European car sales analysis March 2015 – brands

The European car market grew by an impressive 11,4% in March to 1.643.607 units, pushing up the Year-To-Date increase to 8,2% at over 3,6 million cars sold. This is the largest monthly year-over-year gain in at least five years and possibly a decade, indicating the recovery of the European car market is picking up speed.

Ford_Fiesta-European-sales-March-2015March sales are traditionally skewed towards brands that are popular in the United Kingdom, as this is the kingdom’s biggest selling month of the year thanks to the bi-annual license plate change-over. Brands that benefit more than others are Ford, Opel-Vauxhall, Nissan, Jaguar-Land Rover and Mini. For example, Nissan moves ahead of Toyota to become Europe’s best selling Asian brand, like it did in March 2014. However, Nissan now also outsells Toyota year-to-date thanks to its strong March sales, and this is the first time it does so in the 21st century.

Volkswagen Group and Renault-Nissan are still the biggest volume winners, with VW now also leading the way year-to-date. In March, PSA also joined the top-3 of fast-growing manufacturers, while General Motors is the only manufacturer to lose sales compared to March of last year.

Relatively, DRB-Hicom adds 90,8% thanks to its Lotus sports car brand, as its Malaysian Proton brand still hasn’t notched up a single sale this year. Another UK-only brand, SAIC MG of China also grows quickly, followed by Mitsubishi Motors.

European-auto-sales-statistics-2014-full-year-Renault-KadjarAt the brand level, the same brands that have been adding the most volume this year, also do so in March, with VW, Nissan and Renault leading the way, while Chevrolet, DS and Lancia-Chrysler are among the biggest losers. Thanks to its increase of 12,4% vs. 4,3% for Opel/Vauxhall, Renault holds on to its third place year-to-date, despite being traditionally outsold by the dual-brand in March (thanks to the UK-market), while the all-new Kadjar midsized crossover and new generations of the Megane and Scenic model families should help the French further. Opel/Vauxhall can counter with the all-new Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva minicar and the facelifted Corsa, so the fight will be interesting to follow for the rest of this year.

Jeep continues its winning streak as the fastest growing brand at more than tripling its volume, followed by Infiniti and Lamborghini, also both at least doubling their still small volumes. In fact, both Infiniti and Lamborghini score a record month in Europe at 525 and 90 sales respectively. At Lambo, it’s the new Huracan as the replacement to the Gallardo that’s pulling the brand, but at Infiniti, all four of its models show a year-over-year increase, even the ancient QX50. On the other end of the scale, Chevrolet is getting comfortable carrying the red lantern in preparation of its official departure from the market, while Tata and Great Wall also lose significant portions of their volumes in the few European countries where they are available.

Mercedes-Benz outsells BMW for the second time this year and is creeping ever so close to its arch rival year-to-date. Mercedes has a shot at finishing 2015 ahead of BMW for the first time since 2009.

March winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Volkswagen Group 35.905 Manufacturer biggest volume lost General Motors -1.142
Renault-Nissan 28.997
PSA 15.615
Manufacturer biggest % increase DRB-Hicom (Proton / Lotus) 90,8% Manufacturer biggest % lost General Motors -1,0%
SAIC MG 83,4%
Mitsubishi Motors 73,3%
Brand biggest volume increase Volkswagen 19.319 Brand biggest volume lost Chevrolet -5.901
Nissan 14.962 DS -1.791
Renault 11.765 Lancia-Chrysler -1.476
Brand biggest % increase Jeep 243,0% Brand biggest % lost Chevrolet -96,0%
Infiniti 124,4% Tata -64,4%
Lamborghini 100,0% Great Wall -63,2%

 

Q1 2015

Year-to-date, the picture is very similar to the month of March, with Daimler in third place of biggest winners as a Group, while Honda and Suzuki join GM in the losers’ corner. At the brand level, SAIC MG keeps growing more than 50% after its record year in 2014, while Aston Martin, Fuji Heavy Industries and Honda take the biggest relative hits.

Land-Rover-Discovery_Sport-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeBrands-wise, I already discussed Renault moving ahead of Opel/Vauxhall and Mercedes-Benz creeping close behind BMW and Nissan overtaking Toyota, but also noteworthy is Toyota grabbing back its position above Skoda after losing that place last year, and Mini and Land Rover overtaking Honda. Mini already outsold the Japanese brand in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but for Land Rover this is a first time. Jeep moves up 7 spots thanks to the successful launches of the Cherokee and Renegade and the continued success of the Grand Cherokee. Jeep even outsells its family member Alfa Romeo for the first time ever, but to add insult to injury, even Porsche manages the same feat. The introduction of the all-new Giulia midsized sedan better be successful for the Italians, otherwise 2015 could be a very shameful year.

Q1 winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Volkswagen Group 64.780 Manufacturer biggest volume lost General Motors -10.771
Renault-Nissan 63.812 Honda -1.746
Daimler AG 29.540 Suzuki -1.114
Manufacturer biggest % increase DRB-Hicom (Proton / Lotus) 74,5% Manufacturer biggest % lost Aston Martin -10,1%
Mitsubishi Motors 70,5% Fuji H.I. (Subaru) -5,6%
SAIC MG 57,5% Honda -4,4%
Brand biggest volume increase Volkswagen 37.732 Brand biggest volume lost Chevrolet -25.574
Nissan 33.785 DS -3.319
Renault 26.843 Lancia-Chrysler -2.395
Brand biggest % increase Jeep 202,9% Brand biggest % lost Chevrolet -97,5%
Lamborghini 104,9% Great Wall -69,7%
Mahindra 104,3% Tata -58,0%

 

