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 first half: Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q2-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_Polo-Ford_FiestaThe subcompact car segment in Europe grew by 6% in the second quarter of 2017 and a similar rate in the first half. It remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin, with an 18,6% share of the total market, at almost 1,56 million sales in the half. The segment is very dynamic thanks to a number of new and updated models, with plenty more to come later this year. But some of the existing models also show continued strength. At the top of the ranking, the top-3 is back to how it was for the full year 2016 with the recently facelifted Renault Clio in the lead ahead of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. The latter two are about to be replaced by completely new generations and should give the Clio a run for its money if it wants to top the segment for a second consecutive year. The new Fiesta is already in showrooms at the moment this article is published and the Polo won’t be long behind. Big loser in the top-10 is the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa with a loss of 16% in Q2 as its 2014 facelift cannot hide that it’s basically already an 11-year-old design. Unfortunately for the model, its replacement isn’t due until 2019. That replacement will be developed on the PSA platform which also underpins the new Citroën C3

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European sales 2017 first half: Minicar segment


The minicar segment continues to shrink in 2017 as has been forecasted by analysts, before it is expected to stabilize until 2020. Since minicars are unaffected by competition from crossovers, the segment is expected remain stable after a second year of small declines. Despite the downturn for the segment, minicars still account for 8,3% of new car sales in Europe with just over 692.000 sales in the half. Fiat retains the 31,5% share of the segment it held in Q1, up from 30,1% in the first half of 2016 and 28,1% in all of 2016. Both of its models, the Panda and the 500, improve their sales and each sells more than double the volume of any other nameplate in the segment. But while the 500 is popular across most of Europe, the Panda remains extremely dependent on its home market Italy for almost 80% of its sales (vs. 30,5% for the 500). Thanks to a strong second quarter, the 500 closes the gap to the #1 position and could reclaim the segment leadership after just one year of Panda domination. The Volkswagen Up! is down by 3% but holds on to its third place, although the Hyundai i10 is closing in thanks to a 10% increase. In the first half of last year, the i10 was in 6th place but it finished 2016 in 4th place before dropping back to 5th in Q1. This may be the year the South-Korean hatchback jumps onto the segment podium.

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European car sales analysis June and first half 2017 – models

citroen_c3-2016-new-generationAfter analyzing the car brand sales ranking for June 2017, let’s take a look at sales figures of individual models. The Volkswagen Golf scores its 14th consecutive monthly loss but remains firmly on top of the ranking. The Renault Clio continues to gravitate at its high level, ahead of the Volkswagen Polo, which maintains a surprisingly high level of sales considering its successor has already been revealed and should arrive soon. We’ve seen similar trends at Audi with the replacements of the A3, A4 and A5, but of course the most extreme example is Volvo with the XC60 first generation which gravitates at record heights in the final months of its career. Despite a loss of 9%, the Opel/Vauxhall Astra is back up to 4th place for the first time since last August ( andup from a horrid 12th place in May) because the Ford Fiesta is down into 9th place as deliveries of the new generation are yet to gain traction. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa cannot benefit from the Fiesta’s demise as it too is down by more than 20% and out of the top-10. That means the Peugeot 208 is now the #3 best selling subcompact car, but even worse for the Corsa: the Dacia Sandero is only just over 400 sales behind, compared to a gap of over 10.000 sales a year ago. The Citroën C3 isn’t far behind these two either.

Fiat_Tipo-2016-sales-forecast-EuropeThe Renault Captur is once again the best selling crossover in a record 5th place for the nameplate, despite a 6% loss on last year. The Nissan Qashqai is stable and keeps its place ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan, even though the latter shows a massive 45,6% increase on its predecessor last year. After a horrid 20th place in May, the Ford Focus is back into the top-10 and is the best selling Ford since February 2012. The Renault Megane is finally climbing up the charts to #15 even though it loses 1,1% on last year. For the first time this year the Fiat 500 beats its platform sibling Panda for 2 months in a row. And for the first time since shortly after its launch, the Peugeot 2008 (#19) is outsold by the Peugeot 3008 (#18). The latter is a homerun for the French brand, as it’s only 2.000 sales behind the Tiguan (#14) and firmly in 3rd place of its segment. The Volkswagen Passat (#23) continues to sink down the ranking and is now only 13 sales ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (#24), although the latter also includes the coupe and convertible versions. The Fiat Tipo (#26) has a third month of 15.000+ sales in the last four, and is closing in quickly on the Peugeot 308 (#25).… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis June and first half 2017 – brands

