French true fleet market hits high point for 2018 so far

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The French new car market recorded its best July performance in nine years, helped by strong growth in all market channels including true fleet.

The Megane took the crown in the French true fleet Compact Car segment in July

Analysis by Benjamin Kibies at Dataforce shows overall registrations were up to more than 175,000 units last month – up 18.9% on July 2017.

The true fleet sector was up 16.9% on the same month last year, scoring its highest monthly growth rate in 2018 up to now. Private registrations and special channels (covering dealerships, manufacturer and short-term rentals) also increased their volume by double-digit rates.

Renault occupied the top spot in the true fleet manufacturer league table, up 31.5% with almost a five-digit volume Fleets. The Megane (+57.6%) helped drive the growth and also took the crown in the Compact Car segment by overtaking its main contender, the Peugeot 308.

Peugeot was second in the brand ranking followed by Citroën with a market share of 8.7%, was exactly the same as in the previous month. VW (+25.3%) ranked fourth again followed by Audi and Ford. Both Toyota (seventh, +32.2%) and Nissan (eighth, +32.9%) gained two positions on July 2017. In contrast, ninth and 10th-placed BMW and Mercedes both had a tough month with double-digit losses.

Dataforce also noted the performance from PSA’s premium brand DS. Thanks to the new DS 7 Crossback the brand scored its best market share since May 2014 and jumped into rank number 13 behind Fiat and Opel.

Dataforce also looked in detail at the midsize SUV sector among true fleets, which saw a new record share of 10.0% in July. This was helped by new entrants – Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Renault Koleos, Škoda Kodiaq – as well as some of the established players. The clear segment leader, the Peugeot 5008, scored its second highest volume on fleet customers up to date, BMW’s X3 had its best result since more than two years, and the Audi Q5 reached a new record volume in July.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.