True Fleets with another bumpy month in France, while EVs appear to be rocketing

Frankfurt, 20.12.18

In both September and October, the French passenger car market was less affected by the impact of WLTP than the other big European countries. With a drop by only 1.5% in October there were hopeful signs that this market would maybe return to growth in November.

 

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we saw a decline of 4.7% overall or less than 172,000 registrations. While the Private channel was very stable (- 0.3%), the registrations of Dealerships, Manufacturers and Short-Term Rentals were down by no less than 10.9%. And True Fleets? A decline of 6.7% in November pushed the year-to-date growth rate below 4% (+ 3.8%).

 

Brand performance

Thanks to a + 2.0%, Peugeot was able to expand its leadership. Just five registrations more and the French brand would have scored a market share of exactly 30 percent but the 29.99% was its best ever in the French fleet market nevertheless! Meanwhile, Renault in second position, Citroën in third and Mercedes in fifth suffered losses, while VW (4th) managed a small positive, and interestingly all top 5 kept their positions in the ranking. BMW in 6th (+ 1.9%) gained one rank and Toyota in 7th even two, thanks to a remarkable + 33.4%. Ford (8th) and Audi (9th) missed their volumes from November 2017 but Volvo entered the top 10 with a stunning + 37.1%. The biggest support for the Swedish manufacturer came from two SUV models; the XC60 (delivering an impressive + 52.6%) and the all-new XC40 which pushed Volvo’s market share to a new record of 2.1%. Opel in 11th place missed the top 10 but once again have been showing a noteworthy consistency. Over the last 16 months their market share has always ranged between 1.7% and 2.1%.

 

Segment performance

The SUV subsegments Small and Medium continued their rise and both scored new record shares (10.2% and 10.0% respectively). The group of small SUVs was led by Peugeot’s 2008 and eight out of the top 10 models showed increasing figures, some of them even with three-digit growth rates when compared to November last year.

 

Speaking of growth rates: the biggest increase by percentage came from a segment you might not have expected. It was the Mini Car class with a + 46.1%. The full electric models Peugeot Ion and Citroen C-Zero made an especially huge jump, ranking fourth and fifth in the segment behind Renault Twingo, Fiat 500 and Smart ForTwo (of which a third was the Electric Drive version). But there was another EV with an outstanding result; the Renault Zoe with + 150.8% and ranking 10th overall (!). Consequently, it wasn’t a big surprise that the share of EVs was the highest ever in the French Fleet Market (4.1%). This is significantly higher than in the Private sector (only 1.6% in November and 1.2% year-to-date) while the percentage of Hybrids is pretty similar between companies and private households.

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