France 1938: Last hurrah before the war

Peugeot 202 France 1938b

Peugeot 202 France 1938bThe Peugeot 202 launches in 1938.

After spending much of the thirties in muddied waters, the French new car market displays a very healthy 11% growth in 1938, passing the 200,000 sales milestone for the first time since 1930 at 205,677 units. This includes 181,637 new private cars (+11%), 22,551 trucks (+7%) and 1,489 buses (n/a). Little did everyone know that 1938 would also be the last year with more than 200,000 new vehicles finding a buyer in France until… 1951. There is one worrying sign at the horizon though: exports are down a harsh 13% on 1937 to just 23,785, while imports are also down 14% to 2,294 units. All-in-all, only 4,720 foreign vehicles were sold in France in 1938, a meagre 2.3% market share. As usual, Citroen, Renault and Peugeot should dominate the brands ranking with the successful Peugeot 202 launching this year.


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