Mythbuster: French drivers prefer to buy French cars

In this column we look at the ‘truths’ that everyone ‘knows’ about France

21 March 2018

This one is true. It is not unusual for domestic car makers to dominate in their own market but France is unusual in just how dominant French firms are...with not one foreigner in the 2017 top 10.

In fact the first ‘non-French’ car is the VW Polo at No13.

Compare this to the UK, where four of the top 10 were German and one was Japanese, although the Nissan Qashqai is UK-built.

The French top 13 list, with the bestsellers first, comprises Ren­ault Clio, Peugeot 208, Peugeot 3008, Citroën C3, Renault Cap­tur, Peugeot 2008, Peugeot 308, Dacia Sandero, Renault Még­ane, Renault Scénic, Citroën C4 Picasso, Renault Twingo and VW Polo.

Even though the No8 Dacia San­dero was built in Romania by the Ren­ault subsidiary all the others were built in France. Or maybe not all, researchers at Inovev found the Clio was ‘essentially’ made in Turkey; like the 208 and C3 in Slovakia, the Twingo in Slovenia and the C4 Picasso, Mégane and Cap­tur in Spain...

The No3 seller, the Peugeot 3008 is, however, all made in France like the 2008 and 308.

 The 3008 is the No2 most- manufactured car in the country with 212,487 models made.The most-manufactured car in 2017 was the Toyota Yaris, with 233,652 made in Hauts-de-France (31,418 sold in France).

European buyers also buy French. Last year VW took 24.6% of Euro­pean sales but Renault and PSA (Peugeot and Citroën) were next with combined sales of 21.7%.

Buyers recognise the cars are good, making it easier to be patriotic. There is also a national dealer network with top back-up plus reactive manufacturers providing work for nearly half a million people.

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