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 2014-Q1 Midsized MPV segment

citroen-c4-picasso-new-genSales of midsized MPVs in Europe are relatively stable in the first quarter of 2014, down just 1% while the market is up 7%. However, similar to the small MPV segment, there are only four models out of the 15 contenders, to increase their sales. That means lots of changes in the ranking, and the big news of the midsized MPV segment is the change of leadership. Whereas the French midsized sedans, hatchbacks and station wagons are all down for the period, they are in control of this segment: Citroën, Peugeot and Renault have increased their combined market share of the segment from just over 40% in the first quarter of 2013 to 46,5% in 2014.

The Citroën C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso come from 4th place in 2013 to take over the lead from the Renault Scenic thanks to the new generations with their funky design. The Scenic is now even threatened by the Volkswagen Touran, both models that seem to have been around for ages, being kept alive with a handful of facelifts, while surprisingly the much fresher Ford C-Max is the biggest loser in the top 5.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 Small MPV segment

Nissan-Note-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of small MPVs in Europe are up by 10% in the first three months of 2014, continuing to outperform the overall market. But the success is not shared equally between the models. In fact, only 4 out of the 13 models in this segment were able to increase their sales compared to the first quarter of 2013. Besides that, the segment’s growth of just over 11.000 units can be wholly attributed to the new generation Nissan Note, up 11.236 sales compared to the outgoing model last year. As a result, the Note has jumped into second place of the segment, coming out of nowhere (well, 6th position) in 2013.

The Fiat 500L keeps the lead of the segment, growing another 46% on its first quarter of 2013 sales. With the Note moving into second place, the Ford B-Max is pushed down to third, but can feel the Citroën C3 Picasso and Opel/Vauxhall Meriva breathing down its neck. In fact, both the C3 Picasso and the Meriva outsold the B-Max in February. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 midsize segment

Opel-Insignia-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of midsized cars in Europe are down slightly again in the first quarter of 2014, after declining already 22% in the full year 2013. No change at the top, with the Volkswagen Passat still firm in the lead, although no longer selling twice as much as the number two of the segment.

In fact, the new generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, helped by more fuel efficient engines, is the second fastest improving model of the segment, right behind the venerable Ford Mondeo. The outgoing Mondeo is in sell-out mode to prepare for the arrival of the new generation, at last. That model has been on sale in the United States as the Ford Fusion since 2012, but the European market introduction was delayed due to the closure of the Ford Factory in Gent, Belgium and the subsequent migration of the production to Valencia in Spain. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 compact segment

Volkswagen-Golf-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of compact cars in Europe are growing slightly faster than the market in the first quarter of 2014, up 8% while the overall market is up 7%. And whereas the growth in the subcompact segment can be fully attributed to the Renault-Nissan alliance, the compact segment’s growth is fully thanks to the VW Group’s compact platform with the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon increasing their first quarter sales by a combined 45.628 units, while the whole segment grows by 43.314 sales.

The Golf doesn’t just increase its stranglehold on the segment, it’s actually the biggest gainer in absolute figures, adding almost 19.000 units to its first quarter sales, still outselling its nearest competitor by a 2-to-1 margin.

The new generation Octavia is moving into previously unthinkable territory, surpassing the Opel/Vauxhall Astra to jump onto the segment podium. To make this performance even more incredible, the Octavia outsold the Ford Focus both in January and February to become the second best selling car of the European compact segment! … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 Subcompact segment

dacia-sandero Sales of subcompact cars in Europe are back in positive territory in the first three months of 2014, up 5% after a similar decline in 2013. Surprisingly, over 25.000 units of the segment’s growth of 30.573 units is accounted for by Dacia, thanks to the very successful model changeovers of the Sandero and Logan, and the equally successful market introduction of the brand in the United Kingdom. Adding the sales increases of the other Renault-Nissan group B-segmenters Renault Clio and Zoe and Nissan Micra, we can conclude that the rest of the segment combined shows a net loss. What an amazing performance for the French-Romanian Dacia brand!

Also impressive is the fact that the Ford Fiesta is increasing its lead over the Renault Clio, although sales of the latter may be slightly cannibalized by its small crossover sibling Captur. The same can be assumed for the Peugeot 208, already down on last year, probably due to the successful introduction of the 2008 small crossover.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 Minicar segment

Fiat-500-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of minicars in Europe are growing again in the first quarter of 2014 after a slight decline in 2013, although the growth is still behind other segments, at 3% vs. 7% for the whole market. Forecasts for this segment are showing a 20% growth in the next three years, thanks to new arrivals like the Renault Twingo, the PSA-Toyota triplets and the Smart Fortwo this year . As a result of this product offensive, 6 out of the top 15 models will be either all-new or just refreshed by the end of 2014, and 13 out of the top 20 will have been renewed or refreshed in the last four years. Another reason for the expected boom in this segment is the rebound of sales in Italy, which is Europe’s largest minicar market. Italy has been in a sales slump in the last couple of years, dipping to levels not seen since the 1960’s.

