January 2013 car sales in France
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default January 2013 car sales in France

    The year has started with a further justification for the "French" car makers to focus their attention elsewhere.

    Year on year, January sales in France were down 15% on last year across the board.
    PSA sales were down 16,1% for Peugeot and 17,4 for CitroŽn.
    The Renault slide was slowed by the contribution from Dacia and overall were down 7,4%

    Among the imports, the biggest player VW was down 24% that is VW Audi Seat and Skoda - Bugatti and Bentley don't make much difference.
    Ford were down 35,3%
    Toyota held in there but Hyundai were up 21,2%

    You can see the clear trend that under economic pressure the French are buying fewer cars with a higher percentage of price driven decisions.

    Once upon a time French cars were designed around French preferences and in an interactive way the French companies were able to influence buyer tastes to their offerings. When they exported, their marques had an appeal to those who wanted to share what they saw as a part of French culture, which indeed they were.
    Today, designing cars for exclusively French or even European tastes is a quick route to operating losses.
    The cars of today and tomorrow marketed under the French marques are designed for transnational appeal, especially in those countries with fast growing economies and high demand from first time car owners.

    These poor sales figures in France should not be taken as a sign of poor cars, quite the contrary. Both groups are expanding rapidly in their offshore markets with a range of products in the pipeline to meet and surpass the competition.

    Renault showed what was in store when they launched the Dacia Logan aimed at Eastern European markets. The French got to hear about it and bought them outside France. Renault went to great lengths to stop them as it was clearly going to cannibalise their Renault branded sales of the Clio and Twingo. Finally, they gave in to market demand and legal arguments by starting sales and support in France. Today, it is a key part of their business strategy in France.

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  2. #2
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    It makes you wonder why PSA favour the outlandish body shapes such as most of the Citoren range and the Peugeot 308, etc.

    For so many years both Peugeot and Citroen introduced technological improvements in the standard range which the rest of the world eventually copied (even the American car makers after 20 years or so) and could be classified as "ahead of the pack", yet now the the PSA range are just "in the pack".

    It's also sad to see that most owners/drivers just want a "lounge room on wheels", and things like Bluetooth, self parking, voice control and reversing mirrors have more sway than the way a car handles or performs. Even ugly cars (most SUVs) get the guernsy if they have the goodies, and appearance has little to do with the purchase decision. The special goodies in the Citroen range are too far out except for the discerning few, and I can't think of anything Peugeot has done to stand out of the crowd.

    Similarly, with Renault some of their car designs appealed to a limited number in the community and didn't make many friends. Certainly in Australia, there has ben a chequered past with distributors changing every year or two, and consequently a loss of focus on the long term viability of the marque in the country. It seems the distributors' passion for the marque may have been driven only by opportunity to make a dollar, and the commitment to hang in for the long term just wasn't there - I dont know whether this might not have been, in part at leas,t the failure of Renault back home through lack of vision or whatever.
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Re: January 2013 car sales in France

    Vision depends on where you are standing. The view from Paris or Tokyo is of China, India and South America were most of the world's population that does not yet have cars, live. They have local rules to annoy importers, but their sales potential makes it worthwhile to comply.

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