French car industry in March 2012: blind in the dark!

Despite this shortfall, French Automakers (CCFA) are projecting the total year volumes at around 2 millions or -10% vs. 2011. More in detail CCFA predicts a though first half of 2012 and a gradual recovery in the second half. They are blind in this dark time!

Indeed the market was providing different signals: though in March YoY total sales dropped by 23%, those to private customers dropped by 33%. Consistent with car purchase intention reported by Isee to further eroded and at the lowest point in past 5 months.

This was confirming that the increasing costs of ownership, fuel price, reduced spending power (for pension reform and higher taxation), uncertain economic and political future are impacting over the market.

As it appears that French Institutions will not engage themselves in any specific initiatives to contrast this trend, a total forecast of 2 millions vehicles registered in 2012 appears at this junction rather optimistic; even with the new models launch planned in 2nd half of 2012.

Focus2move.com forecast for current year is for a 1.9 million volume, 13.2% down on 2011. This is an optimistic vision where market will decelerate its decline in the second half. However, the new French Government will find a National Budget deficit to tackle and additional action should be taken to reduce National spending and increase fiscal draw, with potential further negative impact over car industry.

The French market keeps its peculiar concentration on domestic Brand, nevertheless the 2012 start was not optimal for French makes: -28,1% for Citroen, -30,0% for Renault and -32,0% for Peugeot (though new 208 to be launched next month). In Q1 2012 share of French car makers felt below 50% of total market (it was above 55% in the same period 2011).

Among volume carmakers the real winners were Kia +26.6%, Hyundai +21.4%, Nissan +7.3% and Volkswagen that was consolidating its leadership between foreign Brands by almost confirming total volumes (-3% YoY) and share of market reaching 8.6%.

Other clear winners were the German Premium Brands.

Renault Clio III was the best selling model in France achieving almost same volumes as March past year: 12.400 registrations, -2.2% vs. March 2011.

Peugeot 207, at the end of his life cycle (due to be replaced by the all new 208 next month) was still able to sell almost 9.000 units achieving the 2nd position in the rank.

Below the Top 20 Brands ranking and evolution of volumes and share:

   

Registrations

   

Share

 
 RankingBrand

Jan-Mar 2012

Jan-Mar 2011

Change

 

Ytd 2012

Ytd 2011

1

Renault

97.095

138.614

-30,0%

19,1%

21,4%

2

Peugeot

81.411

119.739

-32,0%

16,0%

18,5%

3

Citroën

72.220

100.403

-28,1%

14,2%

15,5%

4

Volkswagen

43.438

44.778

-3,0%

8,6%

6,9%

5

Ford

28.747

33.556

-14,3%

5,7%

5,2%

6

Opel

19.289

28.812

-33,1%

3,8%

4,5%

7

Nissan

19.212

17.907

7,3%

3,8%

2,8%

8

Dacia

18.158

26.509

-31,5%

3,6%

4,1%

9

Toyota

15.878

20.144

-21,2%

3,1%

3,1%

10

Audi

14.683

13.785

6,5%

2,9%

2,1%

11

Fiat

12.219

19.504

-37,4%

2,4%

3,0%

12

Mercedes

11.597

8.927

29,9%

2,3%

1,4%

13

BMW

11.163

10.500

6,3%

2,2%

1,6%

14

Kia

8.321

6.575

26,6%

1,6%

1,0%

15

Seat

7.221

9.217

-21,7%

1,4%

1,4%

16

Hyundai

6.301

5.190

21,4%

1,2%

0,8%

17

Chevrolet

6.203

7.151

-13,3%

1,2%

1,1%

18

Skoda

5.428

4.500

20,6%

1,1%

0,7%

19

Mini

5.356

4.739

13,0%

1,1%

0,7%

20

Suzuki

4.216

5.742

-26,6%

0,8%

0,9%

If you would like to download the attached file, you can see the following charts:

1. French car industry (1990-2011)

2. French car production (2000-2011)

3. French car trend since January 2011

4. French: PSA & Renault groups battle for leaderships

 

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