New dark year for the French automotive market in 2022

MAYA total of 1,529,035 new passenger cars were put into circulation in France last year, compared to 1,659,003 in 2021, compared to 2.2 million in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures published on Sunday by the Automotive Platform (PFA), which represents manufacturers and equipment manufacturers. After a disaster in 2020, with closed dealerships and a sluggish economy, the sector did not recover in 2021: it repeated in 2022, despite four months of growth in the second half of the year, both in the new home market and the occasion.

Electric lost from 1 to 13% of the market in 5 years

In this gloomy climate, the share of electric vehicles continues to grow, reaching 13% of total registrations in 2022, compared to 10% last year and almost 1% four years ago. An increase achieved mainly in the cost of diesel engines, representing less than 16% of registrations in 2022, down more than 5 points compared to last year, and in a lower level of petrol, which remains the most preferred category of new car buyers with 37% of the market. By 2022, all-electric cars will pass the 200,000 units mark, 25% more than last year, while the number of plug-in hybrids will drop by about 10%, to 126,549 units, according to AFP . The decline in these hybrids is notable due to a reduction in corporate purchases.

Logistics were disrupted due to a lack of drivers

“We are structurally in a market that has fallen by a third in volume since 2019, due to a series of crises”, declared to AFP François Roudier, head of communication for the PFA. These crises are “adding up”, he explained, listing “the problem with the availability of electronic components, the difficulties in the delivery of vehicles due to the lack of drivers, accentuated by the war in Ukraine, the increase in costs of very expensive materials and fuel”.

“In this context of falling volumes, emphasizes Mr. Roudier, the large equipment manufacturers, with the capacity to invest, bet on the top of the range and on electricity”, betting on a consumer sensitive to the sharp increasing fuel prices at the pump and government assistance for purchasing vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

The chance fell

“The crisis has affected all manufacturers, who renew their fleet less, which also affects the second-hand market, which does not meet the demand”, according to François Roudier. The second-hand market, which started in 2021, decreased significantly (-13%) with 5.26 million units, its lowest level since 2009, according to provisional data from the company NGC Data published by Argus.

Peugeot was ahead of Renault

The podium for the year does not change: Stellantis, the result of the merger of PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS and Opel) and FCA (Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, etc.), remains in first place overall 2022 with 31% of the passenger car market, despite a 14.7% year-over-year drop in registrations. Its rival, the Renault group, remains better, with a 24% market share, and a 6.6% decrease in units sold compared to 2021. Registrations of the Romanian brand Dacia continue to increase ( + 4.5 %), while those of Renault fell by 12%. Peugeot (Stellantis), which passed last year in front of the diamond brand, maintains its lead with 16% market share, against 15.5% for the Renault brand. The first foreign group, Volkswagen, slightly decreased its registrations in 2022, but the market share of the German giant did not change at about 13%.

Dacia Sandero, Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio share the podium

The French’s favorite cars in 2022 are the Dacia Sandero, the Peugeot 208 and the Renault Clio, the firm AAAData stated in a press release. 2023 will undoubtedly be “a tense year in the new car market” in an unchanged context of the crisis, the company estimates, noting the “decrease in orders for new cars in 2022, which will have effects at this year’s sales level.

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