In this section of the blog, you can find information and opinions about car sales in Europe. Stay up-to-date with which cars are selling the best and what we think future models will do.
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European sales 2017-Q1 small crossover segment

Small_crossover-segment-European-sales-2016-Renault_Captur-Peugeot_2008-Opel_MokkaThe small crossover segment continues to boom again outgrowing the overall market by a 2-to-1 ratio at +16% to 435.000 sales. The small crossover segment is already almost as large in terms of unit sales than the compact and midsized crossover segments combined. And new models will continue to enter the segment, so don’t expect this growth curve to flatten anytime soon. Meanwhile, the Renault Captur holds on to the segment leadership it has held ever since its launch, but does so by the skin of its teeth. With sales virtually stable as a facelift is imminent, the Captur feels the already facelifted Peugeot 2008 breathing down its neck thanks to an 18% increase, now just 1.200 sales behind the leader. In third place we stil find the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X, up 12% and distancing the top-3 players from the rest of the segment.

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European sales 2017-Q1 large MPV segment

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q3-Ford_S_Max-Volkswagen_Sharan-Seat_AlhambraAfter a strong rebound in 2016, the large MPV segment is back down again by 7% to just under 36.000 sales in the first quarter of 2017. Interestingly, it’s the oldest models in the segment that improve, while the relatively fresh models lose volume. Still, nobody can touch the Ford S-Max, the least practical car of the segment in terms of interior room. The S-Max is the only nameplate to sell over 10.000 units this quarter, even though it loses 2% of its volume. Its closest rivals are the VW Group twins Volkswagen Sharan and Seat Alhambra, both up by 6% and increasing their share of the segment to 41,9% (from 36,9% in Q1-2016). That’s now more than Ford’s combined share of the S-Max and Galaxy, which is down to 41,3% as the latter lost 17% of its volume when compared to the same period last year.

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European sales 2017-Q1 midsized MPV segment

Midsized_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q3-Volkswagen_Touran-Citroen_C4_Picasso-BMW_2_series_Active_TourerSales of midsized MPVs in Europe continue to decline with a loss of 13% in the first quarter of 2017, to just over 200.000 units. Only 4 nameplates improve their volume over the same period last year, of which one by less than 100 units, as consumers are showing a growing preference to crossover models that offer a similar high seating position but are more hip and trendy than MPVs, despite the obvious benefits of the latter in terms of interior space and practicality. Volkswagen increases its dominance of the segment and now controls over 25% of the segment sales with its two nameplates Touran and Golf Sportsvan, as both lose less than the segment average. The Citroën C4 Picasso also does slightly better than average but drops to second place from first in the same quarter last year, before the Touran passed it to take the full-year crown.

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European sales 2017-Q1 small MPV segment

Small_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Fiat_500L-Opel_Meriva-Ford_B_MaxThe small MPV segment in Europe continues to lose volume, with another 10% decline in the first quarter of 2017, to just 78.000 sales. Every single nameplate lost volume compared to Q1 of 2016, except for the single newcomer to the segement. The traditional segment leader Fiat 500L loses share but still accounts for more than 1 in 4 cars sold in this segment. 72,5% of its volume comes from its home market Italy, the highest of the 500 family. Despite almost being replaced by the more crossover-like Crossland X, the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva manages to finish Q1 as the best performer of the segment, with sales virtually stable (down just 28 units). The Ford B-Max with its sliding rear doors is also relatively stable with a loss of “just” 8% and therefore gains share of the segment.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Midsized car segment

Midsized_car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Volkswagen_Passat-Skoda_Superb-Ford_MondeoSales of midsized sedans (and station wagons) are crashing down hard in Europe just as they are across the Atlantic. In Q1 of 2017 sales were down 12% to just 145.500 units in an overall market up 7,8%. Only 3 nameplates in the segment improve year-over-year, and all others show double digit losses. In this depressed context, the Volkswagen Passat holds on to its commanding lead despite a 15% loss of volume. It still sells almost twice as many units as its closest rival, its platform sibling Skoda Superb. The two models increase their combined share of the segment to 46,9%, as the current generation Ford Mondeo just never really caught on in Europe and the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia suffers from its model change. As a result, the Mondeo is temporarily back onto the podium, but will be knocked off once deliveries of the new Insignia pick up steam. Perhaps it can even threaten the Superb for 2nd place over the course of the full year 2017.