Toyota_CHR-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeToyota is the big volume winner among brands in June, followed by Fiat and Peugeot, the former of which builds on continuous demand for its 500 minicar, but increasingly on the success of the Tipo compact car. Peugeot scores nicely with its new crossovers 3008 and 5008. In the short term, PSA might regret its acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall, as it’s the fastest declining brand in Europe at double the volume lost of the next loser, BMW. PSA’s luxury brand DS has become a mainstay in the losers aisle this year and shows no signs of improvement anytime soon, unless the upcoming crossover DS7 Crossback proves to be a big hit. The rest of the already aging line-up will have to make do for a few more years, as only one new model launch is planned per year. In terms of relative growth, both Chevrolet (mostly Camaros and Corvettes) and Cadillac (mostly Escalades) more than double up, while Lotus, now under the flag of Volvo owner Geely, also shows a nice growth. Besides DS, we also find Lamborghini and Infiniti among the relative losers. For the latter, the Q30/QX30 duo which has been designed to put the brand on the map in Europe, has now officially and solidly flopped.

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European car sales analysis June and first half 2017 – manufacturers

European-car-sales-graph-June_2017Car sales in Europe increased in June 2017, but by the smallest figure so far this year at +1,7% to 1,52 million. Compared to June 2015, it’s still a healthy growth of 8,2% in 2 years time. The year-to-date figure now stands at 8,37 million sales, an increase of 4,1% on the first half of 2016. This means that in the first half of 2017, we’ve seen only one month of decline, countered by one month of double digit growth, and four months of single digit growth. Of the five largest markets, Italy (+12,9%) and Spain (+6,5%) outperformed, France (+1,6%) showed average growth, but the UK (-4,8%) and Germany (-3,5%) lost volume. New EU member states (+12%) contributed greatly to the overall growth, led by Romania (+47%), Lithuania (+40,6%) and Estonia (+33,7%). Contrastingly to its neighbors, Latvia showed the largest decline at -17,8%. In the first half of 2017, Italy (+8,9%) and Spain (+7,1%) outperformed the market, Germany (+3,1%) and France (+3,0%) also improved, but the UK is into the red with a decline of 1,3%. New member states improved 15,2% vs. an increase of 3,8% for the pre-2004 members. Biggest gainers are Romania at +27% and Croatia at +23,6%, while Ireland (-10%) is the fastest declining market, with only Finland (-1,6%), Latvia (-1%) and the UK as the other shrinking markets.

Fiat_Tipo-hatchback-station_wagonIn terms of manufacturer volume gains, FCA Fiat-Chrysler is the big winner in June, ahead of Toyota Motor and Volkswagen Group, while BMW Group, PSA and Ford Motor are the three biggest volume losers. In terms of relative growth, General Motors (now freed from the burden called Opel/Vauxhall) more than doubles deliveries of its US models, while Tesla Motors and Aston Martin also deliver nice growth on their newly launched models Model X and DB11. On the other end of the scales, Honda continues to bleed in Europe and risks becoming irrelevant if it doesn’t pay more attention to customer’s needs. Speaking of irrelevant brands, Mahindra & Mahindra enjoyed nice growth in recent years on the revival of SsangYong, but the honeymoon is over and the brand appears to have hit the full potential of its current line-up. In South-Korea, there’s already a new generation Rexton, let’s hope this makes it to Europe soon to help the brand continue its growth curve. Like Honda, Subaru treats Europe as an afterthought and also shows double digit declines.

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US sales 2017 first half: Limousine segment

Big shifts in the ranking as double digit growth or double digit decline is the norm among limousines

US limousine segmentSales in the Limousine segment edge up 2% in Q2 of 2017 and grow by 3% in the first half of the year, to 28,587 units. That may seem very stable, but there are big shifts in the ranking as individual models either show double (or triple) digit growth or double digit declines. Actually, there are only three nameplates (four if you include the Hyundai Equus -> Genesis G90 which is basically the same car) that improve, while the other eight decline. And if it weren’t for the Cadillac CT6, the segment would’ve been down 9%. Besides the new Porsche Panamera which arrived in Q1, we’ll also welcome new generations of the Audi A8 and Lexus LS this year, which should help give the segment another boost as the Panamera has done in Q2. But don’t expect them to threaten the dominant segment leader anytime soon.

