French True Fleets hit a full year growth milestone in April and currently show no overt signs of stopping at the moment. Total Market for France in April stood at a healthy 187,000 registrations, a + 9.0% in terms of growth. The private channel with a 15.5% growth was the biggest contributor, both in terms of growth and volume, but True Fleets certainly pitched in with its own + 8.8% and, unlike the Private Market, has maintained the positive growth for 12 months now. Special Channels finished down 0.5%, but this is not a bad thing for an obviously positive market less in need of the tactical registrations that the channel predominantly provides.
On a top 10 OEM level the overall performance belies the facts that for some it was not so great a month. Peugeot retook the top spot it lost to Renault in March and this came from a 20.1% surge over April 2016 figures, thanks unsurprisingly to the SUVs. The 3008 which was already pretty established last April pushed its registrations up by 27.5% and the 5008 hit its eighth straight month of 4‑digit registration volume in True Fleet.
Already mentioned Renault were relegated to the 2nd spot with Citroën taking the final podium place of 3rd, while VW in 4th also struggled to reap any major benefit from the overall upswing. Ford in 5th though was a different story, continuing to muscle its way up the rankings it secured the 5th spot with a + 26.1% and its 8th month of positive growth. Its shining star at the moment is definitely the Mondeo and the Hybrid version no less, so while Fiesta had a good month the Mondeo’s was stellar with a + 409.3%. No doubt the other side of English Channel would certainly like to be getting some of their French counterparts’ growth percentages. The Germans took the next three places with Audi in 6th, followed closely (only 27 registrations) by Mercedes in 7th while BMW slipped 2 places from April 2017 into 8th.
The final two were actually the biggest growers inside the top 10 for April. Fiat recorded a + 42.1% with the 500 and 500X leading their charge. Toyota was #1 in terms of growth with a + 47.7%, their surge led by the Yaris, C-HR, Auris and Aygo, with Hybrids (apart for Aygo) dominating those registrations. It does seem that French True Fleet is really embracing the Hybrid drivetrain, whether this is due to bonus-malus, in preparation for stricter emissions or a bit of both, the fuel type is up 82.5% for April or 45.5% YTD (year-to-date).
True Fleets sub channel: Long Term Rentals
The sub channel of Long Term Rentals (LLD – Location Longue Durée) in France continues its growth in 2018 up by 16.1% YTD, while the continuing stream of offers from leasing companies alongside the convenience that LTR provides, means we are unlikely to see this trend abate just yet. Not unusually the French manufacturers play their role but it also seems that foreign players are pushing the channel growth and with some significant gains year-to-date.
Inside the top 10 there appears to be four brands that are currently on the ascension, Ford has delivered the highest growth with a + 58.1%, while home brand Peugeot follows with a + 51.2%. Fiat was the next highest with a + 50.7% while the German (albeit French-owned) brand of Opel managed a + 38.6%. The top models from each of these brands were a mixed bag in terms of vehicle segments, Peugeot unsurprisingly was riding the SUV trend – 3008, Ford was successful in the Middle Class – Mondeo, Fiat was playing its strength in the Mini Car – 500 and Opel was driven by the French love for the Small Car – Corsa.