The French car market contracted sharply in August (-14.05%), victim of a calendar effect and especially of an artificially high base the previous year, according to the figures published Sunday by the manufacturers.
According to preliminary data from the French Committee of Automobile Manufacturers (CCFA), 129,259 new passenger cars were registered in France last month, which counted one less working day than August 2018: this explains part of the decline in percentage over a year.
But this is mainly due to the fact that the same period of last year had been marked by an increase in registrations of not less than 40%, the builders having then spent their stocks urgently due to the establishment of a new European anti-pollution standard.
Over the first eight months of the year, the decline in registrations reached only 3.04% to 1.51 million units. The CCFA has so far been counting on a "stable" market for 2019 to 2.1 million new cars put on the road.
On the manufacturers side, the French lost more (-18.02%) than foreigners (-9.68%) last month. The tricolor marks nevertheless remain prophets in their country, arrogating 49.98% of the volumes.
The first French group, PSA, with Peugeot, Citroën, DS and Opel, held up better (-4.86%) than its competitor Renault group (Renault, Dacia and Alpine brands), whose registrations fell by 31, 16%, again a comeback after + 52.4% of August 2018.
Among French brands, only the high-end DS and Alpine saw their registrations increase in August over a year, thanks to the rise of new models such as the DS7 and DS3 Crossback urban 4x4, as well as the "berlinette" Alpine A110.
In the first eight months of the year, PSA (+ 1.13%) posted a much better shape than Renault (-7.87%). The year 2019 is of crucial commercial importance for the two companies that each renewed their high-volume cars: the Peugeot 208 and the Renault Clio.
The first foreign manufacturer, the Volkswagen group loses 14% of units over a year, but here too the basic effect parasitic trend, since its August 2018 was marked by a rise in registrations of 110.3%. Smoothed over eight months, the growth of the German giant is 2.31%, allowing it to approach 13% market share.
Dolphin of foreign groups, Toyota holds nearly 5% of the French market since the beginning of the year, with a growth of its registrations of 6.5%. The Japanese enjoys the enthusiasm for its hybrid engines (gasoline-electricity) in a context of disaffection for diesel.
It thus exceeds Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) whose registrations collapse by more than 20% compared to the same period of 2018, weighed down by the poor performances of Jeep and Alfa Romeo. The Italian-American group only reigns on 4.10% of the French market.
Smile on the other hand for South Korean Hyundai-Kia, with volumes growing by 4.08% since the beginning of the year: it holds 3.76% of the French market, ahead of Ford (3.6%), Daimler ( 3.51%) and BMW (3.5%).
© 2019 AFP