RVs in focus as French car market nears 2m units

October 04, 2016

The French new car market will achieve a major milestone in its recovery this year when it reaches 2m units for the first time since 2011. However this growth may have a future impact on residual values. There were 168,827 registrations in September, a year-on-year rise of 2.5%, which takes the new car market to 1,502,457 units for the year-to-date, 5.7% higher than the same period last year. By the end of the year, registrations are expected to be 5% higher than 2015 which could take the car market to just over 2 million units. As registrations rise, residual values could decline because of oversupply in the used car market, following a similar pattern to the UK, which has seen values fall by between 5% and 10% in some segments following years of increased car sales. Autovista Intelligence analysts say a reduction in RVs will mainly affect brands which are making large volumes of short-term tactical registrations through dealers and daily rental. These typically return to market within a year and push down 12-month-old values. The French registration figures also show a rapid decline in diesel market share, falling from more than 60% in 2014 to 53% for the year-to-date as government and local authority initiatives encourage a shift away from the fuel, spurred on by the diesel emissions crisis and concerns over the impact of diesel fumes on health in urban environments. Sales of diesel cars in France are down more than 37,000 units for the year-to-date, with registrations shifting to petrol rather than alternative fuels. Petrol sales are up nearly 117,000 units. Plug-in hybrid registrations have risen by over 180% to 5,574 units although registrations of hybrids have fallen from 43,576 to 41,086 overall. Sales of pure electric vehicles have risen by 4,312 units to 16,091 for the year-to-date to secure just over 1% market share.

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March 31, 2017

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