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 2013 Large SUV segment

hyundai-santa-fe-kia-sorento-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The large SUV segment is down hard in 2013, losing almost a fourth of the segment’s sales, an even larger decrease than the large MPV segment, and more than double the loss of the premium large SUV segment, which sells almost six times as many cars as the non-premium brands.

The only model to increase sales in 2013 is the SsangYong Rexton, thanks to the new generation Rexton W that hit the showrooms in 2013. It is still far away from its peak of almost 19.000 sales in 2005.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is still the leader of the segment, increasing its lead over its cousin Kia Sorento, although both are also far away from their peak years. The Santa Fe had its best year in 2006 with almost 50.000 sales, and the Sorento peaked in 2005 at close to 45.000 sales. As you can see, in 2013, the whole segment sold less than 32.000 units.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium Compact segment

Audi-A3-BMW-1-series-Mercedes-A-Class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium compact car segment is the fastest growing premium segment, growing 21% in 2013, to a full-year total of over 720.000 units. Add another 208.000 premium small cars to the mix, and the segment is closing in on a million annual sales.

The segment is on a roll thanks to new entrants and model changes in recent years.

The BMW 1-series and Mercedes-Benz B-Class are already the “oldest” of the top players, as both were renewed in 2011, while the Audi A3, Volvo V40 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA were introduced or renewed in 2012.

As a result, the 1-series has lost the top spot of the segment to the A3 and has the A-Class breathing down its neck, while it sold more than two times as good as the outgoing MPV-styled A-Class.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium Midsize segment

bmw-3-series-audi-a4-mercedes-c-class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium midsized car segment in Europe is declining much slower than its non-premium counterpart, down just 6% in 2013, compared to -22% for the “regular midsize cars” . In fact, at 585.842 units, the premium segment has actually grown larger than the non-premium midsize segment at 563.410 units.

Perennial leader, the BMW 3-series is the only model in the top 6 to increase sales, topping out above 200.000 units for the first time since 2009. This is likely thanks to the introduction of the 3-series Touring station wagon, and the 3-series GT has added a handful of sales as well.

The 4-series coupe has been available since September, yet still outsold the Lexus IS, despite the Japanese model being the biggest winner of the segment, gaining 177% on 2012 thanks to the new generation with the more aggressive styling.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium large car segment

BMW-5-series-Mercedes-E-Class-Audi-A6--sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium large car segment in Europe decreases at the same rate as the rest of the market at -4%.

No change in the lead yet, as the BMW 5-series moves along with the segment, but the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is closing in quickly thanks to the facelift, the most expensive facelift in the history of the brand, helping the model increase sales 9% and to within 1.000 units from the lead. The E-Class was the segment leader in the second half of the year and may steal the lead in 2014 if it keeps up this performance.

The Audi A6 is left far behind, despite being as fresh as the 5-series (both have been renewed in 2011), it is 25.000 units behind the segment leader, whereas the previous generation surprisingly was the king of the segment in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Obviously the BMW 5-series F10 compares more favorably against the Audi A6 4G than the previous generation 5-series E60 did against the A6 4F.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Limousine segment

mercedes-s-class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The limousine segment in Europe is down 19% in 2013, and the ranking is shuffled as buyers in this segment tend to be sensitive to having the freshest model on the market. Image is an important factor when you are paying north of 100.000 euros for a luxury sedan. The German premium brands traditionally rule this segment, and in 2013, 86% of limousines sold in Europe are German. This is by counting Rolls Royce as a British brand, despite its BMW ownership.

The newly introduced Mercedes-Benz S-Class is up 20% for the full year, but up a much more impressive 214% for the last five months of the year, when the new generation became widely available. The S-Class sold more than 1.000 units per month for each of the last four months and should be able to build on this excellent performance in 2014, increasing its lead on its rivals even further.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium midsized and compact SUV segment

BMW-x3-audi-q5-range-rover-evoque-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe as a whole is relatively stable: down 3%, which is slightly more than the downward trend of the total market. No changes in the lead (yet), but the top three have moved closer towards each other, as the BMW X3 is down 15%. It will be facelifted this year in order to stabilize the decline in sales. Because of the X3’s downfall, the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque have the segment leadership within arm’s reach. Both sell slightly more in 2013 compared to the year before.

