Car sales 2018 higher in France and the Netherlands
It was a good year for car sales in France and the Netherlands. Registrations went up 3% in France, totalling 2.173.481, and 7,1% in the Netherlands, totalling 443.812 units.
In France the growth is due to the French manufacturers, where Renault lost a little bit (-2,48%) but this was largely compensated by Dacia (+19%), while at PSA the rise was a staggering 13,36% overall but this is also due to the total integration of Opel, which was still calculated with GM last year. The PSA Group confirms its number one status in France with a 30% market share.
The foreign manufacturers receded a little bit (3,44), mostly due to the decrease of sales of the biggest foreign brands, like Volkswagen (-1,1%) and BMW (-3,2%). On the contrary, Toyota (+9,9%), Fiat-Chrysler (+12,7%) and Hyundai (+16,5%) were the biggest growers.
In December sales fell back 14,5% (compared to the same month in 2017), as well for the French (-10,6%) as for the foreign brands (-18,8%). According to the committee of French car manufacturers (CCFA), this is partly due to the ‘yellow jackets’ movement and also because many foreign cars didn’t reach French territory on time because of (WLTP) homologation problems.
2018 was also a confirmation of the diesel decline in France. While in 2012 diesels still represented more than three quarters of the French market, they fell back to less than half in 2017 (47,3%) and less than 40% in 2018.
The decreasing number of diesel cars benefited mostly to the petrol-driven ones, hybrid and purely electrical cars only progressing 6% in 2018. “The figures are still small”, says François Roudier of CCFA, “but this will change as the choice of electric and hybrid cars will rise impressively in 2019 and 2020.”
Due to the ‘yellow jackets’ movement the government has withdrawn the supplemental excises on diesel but it has also doubled the premium (to 4.000 euro) for households which swap their old car for a new one and live further than 30 km from their workplace.
“With the newest emission technology, diesel and petrol are at the same level”, explains Roudier, “but the technology makes the diesel cars quite a lot more expensive, so they are disappearing everywhere as the lowest priced cars.”
Dutch continue to buy
While the whole year was already very good, the Dutch customer continued to buy cars in December (20.028 newly registered, 15,3% more than in December 2017). This is also due to the high sales of big (and expensive) electric cars, like the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla’s Model S and X. Their owners will have to pay much more taxes from now on (22% instead of 4% on the part of the price above 50.000 euro).
Most popular brands in the Netherlands in 2018 were Volkswagen, Renault, Opel, Peugeot and Kia. Most popular models were the VW Polo, Renault Clio, Kia Picanto, Ford Fiesta and Opel Karl, confirming the preference of the Dutch customer for no nonsense smaller cars (B-segment).