France 2024. Auto Market Ends Q1 Moderately Up (+5.7%)

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French Auto Market starts 2024 softly. New sales throughout March reach 180,024 (-1.5%). Fiat joins the top 10, growing 6 spots and 38.1%, while Peugeot leads ahead of Renault.

Market Trend and Outlook

After having slowed down significantly in the second half of 2022 and in the first quarter of 2023, on the back of supply bottlenecks and higher energy and commodity prices, French GDP growth accelerated to 0.5% in the second quarter of the year. This was significantly more than previously expected (0.1%). The rebound was driven by net exports, while domestic demand remained sluggish. The European Commission states: “GDP is forecast to grow moderately over the rest of the forecast horizon, as domestic demand starts to recover”.

In 2024 the French Auto Market is still maintaining a strong momentum, despite March decreasing for the first time in 19 months, reporting 180,024 new sales with a 1.5% decrease on the previous year. YTD figures reach 444,902 total sales (+5.7%).

Looking at cumulative data from 2024, brand-wise Peugeot is 1st with 68,021 sales (+1.7%), followed by Renault with 64,742 (+3.2%), Dacia with 39,454 (+2.1%) and Citroen with 35,278 registrations (+4.4%).

Toyota -up 1 spot- with 32,030 (+28.2%) into 5th place, followed by Volkswagen -down 1 spot- with 24,714 new registrations (-15.0%), in front of BMW at 17,194 sales (+24.1%) and Opel -up 5 spots- at 13,104 registrations (+24.7%).

Mercedes gains 5 ranks into 9th with 12,620 units sold (+26.8%) and Fiat -up 6 spot- closed the top 10 with 12,033 sales (+38.1%).

Looking at specific models the Renault Clio becomes best selling car with a 19.0% year-on-year increase in sales. The Dacia Sandero followed in second with a 26.9% rise in volume.

Medium-Term Market Trend

In the last decade the French market has had many ups and down. From 2010 to 2013 the French vehicle-market fell year after year starting from 2.3 million sales in 2010 and reaching the lowest point in 2013 with 1.8 million sales. Following this period the French market began a 6 year growth bringing sales nearly back to previous levels in 2019 (2.2 millions sales).

With the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, causing dealers and manufacturing plants to close down, the French auto-market took a substantial hit, losing 23.7%. This brought sales to an all time low, with  almost 1.7 million registrations.

Post-Covid, sales stayed at 1.7 million in 2021 and in 2022 fell 7.8% to 1.53 million. Lower demand was consequential to the current European sentiment that is pushing more towards EVs, a substantially more expensive alternative for French consumers.

Despite factors that were projected to put negative pressure on demand in 2023, the French Auto Market figures reached 1.77 million sales, up 15.9% from the previous year.

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for all Brands, top 10 Manufacturers Group and top 10 Models.

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