“An unprecedented upheaval in 50 years”: Occitanie is not immune to the sharp decline in the French car market

Regionally, the number of registrations fell by 6% on average. A more noticeable decrease compared to 2019, the last year of reference.

New car registrations in France fell by 8% in 2022, reflecting a still sluggish automotive market with 1,529,035 passenger cars put into circulation in 2022, compared to 1,659,003 in 2021.

“The sector is facing a triple problem: the availability of electronic components, the difficulties in delivering vehicles due to the lack of drivers, aggravated by the war in Ukraine, the increase in the cost of materials and too expensive fuel”examined François Roudier, of the Automotive Platform (PEA), during the balance.

And Occitania is no exception to the rule. With 123,632 new vehicles registered in 2022, the region recorded a decrease of 6%. A figure that is however weighed down by a less marked decrease in the two departments where the volumes are the most important: Haute-Garonne (31,982 registrations; – 2%) and Hérault (25,626; – 4.1%). In other territories of Eastern Occitanie, the destruction is greater: – 6% in the Gard (16,072); – 7% in Lozère (1,115); – 8% in Aveyron (4,816); – 10% in Aude (7,492); – 11% in Pyrénées-Orientales (11,224).

– 27.5% since 2019

The data is even more significant compared to the previous year of reference, the one before the Covid health crisis, 2019. At the regional level, the decrease is 27.5%, a figure that is more or less found in every department: – 24% in Hérault and Gard; – 27% in Haute-Garonne; – 28% in Lozère; -31% in Aveyron and Pyrénées-Orientales; – 32% in Aude.

Car crash…

For the Occitanie manager of the Mobilians (the former National Council of Automotive Professions), Michel Anduze, these figures reflect the national trend. And a time. “Besides all the piled up crises, we are also suffering from car-bashing”, he studies.

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Automotive market: in the crisis, sales of new cars fell by half a million since 2019 in France

“We blame the car for all the evil, which is not always true for example in terms of pollution, and consumers have lost in addition to the visible decrease of their purchasing power without a positive view. However, we have seen in the shows that worked well. in Montpellier or Albi, the passion for the car, the appetite for new models, is still there”.

Electric is developing

The announcement of low emission zones (ZFE), whose aim is to remove cars considered polluting from urban centres, appears to be playing into the market. In 2022, in the region, the number of diesel registrations fell significantly (-26.6%), more than gasoline (-12.1%), when the electric increased significantly (+ 33.2%), even in volume ( 24,009 vehicles), the market share is still low, at 11.7%. A glimmer of hope for the electric car?

“It can play a real role, like hydrogen in the medium term, when we see it as an energy multiplied by ten for coaches in 2022.”, examines François Raguin, member of Mobilians and head of the Koala group, which has 14 dealerships and 360 employees from Nice to Toulouse. His company has stood out especially in recent years, with used cars taking over.


“There was a transfer of turnover, it’s true”, continued Michel Anduze. “But with difficulties in supplying new cars in recent years due to the semiconductor crisis, the stock of second-hand cars has collapsed”. And this is also reflected in the figures for 2022 with a decrease of 10.9% at the regional level (11.2% in France), meaning 597,901 vehicles traded. With a short-term, trend-following view.

“Order books, for both new and used, are not full”, confirms François Raguin. Who still wants to be optimistic for the future. “We will always need a car to get around”he said. “You just have to succeed in adapting to new needs, new ways of consuming”supports Michel Anduze.

This is the case. Today, more than one in two cars is “sold” on a long-term lease (LDD) or lease with an option to buy (LOA). “We should reach 60% by the end of the year”. One proof among others of a “biggest market turmoil in 50 years”.

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