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%.

Suzuki_Baleno-2016-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeIf the brands that are traditionally strong in the UK had a great month in March, April is payback time for them, as now they’re suffering from a contraction of that market to less than a third of the month before. That’s right, the UK market was the biggest of the continent in March at 562.000 sales, but in April it was down tho #4 with jsut 152.000 sales. Over the course of an entire year, the UK makes up about 18% of total European sales, but in March this number rises to close to 30% and in April it’s down to just 12,5%. As a result, you will see the brand ranking also hurts the brands that are relatively stronger in the UK than in the rest of Europe, which includes Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, Nissan and the British brands. For example Ford loses 2 percentage points of market share on March and JaguarLand Rover almost halves its market share of the previous month.

In the first quarter, only three manufacturers lost volume, but the tables have turned in April as only 6 out of 21 manufacturers enjoyed sales growth this month, of which only one in the top-10. Surprisingly, small player Suzuki is the biggest gainer in absolute volume terms, followed by Toyota Motor Company and Tesla Motors. In terms of relative growth the three manufacturers that led the way in March also do so in April: Aston Martin, Tesla Motors and DRB-Hicom were the fastest growing manufacturs. The latter has recently sold a majority share in the Lotus sports car brand to Geely, also the owner of Volvo. When the deal has been finalized, the Malaysian manufacturer will lose its presence in Europe, as Proton cars are no longer sold in the UK.

Looking at the losers, we see that in terms of absolute volume Volkswagen Group takes the biggest hit in April, followed by PSA (including Opel) and Renault-Nissan (including Mitsubishi), while Subaru Corporation, Honda and SAIC MG are the fastest declining manufacturers, each losing more than a fifth of their volumes.

At brand level, Ford was the big volume winner last month, but is now on the other side of the scale, as only Volkswagen and Opel/Vauxhall lose more units than their American rival. Similarly, Infiniti has been among the fastest growing brands in recent months including a double up just last month, but in April the brand took a big hit and is among the fastest declining brands, along the likes of DS and Chevrolet (and Bugatti which went down from 2 sales to one). Winning brands in April are Seat, Alfa Romeo and Suzuki in absolute terms, and Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo and Maserati in relative terms.

April winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Suzuki 1.479   Manufacturer biggest volume lost Volkswagen Group -28.848
Toyota Motor 957 PSA-Opel -20.389
Tesla Motors 231 Renault-Nissan -13.445
Manufacturer biggest % increase Aston Martin 63,5% Manufacturer biggest % lost Subaru Corp. -23,4%
Tesla Motors 33,5% Honda -21,8%
DRB-Hicom (Lotus) 17,2% SAIC MG -20,1%
             
Brand biggest volume increase Seat 4.588   Brand biggest volume lost Volkswagen -22.318
Alfa Romeo 2.621 Opel/Vauxhall -11.368
Suzuki 1.479 Ford -10.907
Brand biggest % increase Aston Martin 63,5% Brand biggest % lost Bugatti -50,0%
Alfa Romeo 54,2% DS -44,3%
Maserati 46,6% Infiniti -42,1%

Fiat-Tipo-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThere are few changes in the year-to-date winners and losers rankings, but most significantly Volkswagen Group has been kicked out of the top-3 of biggest gainers by FCA Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota Motor, while Renault-Nissan remains the manufacturer who has added the most volume in the first four months of the year, despite its loss in April.  In relative growth, Aston Martin doubles up thanks to the DB11 and and Tesla almost does so too thanks to the Model X. Suzuki grows almost 25%. On the other end of the scale, the only manufacturers to lose volume so far in 2017 are Honda, Mazda and Subaru Corporation.

Biggest winners among brands during the first three months of the year are Toyota thanks to the C-HR, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Fiat, while in relative terms Maserati is among the fastest growing brands in Europe now. Volkswagen is the big loser in absolute terms while DS has lost the biggest chunk of its volume relative terms.

January-April winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Renault-Nissan 38.251   Manufacturer biggest volume lost Honda -7.719
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles 37.060 Mazda -5.249
Toyota Motor 32.815 Subaru Corp. -1.040
Manufacturer biggest % increase Aston Martin 103,3% Manufacturer biggest % lost Honda -12,5%
Tesla Motors 97,3% Subaru Corp. -7,8%
Suzuki 24,8% Mazda -6,2%
             
Brand biggest volume increase Toyota 32.835   Brand biggest volume lost Volkswagen -14.436
Mercedes-Benz 28.081 DS -9.363
Fiat 26.631 Honda -7.719
Brand biggest % increase Aston Martin 103,3% Brand biggest % lost DS -35,9%
Tesla 97,3% Mahindra  -28,4%
Maserati 86,3% Chevrolet -26,5%

 

