The French new car market grew in October for the tenth consecutive month, but a decline is expected in the coming months, the Automobile Platform (PFA) said on Wednesday. In total, 152,383 registrations of new private vehicles were recorded in October, or 21.92% more than in October 2022, according to the organization which represents manufacturers and equipment manufacturers in the sector.
Since the start of the year, the market for new passenger vehicles has grown by 16.49%, with 1.44 million registrations, almost as many as for the whole of 2022 (1.52 million). But the volume remains a little more than 20% lower than in 2019, before the health crisis from which the automobile market has still not recovered.
“The French market of 2 million cars risks no longer existing,” declared François Roudier, head of communications for the PFA. Some 2.2 million new passenger cars were put into circulation in 2019. And if registrations, which mark the delivery of vehicles ordered several weeks and months previously, have been flourishing since the start of the year, this is not going to happen. last, he warned. Deliveries have been significantly delayed in recent months due to production problems, particularly linked to the shortage of semiconductors which is about to be resolved, explaining the good performance of current registrations. But new orders have flattened (-13% at the end of September, data for October not yet available).
“We are starting to eat up the order book and we will soon finish it,” explained François Roudier, who “thinks that there should be a reduction in the next month.” This is due, according to him, to inflation and the rise in interest rates, to the conservation of cash by companies which represent half of the new passenger car market but also to a wait-and-see attitude among motorists on the choice of type. propulsion for their future vehicle, he estimated.
New energies (electric and plug-in hybrid) continue to progress, representing a quarter of new registrations over the first ten months of the year. “They hit very hard on diesel and are eating away at gasoline,” according to him. Diesel only represented 9.8% of registrations between January and October, or 6.3 points less than in 2022, while cars consuming gasoline represented 37.2% of registrations (-0 .4 points).
The month of October was particularly favorable for the Renault group (Renault, Dacia, Alpine) which recorded 37,470 new registrations, or 30.6% more than in October 2022. The French group represented a quarter (24.57 %) of the private car market, just behind its competitor Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Opel, Jeep), which remains number one in France (28.39%). Stellantis sales increased by 10.9% in October with 43,301 vehicles registered. If the Peugeot brand, which alone represents half of Stellantis sales in France, has almost stagnated (1.05%), Citroën sales have increased by 19.24% and those of Opel, much less numerous, 'a third.
Another heavyweight in the sector, the German Volkswagen group (which has ten brands including Audi, Seat, Skoda, etc.) saw its sales increase by 28.12% with 20,547 cars, including 9,151 from the Volkswagen brand. Sales of the American electric car manufacturer Tesla, which have more than doubled since the start of the year thanks to the electrification of the French automobile fleet, once again jumped by 82.23% in October. The 3,262 Teslas sold in October represented a little more than 2% of registrations.