European car sales analysis March and Q1 2019 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-March_2019After a 7% decline in January and a 2,6% decline in February, European new car sales were down by 3,7% in March 2019, to 1,76 million sales. For the first quarter of the year, sales are down 4,4% to 4,07 million units. Most of the decline can still be attributed to the after effects of the introduction of new fuel efficiency and emissions testing standard called WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure) in September. March sales figures are traditionally heavily influenced by the UK market, for which this is the highest volume month of the year by far. Fortunately, despite all the uncertainties facing this market, its decline was not as bad as generally expected. However, all major European markets were in the red in March, as Italy posted the highest percentage drop (-9,6%), followed by Spain (-4,3%), the United Kingdom (-3,4%), France (-2,3%) and Germany (-0,5%). Just nine out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA showed growth in March, with the fastest growing markets Lithuania (+43,8%), Denmark (+33,2%), Norway (+27,6%), and Romania (+20,8%). In the first quarter registrations remained almost flat in Germany (+0,2%), while the other key markets performed worse than in the first quarter of 2018, most notably Spain (-6,9%) and Italy (-6,5%).

As in five out of the last six months, crossovers and SUVs are the only category to improve their sales volume year-on-year, with a 3,2% increase leading to a 36,9% market share. Sales of car models (hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, coupes and convertibles) were down 6,3% to 56,6% market share while MPVs continued to slide, down 16,2% to 6,5% of the market.

Groups and brands

Tesla_Model_3-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeBig winner among manufacturers is once again Tesla Motors, both in absolute figures and in year-on-year growth as Tesla more than triples its volume on last year thanks to the start of deliveries of the Model 3. Geely Group ans SAIC are also among the big gainers, although the latter added just 700 sales on March 2018. In relative terms though, SAIC is growing by nearly 63% in March, ahead of Aston Martin at +26,1%. Among losers, Renault-Nissan takes the biggest volume hit at almost 20.000 fewer sales in March, with Ford and FCA also losing more than 17.500 sales on last year. Relatively, Subaru loses more than a quarter of its sales on March 2018, with GM down almost 20% on its handful of European sales and Mahindra & Mahindra down by 17,6%.

Among brands, Tesla adds the most volume with over 11.000 additional sales, but Dacia grows by 10.000 sales as well, followed by Audi finally in recovery mode at +4.633 sales. In relative terms, Mahindra more than quadruples its sales thanks to the KUV100, DR Motor more than triples up, just like Tesla. Nissan loses the most volume at almost -22.000 sales, with Ford and Fiat among the big losers as well, each down by more than 13.000 sales on March 2018, while Infiniti is the fastest declining brand, losing almost two thirds of its sales compared to last March and the brand has announced it will withdraw from the European market. Cadillac also loses almost 60% of its sales and Alfa Romeo is down by almost 44%, still hampered by the WLTP fuel economy standards introduced last September.

March winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest

volume increase

Tesla Motors 11.684 Manufacturer biggest

volume lost

Renault-Nissan -19.828
Geely Group 1.278 Ford Motor Comp. -18.371
SAIC 701 Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles -17.596
Manufacturer biggest

% increase

Tesla Motors 252,4% Manufacturer biggest

% lost

Subaru Corp. -25,8%
SAIC 62,9% General Motors -19,5%
Aston Martin 26,1% Mahindra & Mahindra -17,6%
Brand biggest