Toyota_CHR-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeIn April, the entire top-10 brands are down on last year, and market leader Volkswagen loses almost a full percentage point of share, while Ford and Opel/Vauxhall (both more than average dependent on the weak UK market) also show double digit losses. The latter drops two places to Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz (which is down by just 8 units). As a result, Peugeot reaches its highest ranking since February 2016. Nissan was close to dethroning Toyota as the best selling Asian brand in Europe in 2015, but so far in 2017 the latter has re-emerged as the Japanese behemoth that it is worldwide: Toyota outsold Nissan by a whopping 14.500 units in April, the biggest gap between the two brands since 2010, together with last January, when there was a similar gap. As a result, Nissan is leapfrogged by both Dacia and Kia to its lowest ranking since last August and is the #4 Asian brand in April behind Toyota, Hyundai and Kia. Again, this is also a result of Nissan‘s relative strength in the UK market, which was exceptionally weak this month. Further down the ranking, Alfa Romeo climbs 4 spots while DS loses “just” 2 places.

April brands ranking

  Brand April 2017 change 2017 share 2016 share change
1 Volkswagen 135.303 -14,2% 11,1% 12,0% -22.318
2 Renault 90.219 -4,6% 7,4% 7,2% -4.303
3 Ford 78.072 -12,3% 6,4% 6,8% -10.907
4 Peugeot 75.143 -4,3% 6,2% 6,0% -3.340
5 Mercedes-Benz 72.826 0,0% 6,0% 5,6% -8
6 Opel/Vauxhall 70.039 -14,0% 5,8% 6,2% -11.368
7 Audi 69.791 -9,1% 5,7% 5,9% -6.949
8 Fiat 66.075 -2,6% 5,4% 5,2% -1.771
9 BMW 63.726 -5,6% 5,2% 5,2% -3.812
10 Skoda 56.298 -4,7% 4,6% 4,5% -2.765
11 Toyota 50.093 2,7% 4,1% 3,7% 1.304
12 Citroën 48.035 -6,0% 4,0% 3,9% -3.057
13 Hyundai 38.593 -10,8% 3,2% 3,3% -4.691
14 Dacia 36.678 -3,5% 3,0% 2,9% -1.326
15 Kia 36.165 -4,0% 3,0% 2,9% -1.505
16 Nissan 35.560 -14,5% 2,9% 3,2% -6.029
17 Seat 34.398 15,4% 2,8% 2,3% 4.588
18 Volvo 24.394 -3,5% 2,0% 1,9% -875
19 Suzuki 17.476 9,2% 1,4% 1,2% 1.479
20 Mini 15.636 -6,7% 1,3% 1,3% -1.126
21 Mazda 15.098 -10,9% 1,2% 1,3% -1.852
22 Land Rover 11.910 -17,8% 1,0% 1,1% -2.571
23 Honda 9.495 -21,8% 0,8% 0,9% -2.644
24 Mitsubishi 9.210 -11,6% 0,8% 0,8% -1.203
25 Smart 8.144 -16,5% 0,7% 0,7% -1.607
26 Jeep 8.138 -8,0% 0,7% 0,7% -703
27 Alfa Romeo 7.460 54,2% 0,6% 0,4% 2.621
28 Porsche 6.589 -13,6% 0,5% 0,6% -1.033
29 Lancia 5.881 -16,7% 0,5% 0,5% -1.183
30 Jaguar 4.591 -10,7% 0,4% 0,4% -549
31 DS 3.300 -44,3% 0,3% 0,5% -2.624
32 Lexus 2.855 -10,8% 0,2% 0,2% -347
33 Subaru 2.812 -23,4% 0,2% 0,3% -861
34 SSangYong 1.452 -14,9% 0,1% 0,1% -255
35 Infiniti 960 -42,1% 0,1% 0,1% -697
36 Tesla 920 33,5% 0,1% 0,1% 231
37 Maserati 749 46,6% 0,1% 0,0% 238
38 Lada 391 40,6% 0,0% 0,0% 113
39 Bentley 290 -21,6% 0,0% 0,0% -80
40 Ferrari 257 -36,2% 0,0% 0,0% -146
41 SAIC MG 219 -20,1% 0,0% 0,0% -55
42 Aston Martin 170 63,5% 0,0% 0,0% 66
43 Lamborghini 105 1,9% 0,0% 0,0% 2
44 Lotus 75 17,2% 0,0% 0,0% 11
45 Chevrolet 74 -40,8% 0,0% 0,0% -51
46 Dodge 50 -31,5% 0,0% 0,0% -23
47 Rolls Royce 46 -33,3% 0,0% 0,0% -23
48 Cadillac 43 -23,2% 0,0% 0,0% -13
49 DR 33 -25,0% 0,0% 0,0% -11
50 Mahindra  31 -36,7% 0,0% 0,0% -18
51 Geely 5 0,0% 0,0% 1
52 Bugatti 1 -50,0% 0,0% 0,0% -1