Just off the podium is the Volvo XC60, which has been facelifted halfway through the year, and as a result sales were up every month since July, and full year sales are virtually flat.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium large SUV segment

Mercedes-M-Class-Range-Rover-Sport-Porsche-Cayenne-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium large SUV segment in Europe is down 11% in 2013, as the top 4 all show double digit declines, but a shake-up of the segment will take place in 2014.

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is still the leader by a large margin, despite sales down 17%, because the number two of 2012, BMW X5 is down 22% and two places to fourth position. The M-Class will be replaced this year and the X5 has just been renewed. What this means for a model’s sales in this segment, is demonstrated by the Range Rover, up 82% thanks to the new generation. The Range Rover Sport has been renewed in the second half of the year, and sales are up 70% in the last quarter, so it will be fighting for the podium in 2014. The mammoth Mercedes-Benz GL has also been renewed late 2012, and sales have more than tripled in 2013, retaking its position ahead of the still-going-strong G-Class. The G-Class is up as well, which may have something to do with the publicity around the introduction of the utterly absurd G65 AMG, nicknamed the world’s fastest rolling bungalow by some.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 exotic and sports car segments

bentley-continental-gt-ferrari-458-italia-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013Sales of exotic cars in Europe are down slightly more than “regular” cars, at -5% vs. -2% for the whole market. Compact sports cars are down even more, at -8%, while large sports cars (the “911-segment”) are up 6%, but only thanks to the introduction of a new model into the segment.

In the exotics segment, the Bentley Continental GT and GTC keep their lead, despite sales down 10%, as the segment’s number 2, the Ferrari 458 Italia is down even more, at -17%. The introduction of the 458 Speciale should help it stabilize its sales before an update in 2015 to keep the car fresh.

2014 will be an interesting year for Lamborghini, as the Gallardo replacement Huracan will reach showrooms is spring this year and should be able to get 400+ sales by the end of the year.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Passenger Van segment

Volkswagen-Caddy-Life-Citroen-Berlingo-Multispace-sales-europe-2013The small van-derived car (or Ludospace in French) segment in Europe in 2013 is down slightly more than the average of all cars, at -4% vs -2% for the whole market. 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.

In 2013, every model is down, except for two newcomers of late 2012: the Dacia Dokker and Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi. In fact, with the exception of the segment leader Volkswagen Caddy Life, all models are down double digits.

The Dacia Dokker makes a smashing entrance, straight up to 5th place, within arm’s reach of its cousin Renault Kangoo, while the Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi, which is a rebadged Renault Kangoo stays stuck at the bottom of the charts. It is the second attempt at this segment for Mercedes-Benz, after the Vaneo in the beginning of the new millennium was not very successful either, sales peaked at 15.500 sales in 2002 but the model was pulled off the market after just five years.

Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis 2013 full year

Dacia-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeCar sales in Europe are down 1,8% in 2013, the fourth consecutive annual loss and down almost 16% on 2009 and down more than 21% on 2007. The bright spot is that December marked the largest monthly year-on-year increase of 2013 and that growth was shared among all major markets. Over the full year 2013, the UK recorded a double-digit growth of +10.8%, while Spain posted a more moderate upturn at +3.3%, while Germany at -4.2%, France at -5.7% and Italy at -7.1% saw their demand for new cars decline, each losing 100.000 sales or more.

Unfortunately, the sales increases in the UK and Spain are not due to sustainable factors, as the British banks paid billions of pounds in compensation to consumers for past insurance mis-selling, and because of the artificially low interest rates in the UK, most people used that compensation of 3.000 pounds on average as a deposit for a loan on a new car. In Spain, the government provided incentives to boost new-car sales.

If we look at manufacturers and brands, we see Dacia is the success story of 2013, with sales up almost 55.000 units, or +22,8%, helping the Renault Group offset small declines at the Renault and Nissan brands and helping Dacia leapfrog Seat to become Europe’s 15th best selling brand. Mazda also showed impressive growth, with sales up over 22.000 units, or +17,9%. Other notable increases are shown by Jaguar at +15,7%, Seat at +11%, Land Rover at +8% and Mercedes Benz at +5,2%.… Continue Reading …