Fiat 500 (+43.4%) remains in the Top 10 and recovers the title of best-selling foreign car since the beginning of the year. It’s the swan song for the Renault Kadjar (+121.2%), which moves up 12 places from April to 13th, thanks to significant discounts, as the model ends its career with the arrival of its replacement, the Austral. The Toyota Yaris Cross gains two places compared to last month to reach the 14th position and is now ahead of the Yaris (-36.7%). It is the most popular recent launch ahead of the Dacia Jogger (#29), the Toyota Aygo X (#41), the Renault Megane V (#44) – both models entering the French Top 50 for the first time, the VW Taigo (#47), the DS 4 (#64) and the Lynk & Co 01 (#65)
Previous month: France April 2022: Market down -22.6%, Peugeot 308 III on the podium, Ford Puma in the Top 10
One year ago: France May 2021: Renault Clio V and Dacia Sandero III lead the market: +46.5% compared to 2020 but -27.3% compared to 2019.
Top 55 all makes and Top 150 models of May 2022 below.