Lada_Vesta-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeYear-to-date, Volkswagen drops into negative growth, as does its sister brand Audi, and Renault reduces the gap to #2 Ford by more than half to just 10.000 units. Opel/Vauxhall also drops into red figures for the first time under PSA ownership. Skoda leapfrogs Nissan to reclaim 11th place, while Suzuki passes Mazda to become the #3 Japanese brand in Europe. Mini is back above Land Rover and Jaguar enjoyed its place above Alfa Romeo for just one brief month as the Italian brand reclaims 27th place. At the bottom end of the top-40, relaunched Russian brand Lada gains another spot by outsells Chinese rival SAIC-MG again and could finish the year ahead of the revived British brand for the first time since the latter introduced the MG3. Both brands are available in a limited number of markets but are looking to expand their presence in Europe in the coming years.

  Brand 2017 change 2016 rank 2017 share 2016 share change
1 Volkswagen 575.633 -2,4% 1 10,6% 11,3% -14.436
2 Ford 389.963 3,4% 2 7,2% 7,2% 12.674
3 Renault 379.872 6,0% 3 7,0% 6,9% 21.586
4 Opel/Vauxhall 344.132 -1,2% 4 6,3% 6,7% -4.273
5 Peugeot 319.200 2,2% 5 5,9% 6,0% 6.805
6 Mercedes-Benz 302.670 10,2% 7 5,6% 5,3% 28.081
7 Fiat 293.308 10,0% 9 5,4% 5,1% 26.631
8 Audi 290.007 -0,5% 6 5,3% 5,6% -1.318
9 BMW 282.564 4,1% 8 5,2% 5,2% 11.097
10 Toyota 244.006 15,5% 11 4,5% 4,0% 32.835
11 Skoda 230.005 3,4% 10 4,2% 4,3% 7.666
12 Nissan 211.601 4,8% 12 3,9% 3,9% 9.783
13 Citroën 207.153 2,9% 13 3,8% 3,9% 5.882
14 Hyundai 171.301 1,6% 14 3,2% 3,2% 2.667
15 Kia 161.685 8,0% 15 3,0% 2,9% 11.980
16 Dacia 148.642 6,1% 16 2,7% 2,7% 8.598
17 Seat 136.131 17,3% 17 2,5% 2,2% 20.074
18 Volvo 104.465 9,4% 18 1,9% 1,8% 8.964
19 Suzuki 81.897 24,8% 21 1,5% 1,3% 16.292
20 Mazda 79.530 -6,2% 19 1,5% 1,6% -5.249
21 Mini 67.816 3,2% 20 1,2% 1,3% 2.100
22 Land Rover 65.715 3,2% 22 1,2% 1,2% 2.014
23 Honda 53.836 -12,5% 23 1,0% 1,2% -7.719
24 Mitsubishi 39.491 -8,2% 24 0,7% 0,8% -3.547
25 Jeep 35.248 0,5% 26 0,6% 0,7% 163
26 Smart 33.878 -9,0% 25 0,6% 0,7% -3.343
27 Alfa Romeo 29.033 39,6% 30 0,5% 0,4% 8.239
28 Jaguar 28.087 42,7% 31 0,5% 0,4% 8.399
29 Lancia 27.354 1,6% 27 0,5% 0,5% 436
30 Porsche 25.513 4,8% 29 0,5% 0,5% 1.169
31 DS 16.746 -35,9% 28 0,3% 0,5% -9.363
32 Lexus 15.043 -0,1% 32 0,3% 0,3% -19
33 Subaru 12.225 -7,8% 33 0,2% 0,3% -1.040
34 Tesla 7.353 97,3% 36 0,1% 0,1% 3.627
35 SSangYong 6.439 -2,6% 34 0,1% 0,1% -169
36 Infiniti 5.224 36,3% 35 0,1% 0,1% 1.392
37 Maserati 3.870 86,3% 37 0,1% 0,0% 1.793
38 Bentley 1.461 29,9% 40 0,0% 0,0% 336
39 Lada 1.405 45,4% 41 0,0% 0,0% 439
40 SAIC MG 1.285 1,5% 38 0,0% 0,0% 19
41 Aston Martin 1.118 103,3% 42 0,0% 0,0% 568
42 Ferrari 1.013 -10,0% 39 0,0% 0,0% -113
43 Chevrolet 353 -26,5% 43 0,0% 0,0% -127
44 Lamborghini 303 5,9% 44 0,0% 0,0% 17
45 Lotus 295 10,5% 45 0,0% 0,0% 28
46 Cadillac 272 3,4% 46 0,0% 0,0% 9
47 Rolls Royce 271 32,2% 48 0,0% 0,0% 66
48 Dodge 162 -20,6% 49 0,0% 0,0% -42
49 DR 154 -7,2% 50 0,0% 0,0% -12
50 Mahindra  154 -28,4% 47 0,0% 0,0% -61
51 Geely 90 1700,0% 52 0,0% 0,0% 85
52 Bugatti 3 0,0% 53 0,0% 0,0% 0
53 Great Wall 3 -91,7% 51 0,0% 0,0% -33

