A few months ago, I posted an article comparing French car sales in 1985 and 2014. I noticed it was a very popular article, so I’ll try to find some more countries to find the data from about 30 years back. The first one on the list, and again thanks to Daniel Carrer, is Germany.
While the overall market in France hasn’t grown much in those 29 years, car sales in Germany have increased by more than a quarter, from less than 2,4 million in 1985 to more than 3 million in 2014. Much of that growth can be attributed to import brands, as sales of German brands have increased by only 145.000 units in that period. That means their market share has shrunk from a whopping 72,7% to an only slightly more modest 62%. This excludes brands that now belong to a German group, but which aren’t officially German. If we include Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Mini and Smart, the Germans still control almost 72% of their home turf.
But with Skoda adding over 170.000 annual sales and 5,6 points of share and Seat another 90.000 sales and 2,9 points of share, there are bound to be losers among the local brands, and the biggest loser of the bunch is without a doubt GM’s German unit Opel. While Volkswagen has held on to the #1 spot thanks to 100.000 additional sales, Opel has plunged from its second place in 1985 to fifth place last year, losing almost 150.000 sales and no less than half of its market share in the process. [Read more…]