After a difficult end to 2022 for the brand in Europe due to production and, above all, delivery problems, it is time to take a first look at sales for this first half of 2023. How has the brand performed in these first six months and what are the prospects for the second half of the year?
It is an understatement to say that the first half of 2022 was particularly difficult for the European car market, with a shortage of components that had a significant impact on car production. This shortage peaked in May and allowed the European market to regain some colour in the second half of 2022, a colour that it continued to regain in this first half of 2023, as its sales increased by 17.6% to 6,588,937 units. . An honourable result, therefore, but which is misleading since compared to a very low half-year 2022, which masks the real level of the European market, still down 25% compared to 2019.
How did Citroën perform in this market? Rather poorly, if we look at the raw figures, as the brand's sales were generally stable, with 196,348 units, representing a slight fall of 0.6%, but this represents a fall in Citroën's market share compared to the growth in the market, which only represents 3% of the European market, excluding commercial vehicles but including the UK. Sales are therefore rather low, due to low demand but also to major problems with deliveries from Spain, which accounts for almost 60% of the brand's production. Although overall production has resumed at a high level as a result of the end of the component shortage, logistical problems remain for Citroën, which is struggling to deliver ordered vehicles to its customers.
The brand experienced two different quarters in the first half of the year. In the first half of the year, Citroën's sales were strong in Europe but weak in France, while in the second half of the year the opposite was true, with sales in France rising while they fell in Europe. This is probably an effect of sales management, which emphasises France in order to strengthen the brand before strengthening it in other European countries, as France represents more than 40% of the brand's sales in Europe. Overall, sales of commercial vehicles were significantly boosted in the second quarter by the Berlingo, which proved to be very efficient and became the best-selling commercial vehicle in its segment, particularly in the UK. The various models in the passenger car range also performed well, in particular the C5 Aircross, which is the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe, and the Berlingo, which, despite its electric motor, is the second-best selling MPV in Europe, again in the first half of the year. Details of sales by model in Europe can be found in the latest issue of Passionnément Citroën magazine.
In the second half of the year, Citroën's sales should recover thanks to a number of factors, including the fact that the logistical problems in Spain are expected to subside, allowing cars to finally be delivered. In addition, the brand's renewed combativeness has enabled Citroën to record very good order months, especially in June, which should have a positive impact on deliveries in the second half of the year. It is therefore a good bet that Citroën's sales will once again go against the market, which could see a decline compared to the second half of 2022, while Citroën could see higher sales.