The Volkswagen Group continues to dominate the European automobile market with a record 27% market share in July 2014 thanks to increasing sales of the Skoda and Seat brands, and on a much smaller scale Porsche. Its core VW brand meanwhile has taken a large chunk of market share from its direct competitors to position itself as the clear sales leader in Europe.
In the last decade, as the European passenger car market has slumped from a record high of just over 16 million units in 2004 to a record low of 12,27 million in 2013, sales of Volkswagen have shown very little effect from this crisis. VW brand sales in 2013 were just 9.000 less than in 2004, and as a result the brand’s market share has grown from a low of 9,59% in 2004 to a record 12,57% in 2013. This means that VW has positioned itself as the clear market leader in Europe, leaving its three closest competitors Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Renault scrambling for second place, all at least five full percentage points below the German brand.
In contrast, from 1997 until 2001, the top three brands in Europe all had market shares above 10%, and when VW was Europe’s no. 1 brand from 1998 until 2001, it never had an advantage of more than half a percentage point over its nearest competitor.
Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Renault each have set short- to mid-term goals of either reclaiming or maintaining a second place in the European brand charts, fully aware that’s the best they could hope for, as Volkswagen is too powerful to let any of them even come near. [Read more…]