PARIS -- French new-car registrations rose 0.2 percent in May, with Jeep, Hyundai, Skoda, DS and Dacia recording strong gains following the launch of new SUVs and crossovers.
Monthly sales were 191,705, industry group CCFA reported on Friday. There were 19 selling days in May compared with 20 last year. Adjusted for that, sales rose 5.4 percent in May, CCFA said.
Jeep sales rose by 72 percent with the introduction of the Compass compact SUV. The Kona helped Hyundai increase sales by 33 percent, while Skoda’s gain of 30 percent was largely fueled by the Karoq and Kodiaq.
PSA’s upscale brand DS continued its rebound, with monthly sales up 28 percent to 2,240 units following the introduction of the DS 7 Crossback SUV. Dacia, Renault’s budget brand, gained 25 percent, benefited from a mid-cycle refresh of the Duster.
PSA Group recorded a 9.9 percent increase, which was mostly due to the inclusion of Opel sales following PSA’s purchase of the brand last year. After several months of strong gains, Peugeot brand sales recorded a modest increase of 0.8 percent, and Citroen sales fell 12 percent. Opel sales were nearly identical to last year, rising 1.3 percent.
Renault Group sales rose only slightly, at 0.7 percent, despite Dacia’s gains. The Renault brand was down 6.2 percent.
Fiat brand sales were up 20 percent, and Alfa Romeo 7.2 percent. Overall, Fiat Chrysler sales rose 25 percent, including Jeep’s sharp increase.
VW Group’s Spanish brand Seat saw an increase of 18 percent, although sales at group brands Volkswagen and Audi were down 6.2 percent and 22 percent respectively. As a result, group sales fell 7.7 percent.
• Download PDF, above right, for May sales by automaker and brand.
Mercedes sales rose by 9.9 percent, while sales at Daimler’s city-car brand Smart rose 7.5 percent.
BMW Group sales were largely flat, rising 0.7 percent, with BMW brand down 2 percent and Mini up 2.2 percent. Ford sales fell by 6.1 percent.
Among Asian automakers, Kia sales increased 14 percent. Toyota was up 10 percent. Nissan sales fell 13 percent.
Overall passenger-car sales from January through May increased by 3.5 percent. Light commercial vehicle sales were up 5.4 percent for the year, and 1.9 percent for May.
Diesel sales held steady at 40 percent of the market for the third month in row, after declining sharply by seven percentage points between November 2017 and February 2018. SUV and crossover models made up 36 percent of the market, compared with 30 percent in the first five months of last year.