Shopping list

French cars back on the shopping list

IT HAS NOT been the best of years for French automakers, as the recent pandemic outbreak hit at a time when Renault was unsettled by its alliance with Nissan, when the march of electric vehicles began and left behind. its three major players, and Australian sales were affected by changes in distributor and dealer networks. And then there were the submarines.

This year, in the five months leading up to the end of May, things are looking up. It’s particularly good news for Citroën, up a staggering 222.4% this year – albeit from a small base – compared to the corresponding five months of 2021.

It sparked strong buyer interest in the C5 Aircross mid-size SUV, with sales up 176.5%; the C3 light sedan which found 49 buyers this year (up 69% from last year); and the new C4 small crossover model with 62 sales.

Citroën and its brother Peugeot changed importers in mid-2017 for Inchcape. Citroën then lost its commercial vehicle range when it switched to Peugeot, which led to a drop in the number of models from 10 to five and a corresponding drop in sales by a third from 2017 to 2018.

Peugeot fared better, largely due to the recovery of commercial products. In the period 2014 to 2021, its sales have fallen by 36% – normally described as a “slump” but in comparison with its fellow French manufacturers, an improvement on Citroën which plunged by 87% in the same period. and Renault which sank relatively modestly. 29 percent.

Peugeot sales in 2016 were 3,129 units spread over 14 models including two convertibles (207 and 308), five SUVs and a sports car (RCZ).

The bestsellers at the time were the 308 small sedan (1,491 sales in 2015) and the 4008 compact SUV (825 sales), the latter being a value-priced five-seater made by Mitsubishi and based largely on its ASX then current.

The same badge engineering was done with the Mitsubishi Outlander sold by Peugeot dealerships as the 4007.

In 2021, Peugeot sold 2,805 units of eight models – including three vans and three SUVs – the best sellers being the 3008 medium SUV (1,172 sales) and the 2008 compact crossover (625 sales).

Of the lineup, increases this year have only been seen in the 508 sedan (77 sales this year to date for a 71.1% increase over 2021) and the Expert and Partner vans. The rest are recording declining sales.

This year, in the five months ending in May, Renault is renewed after recruiting a new importer-distributor to Ateco Automotive in April last year with total sales up 73.6% in the first five months compared to the same period in 2021.

Only the Master bus and the Trafic van posted declines – the others were all in positive territory, led by a 153.2% increase (to 1,443 units) of the Koleos SUV and 507 sales of the new Arkana midsize SUV.

In 2015, Renault had 11 models including a convertible, four vans and two SUVs, and that year sold 11,525 units.

In 2021, it also saw its choice of models decline with eight offers after dropping the Zoe, Clio and Kadjar.

Last year, sales totaled 7099, the best being the Trafic van (2093 sales) and the Koleos SUV with 1937 sales. It is expected to see strong sales for its new midsize SUV, Arkana, when it completes its first full year on the market.