March brand ranking

Brand Mar 2015 Mar 2014 change
1 Volkswagen 182.692 163.373 11,8%
2 Ford 137.656 126.087 9,2%
3 Opel/Vauxhall 117.930 113.038 4,3%
4 Renault 106.669 94.904 12,4%
5 Peugeot 96.138 85.773 12,1%
6 Audi 87.481 81.871 6,9%
7 Mercedes-Benz 83.148 71.499 16,3%
8 BMW 81.927 77.730 5,4%
9 Nissan 80.961 65.999 22,7%
10 Fiat 74.377 65.227 14,0%
11 Toyota 67.024 59.555 12,5%
12 Skoda 62.699 59.009 6,3%
13 Citroën 61.470 54.429 12,9%
14 Hyundai 55.231 46.154 19,7%
15 Kia 43.400 38.080 14,0%
16 Seat 38.175 33.681 13,3%
17 Dacia 37.515 35.536 5,6%
18 Volvo 27.807 25.709 8,2%
19 Mazda 26.696 22.876 16,7%
20 Land Rover 22.516 18.461 22,0%
21 Mini 22.493 15.786 42,5%
22 Suzuki 22.168 20.814 6,5%
23 Honda 21.952 21.807 0,7%
24 Mitsubishi 15.129 8.728 73,3%
25 DS 9.823 11.614 -15,4%
26 Smart 9.628 6.234 54,4%
27 Jeep 9.203 2.683 243,0%
28 Porsche 7.489 4.766 57,1%
29 Alfa Romeo 6.341 6.870 -7,7%
30 Lancia-Chrysler 6.248 7.724 -19,1%
31 Jaguar 4.983 5.451 -8,6%
32 Subaru 4.488 3.839 16,9%
33 Lexus 3.393 3.642 -6,8%
34 Tesla 2.373 2.206 7,6%
35 SSangYong 1.276 896 42,4%
36 Maserati 735 519 41,6%
37 SAIC MG 662 361 83,4%
38 Infiniti 525 234 124,4%
39 Ferrari 357 333 7,2%
40 Bentley 352 331 6,3%
41 Aston Martin 286 280 2,1%
42 Chevrolet 246 6.147 -96,0%
43 Lada 165 121 36,4%
44 Lotus 124 65 90,8%
45 Lamborghini 90 45 100,0%
46 Rolls Royce 58 77 -24,7%
47 Mahindra 52 27 92,6%
48 Dodge 52 67 -22,4%
49 DR 36 17 111,8%
50 Cadillac 33 38 -13,2%
51 Chevrolet USA 19 147 -87,1%
52 Tata 16 45 -64,4%
53 Great Wall 14 38 -63,2%
54 Bugatti 1 0 100,0%

 

Q1 brand ranking

 

Brand Q1 2015 Q1 2014 change
1 Volkswagen 433.789 396.057 9,5%
2 Ford 271.299 253.811 6,9%
3 Renault 242.133 215.290 12,5%
4 Opel/Vauxhall 240.641 225.522 6,7%
5 Peugeot 221.373 208.067 6,4%
6 Audi 191.467 186.501 2,7%
7 BMW 181.616 169.539 7,1%
8 Mercedes-Benz 180.465 158.262 14,0%
9 Fiat 169.988 156.897 8,3%
10 Nissan 164.086 130.301 25,9%
11 Toyota 154.367 144.686 6,7%
12 Skoda 149.645 144.698 3,4%
13 Citroën 142.650 139.185 2,5%
14 Hyundai 118.829 107.709 10,3%
15 Kia 100.664 92.419 8,9%
16 Dacia 94.889 92.135 3,0%
17 Seat 89.020 77.502 14,9%
18 Volvo 63.320 59.705 6,1%
19 Mazda 53.058 50.482 5,1%
20 Suzuki 45.864 46.978 -2,4%
21 Mini 44.412 32.978 34,7%
22 Land Rover 39.242 35.774 9,7%
23 Honda 38.374 40.120 -4,4%
24 Mitsubishi 34.758 20.391 70,5%
25 Smart 23.414 16.076 45,6%
26 Jeep 21.328 7.041 202,9%
27 DS 20.207 24.124 -16,2%
28 Lancia-Chrysler 17.797 20.192 -11,9%
29 Porsche 16.956 11.358 49,3%
30 Alfa Romeo 15.091 16.007 -5,7%
31 Subaru 9.125 9.668 -5,6%
32 Jaguar 7.353 8.526 -13,8%
33 Lexus 6.721 7.357 -8,6%
35 Tesla 3.288 3.074 7,0%
34 SSangYong 2.678 1.892 41,5%
36 Maserati 1.543 1.449 6,5%
37 Infiniti 1.163 733 58,7%
38 SAIC MG 860 546 57,5%
39 Chevrolet 667 26.241 -97,5%
40 Ferrari 652 645 1,1%
41 Bentley 639 725 -11,9%
42 Lada 435 384 13,3%
43 Aston Martin 426 474 -10,1%
44 Lamborghini 211 103 104,9%
45 Lotus 192 109 76,1%
46 Mahindra 143 70 104,3%
47 Rolls Royce 126 172 -26,7%
48 Cadillac 118 110 7,3%
49 Dodge 107 137 -22,1%
50 DR 95 58 63,8%
51 Tata 58 138 -58,0%
52 Chevrolet USA 48 369 -87,0%
53 Great Wall 33 109 -69,7%
54 Bugatti 2 2 0,0%

 

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. RayCee says:

    Hello Bart. Great data here. I do have a few questions. Brands such as Bolloré don’t get here and I wondered why. They sold over a thousand in 2014. I Also I assume Morgan is tight about sales data and it isn’t available. The last I have for them is 2013, when they sold something like 500 cars.

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

*