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European sales 2017-Q1 compact car segment

Compact_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Volkswagen_Golf-Opel_Astra-Ford_FocusSales of compact carsin Europe increased 4% in the first quarter of 2017, half the growth of the overall market at +7,8%. Total volume of the segment was just over 636.000 sales, which means it remains the second-largest segment in Europe. Segment leader Volkswagen Golf is in trouble with a loss of 11% as it has just been facelifted but also feels some in-house competition from the new generation Tiguan, and possibly even from the Seat Ateca crossover. The new generation Opel/Vauxhall Astra continues to outperform the segment, but is still way too far behind to even remotely threaten the Golf’s domination. Like the Fiesta one segment down, the Ford Focus traditionally has a good start of the year thanks to its popularity in the UK, but its 7% gain is nonetheless impressive considering it is one of the oldest models in the top-6.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2017-Ford_Fiesta-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_PoloSales of subcompact cars in Europe grew by 10% in the first quarter of 2017, faster than the overall market growth of 7,8%, and it remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin, at more than 793.000 sales. This growth is fueled by a number of renewed or facelifted models, but also by continued strength of older models. At the top of the ranking, we have once again a change of guard as the Ford Fiesta reclaims its top position after being outsold by the Renault Clio in the full year 2017. The Fiesta is traditionally strong in Q1 thanks to its popularity in the UK and it therefore benefits from large volumes in March. In fact, this March the Fiesta was even the best selling nameplate overall, even ahead of the VW Golf, even despite being due for replacement this year. The Clio is still the fastest growing model in the top-5 and overtakes the Volkswagen Polo when compared to Q1 of 2016.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Minicar segment

Minicar-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Fiat_Panda-Fiat_500-Volkswagen_UpSales of minicars in Europe lost 5% in the first quarter of 2017 with 360.000 units sold, compared to an overall market growth of 7,8%. Fiat remains segment leader with two models on top, and both outgroing the rest of the segment, to increase its total share to 31,5%. After reclaiming the lead from its sibling Fiat 500, the Fiat Panda consolidates its first place, but once again it is extremely dependent on its home market Italy which accounts for 81,8% of its total European sales (up from 78,4% in 2016-Q1), compared to “just” 31,6% for the 500. In third place we still find the Volkswagen Up!, but the Toyota Aygo is just 700 units behind after taking third place in February. And the Hyundai i10 isn’t far away in fifth place either, after being the fastest growing model in the segment top-10.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis March and Q1 2017 – models

Shock and horror at the top of the European car sales ranking: in March 2017 the Volkswagen Golf is not the best selling car in Europe, for the first time since at least 2011 (our monthly data only goes back to 2012) but likely since March 2010. The Ford Fiesta leads the ranking despite being due for replacement by the next generation, which has already been revealed. This is the result of two factors: firstly the Fiesta is boosted by its strength in the UK market, where it’s traditionally been the best seller, and which is traditionally the largest market in Europe in March, and secondly, the Golf is struggling after its recent facelift with sales down 18%, due to increased choice of in-house crossover alternatives with the new generation Tiguan and Seat Ateca. Still, this won’t be the beginning of the end of Golf domination, expect the model to continue to lead the charts for the rest of the year as it usually does. The Volkswagen Polo is third again, which means it outsells the Renault Clio for the first time since last October. For the second month in a row the Nissan Qashqai is the best selling crossover in Europe, also helped by its popularity in the UK where it’s produced.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis March and Q1 2017 – brands

A record 1,92European-car-sales-graph-March_2017 million new cars were sold in Europe in March 2017. This is an increase of 10,5% over March last year and the highest monthly volume ever recorded. Part of the explanation for the surge in sales is that Easter fell in April this year instead of in March, like last year, which means dealers had extra selling days in 2017. Still, almost 2 million sales in a single month is an impressive figure and it even comes close to the 2,02 million sales in China this same month. March sales are usually around 11,5% of total annual volume, which extrapolates to an expected record 16,7 million sales in 2017. That would be an increase of 10,3% on 2015 and significantly higher than the previous record of 16,1 million sales in 2004.

All five of the big markets showed strong growth in March, with Italy (+18,2%), Spain (+12,6%) and Germany (+11,4%) leading the way with double digit gains, while the UK (+8,4%) and France (+7%) grow slightly slower than te rest of the market. 16 out of the 30 markets showed double digit gains and only 5 lost volume, all in single digits. The fastest growing market was Greece (+49,5%), recovering from its deep recession. In the first quarter, European car sales increased 7,8% to 4,22 million units. Italy was the fastest growing of the big markets at +11,9%.… Continue Reading …