volume increase

Tesla 11.684 Brand biggest

volume lost

Nissan -22.307
Dacia 10.003 Ford -18.371
Audi 4.633 Fiat -13.771
Brand biggest

% increase

Mahindra 334,5% Brand biggest

% lost

Infiniti -65,1%
DR Motor 269,7% Cadillac -59,8%
Tesla 252,4% Alfa Romeo -43,7%

Year-to-date, Tesla is the big winner among manufacturers as well, with over 15.000 additional deliveries thanks to the arrival of the Model 3, with the two Chinese manufacturers Geely Group and SAIC also strong, although at a much lower level as Tesla, with nearly 5.000 and over 1.200 additional sales respectively. Renault-Nissan is the big loser at more than 43.000 lost sales, with FCA and Volkswagen Group also down by more than 34.000 sales on the first quarter of 2018. Relatively, Tesla Motors more than triples up while no other manufacturer more than doubles up, with SAIC Motor next best at +70% and Aston Martin at +39%. Among brands, besides Tesla and Dacia Citroën is a surprise winner at almost 6.000 extra sales.

2019 Q1 winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest

volume increase

Tesla Motors 15.148 Manufacturer biggest

volume lost

Renault-Nissan -43.283
Geely Group 4.850 Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles -39.495
SAIC 1.242 Volkswagen Group -34.260
Manufacturer biggest

% increase

Tesla Motors 243,4% Manufacturer biggest

% lost

Mahindra & Mahindra -16,7%
SAIC 70,0% Honda -16,0%
Aston Martin 39,0% Subaru Corp. -15,1%
Brand biggest

volume increase

Tesla 15.148 Brand biggest

volume lost

Nissan -43.011
Dacia 12.420 Fiat -36.479
Citroën 5.914 Ford -31.829
Brand biggest

% increase

Tesla 243,4% Brand biggest

% lost

Infiniti -48,2%
Mahindra 242,1% Dodge -39,5%
DR Motor 231,7% Alfa Romeo -39,4%

Ford_Focus-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAs usual in March, the brands that are relatively overdependent on the UK market are boosted in the European rankings as well. That pushes Ford into 2nd place behind Volkswagen, but Renault is fewer than 600 sales behind the American brand, which is the second biggest loser in the top-10 behind Fiat. Opel/Vauxhall is up to 4th place ahead of Peugeot for the first time since last September. Mercedes-Benz stays the best selling luxury brand in Europe, ahead of BMW and Audi, but the latter is the only of the three to gain sales on March 2018. Audi also ends its 6-month losing streak that started when the WLTP standards were introduced in September. Fiat barely manages to hold on to its top-10 position ahead of Skoda, while Dacia continues to outsell both South-Korean brands in Europe. Nissan is the big loser in the top-30 and is now Europe’s #4 Asian brand behind Toyota and the Koreans. Mazda continues to struggle, but manages to outsell Suzuki for the first time since last September. Honda, in one of its most important months of the year in terms of sales, loses 17,3% and barely manages to outsell Mitsubishi despite being much stronger in the UK market. Tesla is knocking on the door of the top-25 behind Jeep but outselling Jaguar by a fair margin. Porsche continues to struggle since it stopped selling diesel-powered cars and SUVs, but Alfa Romeo is suffering even more.

