European car sales analysis December 2016 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-December_2016European car sales in December 2016 showed the 10th gain of the year at +2,6%. A total of 1.180.704 new passenger cars were registered last month, just a handful more than the month before. This also makes this the highest December volume on record, indicating the days of crisis are now well and truly behind us. Almost all major markets showed improving sales, with the Southern European leading the way once again: Italy (+13,1%), Spain (+9,3%), France (+5,8%) and Germany (+3.7%) outperformed the market, while the UK (‐1.1%) dropped slightly. Four other countries lost volume in December, and did so with double digits: tiny Cyprus lost 14,7%, even tinier  Iceland lost 16,2%, but both were below 1.000 sales. More worryingly were the losses for Greece (-30,1%) and The Netherlands (-48,1%), but the latter was a result of a change in the taxation of company cars by January 1st, 2017. From now on, only EVs will receive a discount on the taxation, and Plug-in hybrids and other fuel efficient cars will no longer be elligible. This also resulted in a 30% share of plug-in cars in the Dutch December sales figures!

Citroen_C3-2017-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe December rankings are surprisingly similar to what they’ve been over the course of the year, with no big surprises in the last month of the year. Renault Nissan Group and Volkswagen Group add the most volume, followed by Daimler, while DRB Hicom with its Lotus brand, Aston Martin and SAIC-MG are the fastest growing manufacturers, helped by their low volumes to begin with. On the negative side, we find PSA, Ford Motor Company and Geely with its Volvo brand. The former two are suffering from an aging line-up, which even the succesful introductions of the new C3 and 3008 can’t balance at PSA, while Ford is eagerly awaiting the new generation Fiesta which won’t arrive for another few months. Volvo is hit by the changeover from V70/XC70 to S90/V90 and should be able to recover once deliveries of the new 90-series reach full stride. PSA and Geely are also in the top-3 of biggest relative losers, but are trumped by Mitsubishi which loses more than a quarter of its volume on last December.

At brand level Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Fiat are again the big gainers, while Peugeot, Ford and Volvo are the big volume losers, for reasons explained above. Peugeot looks especially weak because December 2015 was a monster month for the 308 (27.000 sales), also because of regulation changes in the Dutch market. Among the relative winners and losers, Maserati, Infiniti and Lamborghini get noticed in a positive way, while Dodge, DS, Chevrolet and Cadillac are less favorable. Chevrolet is still delivering the last remaining stock models, while the other 2 American brands don’t even have official import channels and rely on grey market imports. French boutique brand DS desparately needs new (and hot) products.

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Renault-Nissan 19.186   Manufacturer biggest volume lost PSA -16.702
Volkswagen Group 16.720 Ford Motor Comp. -8.259
Daimler AG 11.297 Geely (Volvo) -6.893
Manufacturer biggest % increase DRB-Hicom (Lotus) 90,0% Manufacturer biggest % lost Mitsubishi Motors -27,3%
Aston Martin 67,3% Geely (Volvo) -20,0%
SAIC MG 29,7% PSA -13,6%
             
Brand biggest volume increase Renault 14.900   Brand biggest volume lost Peugeot -10.945
Mercedes-Benz 9.530 Ford -8.258
Fiat 6.899 Volvo -6.894
Brand biggest % increase Maserati 190,8% Brand biggest % lost Dodge -56,4%
Infiniti 155,9% DS -40,8%
Lamborghini 129,4% Chevrolet -38,2%

 

Suzuki_Baleno-2016-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeIn the brand ranking, Volkswagen stays on top with stable sales, while Renault is slowly but steadily creeping closer thanks to a 15,4% gain on last year, adding 1,1 percentage point of market share. Ford and Opel/Vauxhall remain in 3rd and 4th place, followed by Mercedes-Benz as the top selling luxury brand for the fourth time in the last five months. That puts Peugeot in 7th place, sandwiched between BMW and Audi, while Fiat and Skoda also show nice improvements, the latter kicking Toyota out of the top-10. Kia moves ahead of Seat, while both improve to threaten struggling Volvo. Outside of the top-20, Suzuki is enjoying some success with its freshened line-up, while Mitsubishi is leapfrogged by both Land Rover and Honda. Smart shows nice improvement, growing by a quarter, and Alfa Romeo grows by almost half thanks to the new Giulia but Porsche adds even more, growing two thirds on last year, helped by strong demand for its SUVs. Jaguar jumps ahead of Lancia, DS and Lexus compared to last December, also helped by SUV sales. At the bottom of the ranking, Bugatti has registered perhaps its first Chiron.