European car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. They exclude vehicles registered as commercial vehicles. Source: ANDC, JATO Dynamics

About Bart Demandt

Bart is a 36-year old Dutchman who's always had a thing for cars, the automotive industry and statistics. He’s combined these passions by writing about them on CarSalesBase.com. His daily driver is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 which he just can't seem to say goodbye to thanks to the mesmerizing exhaust note.
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Why Europe doesn’t like Honda and Subaru? They are both extremely reliable.

    • charles says:

      I don’t like them either. I prefer the brands FCA sells

    • @Todor

      It’s not that Europe doesn’t like them, it’s more the case that Honda and Subaru aren’t focused in Europe anymore. I think it’s a shame too ( i really used to like Subaru, and Honda used to be huge here in Portugal where i live ), but both of them have long decided that investing in Europe doesn’t really make sense for them and instead, put their money in the US market ( with amazing results for Subaru these last couple of years ) and China.

  2. charles says:

    I’m so happy to see most of FCA brands doing well. If Bosch is at fault for the calibrations on FCA diesel motors, FCA need to sue VW+ Bosch. I hope Sergio never talks about mergers again, he need to talk about buying Mitsubishi or Subaru.

    • @charles

      Mitsubishi is part of Renault-Nissan now, and Subaru is part owned ( around 15% if i’m not mistaken ) by Toyota.

  3. I hope you are kidding about FCA. FCA is one of the worst car manufacturer. For the entire 2016 FCA has sold only 4 864 390, which is less than Honda, and Honda is practically 2 brands – Honda and Acura, while FCA is 8 brands – Alfa, Lancia, Fiat, Maserati, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram. For the first 4 months of this year in top 25 bestselling brands in the world Fiat is 15th, Jeep 20th and the rest 6 brands are not even on the table, while brands like ChangAn and Geely are on the table and even Geely outsold Fiat. FCA relies only on two markets – USA and Italy.
    The only worse car manufacturer is PSA-Opel, where all the three barnds have negative sales during first 4 months of this year as Citroen is nearly death, even if you include DS sales to it. Plus PSA-Opel is a company, where government of France has a share, so there is no comparisson here.
    2016 Honda BRAND global sales: 4 774 696
    2016 Fiat + Jeep + Dodge + Ram global sales = 4 309 232
    Alfa, Lancia, Chrysler and Maserati are out of top 50 and even brands like Zotye, GAC GoNow and Foton have sold more than them. So please! 🙂

    • Losange says:

      Nice comparison, but in a way it’s unfair, because Honda sells a wide range of cars in the most important markets.

      In the US, FCA depends on the American brands whereas the European brands are new (Alfa Romeo), niche (Maserati), not present (Lancia) or not fitting (Fiat; Americans don’t buy enough small cars, internal competition makes things worse).
      The same goes for China/Japan as well. Big markets in which FCA isn’t as visible as Honda.

      As for PSA-Opel, Peugeot, Citroen and Opel (some models are sold as Buick by GM) aren’t available in the US and the French have lost market share in China. DS is still starting up. Just like Audi and Lexus, they need time to grow in the luxury division.

      So comparing Honda with these companies is fine, but you have to take into account the fact Honda is omnipresent and FCA and PSA-Opel are not.

      Having said this, it’s a pity for the Honda customers (e.g. former Civic IMA, HR-V drivers) in Europe they were sort of neglected. Subaru has always been a non-factor in Europe. Only a loyal bunch of Forester/Outback owners and some enthusiastic Impreza drivers. Clearly, Honda and Subaru don’t care about Europe.

  4. Łukasz says:

    @Todor
    Both brands have very limited offer for European markets.
    In addition Honda is significantly more expensive than other brands. Ie Jazz belongs to B segment costs just as much as compact cars of most competitors.

  5. NaBUru38 says:

    Isuzu just announced a sponsorship deal with the Welsh rugby team.

    I don’t understand. Isuzu doesn’t appear in this European sales chart. Or is it classified elsewhere?

    • Bart Demandt says:

      Hi NaBUru38,

      Isuzu only sells pick-up trucks in Europe, which are classified as commercial vehicles. We only feature passenger cars here, so that’s why you won’t find Isuzu in these charts.

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