The Fiat 500 is holding on to the first position it took from the Fiat Panda last year. After 2 months, the Panda was in the lead of the segment, but the 500 had an excellent month of March, outselling its sister by almost 7.000 units. This underscores the popularity of the 500 in the UK, where the model regularly scores a monthly top-10 position. It was the 8th best selling car in the UK in March, which is traditionally by far the biggest selling month of the year, thanks to the changeover to the new license plates.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 Passenger Van segment

Volkswagen-Caddy-Life-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of small van-derived cars (or Ludospace in French) in Europe are up 3% in the first three months of 2014, after a slight decline of 4% over the full year 2013. Traditionally, the cargo versions of these cars sell much better than their passenger versions, but there is a loyal and happy customer base of people looking for an affordable and spacious no-frills car, and who don’t mind the lack of refinement and the utilitarian looks.

The ranking is relatively stable, as the top six has stayed in the same position as they were at the end of last year. That means the Volkswagen Caddy Life is still in the lead after the Citroën Berlingo Multispace enjoyed a short stint at the top position in the beginning of 2013. The margin between the numbers one and two is less than 100 sales, so it should be interesting to see if the Berlingo can keep up this pace until the end of December.

The Peugeot Partner Tepee is still in third, down 5% and threatened by the Renault Kangoo which sees sales increase 21% thanks to its facelift. … Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis March 2014

Jaguar-F_type-Land_Rover-Range_Rover-sales-March-2014In March 2014, European car sales increased 10,4% to 1.489.796 vehicles, bringing first quarter sales up 8,1% to 3.353.180. March marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth, which is starting to recover from the crisis that hurt the European car market in the past few years, as sales have decreased every year since 2007, losing more than 22% of its total volume.

As usual in March, the UK has a big influence on the brand rankings because of the twice-annual registration plate change, which gives UK-oriented brands Ford, Vauxhall(/Opel), Honda, Nissan and Jaguar-Land Rover a single month boost compared to brands that are relatively weak in the United Kingdom. In fact, over 31% of total European volume was registered in the UK last month, whereas it is usually Europe’s second biggest market behind Germany, at around 16 to 18% of total European sales over a full year.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis February 2014

Fiat-Panda-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeEuropean auto sales in February 2014 are up 3,6% when compared to February 2013, slowing down the year to date increase to 5,7% vs. the first two months of last year. The Volkswagen Golf is not surprisingly still the leader by far, actually increasing its lead over the number two, the Renault Clio, passing the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo to move up from fourth in January.

Notice the return of the Fiat Panda to the Europe top-10 at 8th place, leapfrogging its sister Fiat 500, which has outsold it for the past 8 months. It is also the first month of a year-over-year increase for the Panda, after a 14-month streak of decreases, since December 2012. In fact, the 2.800 unit lead over the 500 in February puts the Panda in the lead of the minicar segment Year To Date.

Another minicar with an excellent month is the Suzuki Alto, up 90% on last February. It’s noteworthy to mention this increase is fully carried by The Netherlands, where the Alto shot up from 562 sales and 15th place in February 2013 to first place and 2.279 sales this year. As a result, over 60% of all Alto’s sold in Europe this month were registered in The Netherlands. However, since this freak event is due to pre-registration of unsold cars, expect the Alto to tumble in the Dutch and also in the European ranking in the next months, until the arrival of its replacement, the Celerio.… Continue Reading …

Luxury battle part three: Audi vs. BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz in roadsters

Audi-TT-Geneva-Autoshow-2014The German Big three BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have faced each other for the European luxury car buyer for decades now, and the fight isn’t limited to high-volume segments. The compact roadster / coupe segment has been a battleground as well, although the three brands have followed entirely different strategies for this segment. Each of the three manufacturers has been in the lead of the compact roadster / coupe category at some point in the past 16 years, since the introduction of the first Audi TT.

Audi was the last to the game, as the BMW Z3 and Mercedes-Benz SLK were introduced in late 1995 and 1996 respectively, while the TT didn’t arrive until 1999. But it entered the segment with a bang, saleswise, immediately rising to the top in its first year of sales.… Continue Reading …