March brands ranking

Brand Mar-19 Mar-18 change 2019 share 2018 share
1 Volkswagen 184.884 190.899 -3,2% 10,5% 10,4%
2 Ford 117.626 135.997 -13,5% 6,7% 7,4%
3 Renault 117.075 127.065 -7,9% 6,7% 6,9%
4 Opel/Vauxhall 107.528 108.676 -1,1% 6,1% 5,9%
5 Peugeot 102.124 106.666 -4,3% 5,8% 5,8%
6 Mercedes-Benz 99.029 101.504 -2,4% 5,6% 5,6%
7 BMW 94.321 95.330 -1,1% 5,4% 5,2%
8 Audi 93.270 88.637 5,2% 5,3% 4,8%
9 Toyota 74.539 78.710 -5,3% 4,2% 4,3%
10 Fiat 73.230 87.001 -15,8% 4,2% 4,8%
11 Skoda 73.181 75.324 -2,8% 4,2% 4,1%
12 Citroën 69.047 66.183 4,3% 3,9% 3,6%
13 Dacia 58.705 48.702 20,5% 3,3% 2,7%
14 Hyundai 56.827 61.373 -7,4% 3,2% 3,4%
15 Kia 55.411 55.373 0,1% 3,1% 3,0%
16 Nissan 55.139 77.446 -28,8% 3,1% 4,2%
17 Seat 50.336 48.834 3,1% 2,9% 2,7%
18 Volvo 36.753 35.435 3,7% 2,1% 1,9%
19 Mazda 28.224 30.611 -7,8% 1,6% 1,7%
20 Mini 28.006 26.970 3,8% 1,6% 1,5%
21 Suzuki 26.933 26.675 1,0% 1,5% 1,5%
22 Land Rover 24.450 25.730 -5,0% 1,4% 1,4%
23 Honda 19.379 23.430 -17,3% 1,1% 1,3%
24 Mitsubishi 18.765 16.456 14,0% 1,1% 0,9%
25 Jeep 16.549 16.520 0,2% 0,9% 0,9%
26 Tesla 16.313 4.629 252,4% 0,9% 0,3%
27 Jaguar 12.818 11.666 9,9% 0,7% 0,6%
28 Smart 9.615 10.132 -5,1% 0,5% 0,6%
29 Porsche 6.846 8.341 -17,9% 0,4% 0,5%
30 Lexus 6.715 6.329 6,1% 0,4% 0,3%
31 Lancia 6.089 5.266 15,6% 0,3% 0,3%
32 Alfa Romeo 5.603 9.945 -43,7% 0,3% 0,5%
33 DS 4.609 5.912 -22,0% 0,3% 0,3%
34 Subaru 2.755 3.715 -25,8% 0,2% 0,2%
35 SAIC MG 1.815 1.114 62,9% 0,1% 0,1%
36 SSangYong 1.591 2.056 -22,6% 0,1% 0,1%
37 Lada 622 451 37,9% 0,0% 0,0%
38 Maserati 547 925 -40,9% 0,0% 0,1%
39 Alpine 487 37 1216,2% 0,0% 0,0%
40 Ferrari 467 411 13,6% 0,0% 0,0%
41 Bentley 433 335 29,3% 0,0% 0,0%
42 Aston Martin 416 330 26,1% 0,0% 0,0%
43 Lamborghini 254 197 28,9% 0,0% 0,0%
44 Infiniti 249 713 -65,1% 0,0% 0,0%
45 DR Motor 244 66 269,7% 0,0% 0,0%
46 Chevrolet 217 218 -0,5% 0,0% 0,0%
47 Mahindra 126 29 334,5% 0,0% 0,0%
48 Dodge 117 116 0,9% 0,0% 0,0%
49 Rolls Royce 105 91 15,4% 0,0% 0,0%
50 Lotus 49 68 -27,9% 0,0% 0,0%
51 Cadillac 39 97 -59,8% 0,0% 0,0%
52 Chrysler 13 6 116,7% 0,0% 0,0%
53 Geely 10 31 -67,7% 0,0% 0,0%
54 Bugatti 4 2 100,0% 0,0% 0,0%

Year-to-date, Ford jumps from 4th to 2nd place thanks to its higher share of the UK market which is relatively strong in March. However, Renaultis just 28 sales behind and will easily leapfrog the American brand next month, when the latter will be weaker again. Skoda drops 2 places in the YTD ranking after being passed by both BMW and Audi. The latter also passes Toyota, which now holds the red lantern in the top-10. Thanks to their strength in the UK market, Mini, Land Rover and Jaguar each jump a place in the YTD ranking, the former passing Jeep, Land Rover passing Mitsubishi and the latter passing Lancia.