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European car sales analysis May 2017 – models

Dacia_Sandero_Stepway-2017-European-car-salesAfter looking at the May 2017 car brand ranking in Europe, let’s discuss sales figures of individual models. The first thing to notice is that the market leader Volkswagen Golf scores its first single-digit loss since last January, after 3 months with double digit losses of which April was the worst with a decline of 28,3% (or almost 14.000 sales less than April 2016), although it must have hurt more that the Golf was outsold by the Ford Fiesta in March. The facelifted version is now fully available and VW’s compact hatchback (and station wagon) can continue its dominance of the European car sales charts. In May its smaller sibling Polo was in 2nd place, just ahead of the Renault Clio, both above 30.000 sales for the second time this year. The Polo will be facelifted later this year, the Clio has just been freshened. Meanwhile, the new generation Fiesta is just entering dealerships across Europe and should start to make an impact later this year. For now the Fiesta is stuck in 4th place, ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, the biggest loser in the top-10 at -8,2%.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis May 2017 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-May_2017European car sales returned to growth in May after a one-month hiatus because of a late Easter. In May 2017, just over 1,4 million cars were sold in the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 7,4% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 6,85 million sales, up 4,7% on the first five months of 2016. Of the five largest countries, four outgrew the market while the UK recorded its third consecutive monthly decline at -8,5%. In contrast, Germany (+12,9%) and Spain (+11,2%) showed double digit growth and France (+8,9%) and Italy (+8,2%) also improved with impressive figures. Besides the UK, only Ireland (-7,9%) and Greece (down a horrid 20,9% in May but still in positive YTD) declined, while Croatia was the biggest gainer (+34,1%), followed by Hungary (+28,6%) and Romania (+27,1).


If Volkswagen Group was the big volume loser in April with a loss of more thsn 28.000 sales, in May the company rebounds with an increase of over 25.000 sales, almost as much as the #2 and #3 fastest growing manufacturers combined, Renault-Nissan and Daimler AG. On the other end of the scale, Honda, Tata Motors with its Jaguar and Land-Rover brands and Mazda lose the most volume, although Honda is the only manufacturer to lose more than 1.000 sales year-on-year.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis April 2017 – models

Volkswagen_Tiguan-European-sales-figuresAfter discussing the April 2017 European car brand sales ranking, let’s take a closer look at which individual models are helping their brand succeed or fail. After the freak event in March, when the Volkswagen Golf was not the best selling car in Europe, things have returned to normal in April, although the Golf is still the biggest loser by far in the top-25 wiht a loss of more than 28% on last year. The Golf lost more sales from April 2016 to April 2017 than its rival Renault Megane sold last month (Golf: -13.831 units). And while the Golf no longer sells double the volume of its nearest competitor, it still has a gap of almost 10.000 sales to the #2, as the entire top-3 is down. One culprit for the Golf’s demise is obvious in 4th place: the success of the Volkswagen Tiguan, up 70% to equal its highest ranking ever. Last month’s leader Ford Fiesta is down to 7th place as it’s payback time for its dependence on the UK market, which was exceptionally strong in March, but exceptionally weak in April. The same can be said of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, down 15% into 8th place. We welcome the Citroën C3 into the top-10 for the first time ever, as it even threatens to outsell its recently acquired stablemate Corsa. The Skoda Octavia is back into the top-10 which means there’s only one crossover in the top-10, as the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Captur are both just outside. The Captur is down 14% but remains ahead of its rivals Peugeot 2008 (#14) and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X (#25), which are both down by single digits as competition in the segment has intensified by the arrival of new players.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis April 2017 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-April_2017The European car market declined by 7% in April 2017 as a collapsing UK market exacerbated a general slowdown across the continent which was caused by having fewer selling days than in 2016 due to a late Easter. Still, the almost  1,22 million cars sold in April is still slightly better than the same month in 2015. As mentioned, the biggest culprit of the decline is the British market, which declined by almost 20% on last year as the result of an increase in the Vehicle Excise Duty tax which came in effect on April 1st in the UK. Another part of the explanation for the plummeting sales is that Easter fell in April this year instead of in March, which means dealers had fewer selling days in 2017. Combined sales of March and April are still up by 2,9% on 2016. The UK market is expected to stabilize as the year proceeds, as the effect of the tax raise will wither away. The Year-to-date figure now stands at 5,44 million units, an increase of 4% on the first four months of 2016.

Of the big markets, only the Spanish market grew in April (+1,1%), as the UK posted a double-digit drop (-19,8%) and Germany (-8%), France (-6%) and Italy (-4,6%) also lost volume. This was balanced by positive contributions from the so-called EU-12 countries (+8.2%), the member states that have joined the EU since 2004. The fastest growing market was Croatia (+29,6%), while Ireland was the biggest loser at -24,5%.… Continue Reading …