  Brand December 2016 change 2016 share 2015 share
1 Volkswagen 131.941 -0,5% 11,2% 11,5%
2 Renault 111.883 15,4% 9,5% 8,4%
3 Ford 75.854 -9,8% 6,4% 7,3%
4 Opel/Vauxhall 72.079 1,9% 6,1% 6,2%
5 Mercedes-Benz 68.621 16,1% 5,8% 5,1%
6 BMW 68.051 -1,1% 5,8% 6,0%
7 Peugeot 65.192 -14,4% 5,5% 6,6%
8 Audi 57.671 13,4% 4,9% 4,4%
9 Fiat 54.775 14,4% 4,6% 4,2%
10 Skoda 51.401 14,3% 4,4% 3,9%
11 Toyota 48.782 8,4% 4,1% 3,9%
12 Nissan 41.831 3,5% 3,5% 3,5%
13 Hyundai 38.062 -5,9% 3,2% 3,5%
14 Citroën 37.423 -7,7% 3,2% 3,5%
15 Dacia 37.125 6,5% 3,1% 3,0%
16 Volvo 27.575 -20,0% 2,3% 3,0%
17 Kia 27.003 10,3% 2,3% 2,1%
18 Seat 26.624 6,7% 2,3% 2,2%
19 Mini 17.865 -1,9% 1,5% 1,6%
20 Mazda 16.022 0,3% 1,4% 1,4%
21 Suzuki 15.978 20,9% 1,4% 1,1%
22 Land Rover 11.809 0,4% 1,0% 1,0%
23 Honda 10.482 3,1% 0,9% 0,9%
24 Mitsubishi 9.458 -27,3% 0,8% 1,1%
25 Smart 8.865 24,9% 0,8% 0,6%
26 Jeep 8.197 11,6% 0,7% 0,6%
27 Alfa Romeo 6.145 45,1% 0,5% 0,4%
28 Porsche 5.890 64,0% 0,5% 0,3%
29 Jaguar 4.998 43,0% 0,4% 0,3%
30 Lancia 4.469 1,0% 0,4% 0,4%
31 DS 3.837 -40,8% 0,3% 0,6%
32 Lexus 3.532 -8,2% 0,3% 0,3%
33 Subaru 3.114 -5,1% 0,3% 0,3%
34 Tesla 2.743 0,1% 0,2% 0,2%
35 SSangYong 1.275 4,5% 0,1% 0,1%
36 Infiniti 947 155,9% 0,1% 0,0%
37 Maserati 916 190,8% 0,1% 0,0%
38 SAIC MG 367 29,7%    
39 Bentley 351 119,4%    
40 Aston Martin 169 67,3%    
41 Lada 154 6,9%    
42 Ferrari 90 2,3%    
43 Rolls Royce 82 115,8%    
44 Lotus 76 90,0%    
45 Dodge 72 -56,4%    
46 Cadillac 57 -32,1%    
47 Chevrolet 55 -38,2%    
48 DR 43 -4,4%    
49 Mahindra 42 -19,2%    
50 Lamborghini 39 129,4%    
51 Great Wall 2 -88,9%    
52 Geely 1    
53 Bugatti 1    
54 Tata 1 -66,7%    

 

Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. 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.

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. Outstanding Renault! The gap to VW is smaller than advantage to 3rd Ford!

  2. Whats the matter with Volvo? Why is it struggling so much?

    • Bart Demandt says:

      Hi Fokker,

      production of the V70/XC70 has ended half a year ago, and the S90/V90/V90 Cross Country are not at full speed of customer deliveries yet, so this shoots a big hole in their line-up. The XC90 is now in its second year and sales are down slightly on its first few months. Then there’s the S60/V60 which are getting quite old now. Surprisingly the oldest model in the line-up, the XC60 which is already 9 years old and will be replaced later this year, is the fastest growing model. Perhaps it’s taking some of the buyers who would’ve bought an XC70 otherwise.

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

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