The French car market will finish the year 2018 bitter. By the evening of December 26, the monthly results announced this a decrease of about 9%, A fourth consecutive decline after September (-13%), October (-2%) and November (-5%). And, above all, a worrying index: the French market is seldom down in December, the month when traders usually make a modest discount to reach their annual targets and receive the premiums granted by the producers.
This sudden reversal of the trend after two extravagant first four months should bring the growth of the French market in 2018 to just under 4%. Not a bad value in itself, nearly 2.2 million new vehicles sold, The record result dropped to 1.8 million in 2013 and has since recovered. On the belief of the first half of the course could be better hope: the market recorded at the end of July an increase of more than 6%.
The consequence of the new WLTP standard
Why this sudden turn? Three explanations can be made. First a boomerang returnsThis was predictable after the feverish hit that hit the French market in August: a leap in sales of 40%!
An unrealistic increase, fueled not by demand, but by manufacturers' desire to hurry up new vehicles before they come into effect on 1 Augustst September, the new WLTP certification cycle, whose new fuel consumption measures are much more realistic than the old ones and would therefore increase the penalty. These vehicles, which are bought via the network without end customers, line up from the back rooms of the concessions under the label "Zero Kilometers Opportunity". And compete with new models: the same at a lower price …
Then this homologation cycle was integrated into the new Euro 6d Temp standard for pollution prevention Every brand is normal to reconstruct their entire assortmentModel for model, engine for engine. But the case was badly expected. At the authorities: filling at the gate of the certification body. From the builders: Consumption sometimes increases too much to keep the punishment from panicking. As a result, several models or versions have been temporarily withdrawn and awaiting a re-registration or technical changes to make the pill more digestible.
Fears about 2019
Finally, the social environment. Since mid-November, the Yellow West block many roundabouts in the cities where the car dealers are located. This context is not conducive to buying a vehicle on weekends, "One of my dealers preferred to welcome the Yellow West, who arranged a roundabout near his home to offer them a coffee," says the managing director of a major brand, and in any case he did not have a customer that day. "
Beyond these punctual reasons, this annual brake calls for the French auto market to reverse the direction of its curve. The reasons would be deeper. Pessimism is not a sales engine, The builders refuse to paint in 2019 in black, But everyone admits that they would be satisfied if sales in the next year remained at the level of 2018 …