The months go by and they look alike for the new car market in France. Like last April, new passenger car sales fell by 10.09% in May compared to the same period last year, reaching 126,813 new registrations (141,040 in May 2021).
If we compare it with 2019, the last year before the arrival of the health crisis, the finding is even more worrying. Only 600,897 new car registrations in the first 5 months of 2022, 35.8% less than in the same period in 2019. It is true that the Covid-19 had a real impact on the sector, but this crisis cannot be solely responsible for this collapse.
The electric car continues to rise
In fact, there are many factors responsible for this drop in sales in the French market. More than Covid, the semiconductor crisis and the war in Ukraine are slowing these sales considerably. Also, the price of new vehicles and the transition to so-called cleaner mobility have a real impact.
+ 7000 euros, is on average the increase in prices of new models recorded for ten years. At the same time, inflation was confirmed at 5.2% in May and the trend is expected to deteriorate further in the coming months according to INSEE. Therefore, it is difficult for households to pay and pay at least 30,000 euros for an electric city car that does not offer the same advantages as a family thermal vehicle in terms of price, habitability and autonomy.
However, the figures are proof of this, the electric vehicle continued to grow in May 2022 (+ 32%) and reached a market share of 12%. The democratization of electricity and the increasingly varied supply allow this increase in sales, it remains to be seen whether the reduction in the ecological bonus planned for next month will affect the market share of the electric vehicle.
Diesel continues to fall, long-term rental is enticing in France
Not surprisingly, diesel continues to fall. -28% last May, the market share of the diesel vehicle fell to 18%, only 6 points more than the electric, and much less than the share of the hybrid vehicle which reached 29%, and almost rubs with gasoline. (36%). Keep in mind, however, that the plug-in hybrid vehicle is increasingly sloppy (-13%), the difficulty of finding recharging points could be the cause, as we saw during our last survey.
On the other hand, long-term rental formulas attract French people as they account for 61% of all registrations. These offers no longer only benefit professionals and help build customer loyalty, such as Renault and its various LLD offers.
Almost 50% of Renault and Peugeot losses in 2022 compared to 2019
Apart from the Hyundai Group, which saw its sales increase by 16.65% in May 2022 compared to May 2019, the rest of the automotive groups suffered a decline, more or less significant depending on the brand. At Renault and Peugeot, since the beginning of 2022, the fall in sales of new vehicles has exceeded 40% compared to the same period in 2019. -44.18% for the Stellantis Group, when the Renault Group sold nearly 100,000 fewer vehicles (232,203 in 2019 compared to 138,738 in 2022). If the diamond’s value-creating policy can account for part of this decline in sales, the various crises are obviously the main culprits.
In the single month of May 2022, Stellantis recorded an even bigger drop (-45.74%) with 40,034 new registrations, but maintained its sales lead ahead of its competitor Renault, which fell by 33, 19% compared to May 2019.
After a record year, the second-hand market is also suffering from the crisis
With strong growth in 2021, the used car market has also been falling for 6 months (-4.5% last May). With 450,650 transactions made in May, there are disparities depending on the age groups of the vehicles. More expensive, newer models have a bigger drop than older models that do not show any decline, as they are less expensive.
Once again, history is sure to repeat itself, in the coming months nothing is announced that could reverse the trend and restart sales of new vehicles. So we have to wait for more descents, but how far will they go?