2019 Q1 brands ranking

Brand 2019 2018 change 2019 share 2018 share
1 Volkswagen 450.551 461.709 -2,4% 11,1% 10,8%
2 Ford 266.968 298.797 -10,7% 6,6% 7,0%
3 Renault 266.940 285.765 -6,6% 6,6% 6,7%
4 Peugeot 261.930 268.602 -2,5% 6,4% 6,3%
5 Opel/Vauxhall 235.397 247.958 -5,1% 5,8% 5,8%
6 Mercedes-Benz 225.393 228.249 -1,3% 5,5% 5,4%
7 BMW 204.500 212.984 -4,0% 5,0% 5,0%
8 Audi 201.336 211.540 -4,8% 4,9% 5,0%
9 Skoda 185.687 193.188 -3,9% 4,6% 4,5%
10 Toyota 182.633 194.709 -6,2% 4,5% 4,6%
11 Citroën 171.133 165.219 3,6% 4,2% 3,9%
12 Fiat 170.804 207.283 -17,6% 4,2% 4,9%
13 Dacia 142.216 129.796 9,6% 3,5% 3,0%
14 Hyundai 136.120 143.370 -5,1% 3,3% 3,4%
15 Kia 131.071 133.414 -1,8% 3,2% 3,1%
16 Seat 119.220 117.774 1,2% 2,9% 2,8%
17 Nissan 116.236 159.247 -27,0% 2,9% 3,7%
18 Volvo 85.609 80.696 6,1% 2,1% 1,9%
19 Suzuki 68.233 68.011 0,3% 1,7% 1,6%
20 Mazda 62.957 67.609 -6,9% 1,5% 1,6%
21 Mini 55.111 54.092 1,9% 1,4% 1,3%
22 Jeep 43.962 40.968 7,3% 1,1% 1,0%
23 Land Rover 43.935 46.975 -6,5% 1,1% 1,1%
24 Mitsubishi 40.925 35.506 15,3% 1,0% 0,8%
25 Honda 37.833 45.056 -16,0% 0,9% 1,1%
26 Smart 24.232 23.842 1,6% 0,6% 0,6%
27 Jaguar 23.069 20.608 11,9% 0,6% 0,5%
28 Tesla 21.372 6.224 243,4% 0,5% 0,1%
29 Lancia 18.528 13.731 34,9% 0,5% 0,3%
30 Alfa Romeo 15.100 24.935 -39,4% 0,4% 0,6%
31 Porsche 13.069 20.246 -35,4% 0,3% 0,5%
32 Lexus 13.012 12.691 2,5% 0,3% 0,3%
33 DS 10.833 11.530 -6,0% 0,3% 0,3%
34 Subaru 7.738 9.116 -15,1% 0,2% 0,2%
35 SSangYong 3.562 4.572 -22,1% 0,1% 0,1%
36 SAIC MG 3.017 1.775 70,0% 0,1% 0,0%
37 Lada 1.571 1.262 24,5% 0,0% 0,0%
38 Maserati 1.496 2.319 -35,5% 0,0% 0,1%
39 Alpine 1.267 38 New 0,0% 0,0%
40 Ferrari 904 833 8,5% 0,0% 0,0%
41 Infiniti 884 1.708 -48,2% 0,0% 0,0%
42 Bentley 874 823 6,2% 0,0% 0,0%
43 Aston Martin 759 546 39,0% 0,0% 0,0%
44 Lamborghini 613 373 64,3% 0,0% 0,0%
45 DR Motor 607 183 231,7% 0,0% 0,0%
46 Chevrolet 537 482 11,4% 0,0% 0,0%
47 Mahindra 325 95 242,1% 0,0% 0,0%
48 Dodge 268 443 -39,5% 0,0% 0,0%
49 Cadillac 226 223 1,3% 0,0% 0,0%
50 Rolls Royce 224 172 30,2% 0,0% 0,0%
51 Lotus 99 120 -17,5% 0,0% 0,0%
52 Chrysler 41 20 105,0% 0,0% 0,0%
53 Geely 21 63 -66,7% 0,0% 0,0%
54 Bugatti 8 4 100,0% 0,0% 0,0%

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