Archives for September 2014

Chasing VW: the battle for Europe’s second place

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.

Market_share-Europe-VW-Ford-Opel-RenaultIn 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.

VW-Ford-Opel_Vauxhall-Renault-Europe-salesFord, 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.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis July 2014 – brands

Auto sales in Europe are up 5,5% in July 2014 to 1.076.705 units, extending the streak of year-over-year gains to 11 months, and the Year-to-Date tally now stands at 7.882.231 up 5,8% on 2013.

VW-Golf-Skoda-Octavia-Seat-Leon-European-compact-car-segment-salesThe biggest winner in July is once again the VW Group, reaching its highest market share of the European car market ever at just over 27%, with Skoda and Volkswagen as the brands with the biggest volume increases overall, followed by Dacia. Skoda has passed Citroën and Fiat in July to move into the top-10 in 9th place.

Similarly, Dacia is closing in on Hyundai, with less than 1.500 units between them for the third time this year and the second straight month. If Dacia continues this performance and if Hyundai continues to struggle, the Romanian brand may overtake the South-Koreans sometime later this year. The impending model change of the i20 and the continuous decline of the i30 don’t help the Hyundai brand either.

Also in July, Audi has passed Peugeot for only the fifth time in the past three years (and possibly ever), despite the French enjoying great success with their Car of the Year, the 308. However, the Peugeot compact car is still outsold by a more than 3.000 units by its German premium competitor Audi A3. … Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis July 2014 – models

The European car sales ranking for July 2014 shows the VW Golf still reigning supreme as expected, all by itself outselling the full line-up of Toyota. But below the Golf, the Fiesta has reclaimed the second place that it lost to the Clio in the past two months, although it does it by a margin of less than 400 units.

Peugeot-308-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAs the 208 is down again, it’s almost pushed out of the top-10, and is in danger of being overtaken as the brand’s best seller by the brand-new 308, already in 14th place. It would be the first time since at least a few decades and possibly ever that a Peugeot compact outsells the brand’s subcompact cars. And will the 308 also be able to outsell the Opel/Vauxhall Astra (11th place in July) next year, as its predecessor 307 managed to achieve in 2002, 2003 and 2004? I think it will.

Volkswagen-Golf-Sportsvan-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeOnce again, the fastest gaining model in the top-10 is the Skoda Octavia, and (am I repeating myself too often here?) its platform siblings Seat Leon and Audi A3 are exploring new heights as well. Okay, I’ll add something new here: the VW Golf Sportsvan, replacing the Golf Plus, is selling like hot cakes as well, up to 52nd place with 7.432 sales, a figure it will undoubtedly improve further in the next couple of months. As a result, Volkswagen Group’s new modular MQB platform is already closing in on the 100.000 monthly units mark, with 97.198 cars sold on that platform in July.… Continue Reading …