Traditionally the month of July is particularly strong for registrations on private households in France. Since 2012 the share of the Private Market always had its peak in July. This month 52.6% of all new passenger cars were privately registered while True Fleets and Special channels (the latter as the sum of Dealerships, Manufacturer and Short-Term Rentals) were pretty close with shares of 23.6% and 23.8% respectively. True Fleets achieved an impressive surplus of 16.9% over July 2017 which is the highest monthly growth rate in 2018 up to now. As all other market channels increased their volume by double-digit rates as well the Total Market finished with a plus of 18.9% and more than 175,000 registrations. This is the best July in nine years.
The market leader Renault was in really good shape with + 31.5% and almost achieving a five-digit volume on True Fleets. The Megane (+ 57.6%) was one of the main pillars for this positive result. For the first time this year the Renault Megane took the crown in the Compact Car segment by overtaking its main contender, the Peugeot 308. But it was really close as the gap was less than 40 units.
Peugeot took the second position in the brand ranking followed by Citroën with a market share of 8.7% which was exactly the same as in the previous month. The predominance of the French OEMs is a usual scenario in their home (fleet) market to say the least. Since we started recording registration data from France in January 2003 there was not a single month where the triplet Renault, Peugeot and Citroën didn’t occupy the top 3 spots though from time to time Volkswagen was pretty close to enter the podium. With a more than solid + 25.3% in July VW ranked fourth again followed by Audi and Ford. Compared to July ’17 both Toyota (7th, + 32.2%) and Nissan (8th, + 32.9%) gained two positions. This can’t be said for the last two brands in the top 10: BMW and Mercedes both had a tough month with double-digit losses.
Outside the top 10 brands we should not forget to mention PSA’s premium brand DS. Thanks to the new DS 7 Crossback the brand scored its best market share since May 2014 and jumped into rank number thirteen behind Fiat and Opel.
Vehicle segments performance
The success of the DS 7 Crossback helped the whole segment – SUV Medium to be precise – to reach a new record share of 10.0% in July. Partly this positive trend is due to new entries in this segment over the last couple of months (Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Renault Koleos, Škoda Kodiaq to name a few). But some of the already established players showed a remarkable performance as well. The clear segment leader, the Peugeot 5008 scored its second highest volume on fleet customers up to date, BMW’s X3 had its best result since more than two years. Last but not least, the Q5 from Audi even reached a new record volume in July. WLTP and a certain interest in getting cars registered before September 1st might have supported that but in general the second generation of the Q5 seems to hit the taste of French company car drivers, especially when equipped with a Diesel powertrain but that applies for the whole segment with a very consistent Diesel share still close to 80%.