European car sales analysis September 2017 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-september_2017After four months of growth, new car sales in Europe are down again, by 2,1% to 1,46 million sales in September 2017. This is only the second time this year that the European car market is in negative territory, and the year-to-date figure is now down to +3,3%, the lowest it has been so far this year. September is still the second best month so far this year, after March and just ahead of May. A total of 11,9 million cars have been sold in the first nine months of 2017, which is close to the 2013 full year figure of 12,3 million sales. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+8,1%) and Spain (+4,6%) once again showed the strongest improvements, while France was stable at +1,1%, but Germany (-3,3%) and the United Kingdom (-9,3%) are pulling the market down. They are not the only one, as 11 out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA saw their sales decline, of which Denmark (-22,2%), Latvia (-20,8%) and Ireland (-17%) by double digits. Year-to-date, Italy (+9%), Spain (+6,7%), France (+3,9%) and Germany (+2,2%) continue to grow so far in 2017, but UK car demand fell by 3,9%

Surprisingly, tiny Suzuki Motors is the manufacturer that adds the most volume in September, ahead of juggernauts Renault-Nissan and Toyota Motor. All add between 2.500 and 4.000 sales, so small gains this month. On the other end of the spectrum we do see a few large declines, most notably those of Ford Motor Company and PSA-Opel, which each lose more than 12.500 sales compared to September 2016. Looking at relative growth, Tesla Motors is firing on all its kilowatts with a gain of 46%, ahead of Aston Martin and Suzuki, while Mahindra & Mahindra is the fastest declining manufacturer due to its ownership of SsangYong and loses more than a third of its Eurpoean volume. Honda and SAIC MG are also on the wrong end of the list with double digit declines.

Suzuki_Ignis-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAt brand level, Suzuki is also the big winner, adding more volume than any other brand, including Seat and Dacia, which each add about 2.800 sales. Ford is the big loser at brand level too, as it suffers from a slow changeover to the new generation of its best seller Fiesta. Opel/Vauxhall loses more than 10.000 sales as well and has been in a slump ever since the brands have been taken over by PSA. Doomsday thinkers may point out that German and UK car buyers, which make up the biggest portion of sales for the former General Motors subsidiary, may have less taste for the models now that they fall under French ownership, but a large part of the explanation is simply that GM used to artificially pump up sales of Opel and Vauxhall with high discounts, sales to daily rental fleets and even self-registrations. Carlos Tavares, the CEO of PSA, is more interested in building the brands and making a good margin then in chasing volume. This automatically implies volumes will take a big initial hit before slowly recovering when the brands become stronger again and more importantly: profitable. It will be interesting to see how deep Opel/Vauxhall is allowed to sink before the planned recovery starts.

Honda remains in a slump as it sinks into irrelevance in Europe, such a contrasting performance for the brand that’s still so hugely successful in China and the US, as in each of those markets it sold almost as many cars just in September than it’s expected to sell in the entire year of 2017 in Europe. In relative terms Tesla, Chevrolet and Aston Martin are the fastest growing brands, each adding more than a third to its sales of last year, while Lotus (which ironically also just had a change of ownership, to China’s Geely), SsangYong and Cadillac all lose more than a third of their sales of last year.

September winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Suzuki 3.915   Manufacturer biggest volume lost Ford Motor Comp. -15.882
Renault-Nissan 3.007 PSA-Opel -12.848
Toyota Motor 2.558 Honda -3.568
Manufacturer biggest % increase Tesla Motors 46,0% Manufacturer biggest % lost Mahindra & Mahindra -35,7%
Aston Martin 33,5% Honda -18,0%
Suzuki 18,6% SAIC MG -16,2%
             
Brand biggest volume increase Suzuki 3.915   Brand biggest volume lost Ford -15.882
Seat 2.877 Opel/Vauxhall -10.251
Dacia 2.822 Volkswagen -4.244
Brand biggest % increase Tesla 46,0% Brand biggest % lost Lotus -46,8%
Chevrolet 40,5% SsangYong -37,0%
Aston Martin 33,5% Cadillac -35,5%

 

Renault_Captur-Initiale_Paris-2017Year-to-date, Renault-Nissan is still the big winner, adding almost 90.000 sales to its tally of the first 9 months of 2016, followed by Toyota Motor and FCA Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, while Honda and Mazda are joined in the losers isle by Ford Motor Company, which has dipped significantly in the red after a horrendous month of September. No changes in the rankings of relative winners and losers, with Aston Martin, Tesla Motors and General Motors as the three fastest growing manufacturers from their low bases, while Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra show double digit declines so far this year, followed by Subaru.

Toyota is the biggest gainer among brands, expanding its advantage over Mercedes-Benz, with Fiat in a stable third place. Opel/Vauxhall dealers have already sold almost 31.000 fewer cars since the beginning of this year, but keep in mind it the brand had gained 7.000 sales in the first quarter of this year and lost almost 25.000 sales just in the last 4 months. Volkswagen and DS are also among the big losers, at -18.000 sales or worse, although that means just -1,4% for VW but a third of the volume for DS. Chinese/Italian DR Motor and India’s Mahindra lose by double digits from their already low sales.

January-September winners and losers

Manufacturer biggest volume increase Renault-Nissan 89.178   Manufacturer biggest volume lost Honda -16.657
Toyota Motor 67.464 Ford Motor Comp. -13.243
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles 61.280 Mazda -7.848
Manufacturer biggest % increase Aston Martin 84,5% Manufacturer biggest % lost Honda -13,0%
Tesla Motors 72,7% Mahindra & Mahindra -12,0%
General Motors 40,0% Subaru Corp. -7,7%
             
Brand biggest volume increase Toyota 67.554   Brand biggest volume lost Opel/Vauxhall -30.859
Mercedes-Benz 62.481 Volkswagen -18.791
Fiat 46.250 DS -17.960
Brand biggest % increase Aston Martin 84,5% Brand biggest % lost DS -33,4%
Tesla 72,7% DR Motor -13,9%
Chevrolet 52,9% Mahindra  -13,3%

 

Mercedes_Benz-C_Class-convertible-European-car-salesIf last month Mercedes-Benz was able to snag a record 2nd place in the brand ranking, in September it returns to the 4th place it also held in July and which was a record high ranking at that time. The German luxury brand has now outsold Opel/Vauxhall for three consecutive months, although the difference in September is only marginal. Renault manages to outsell Ford in what is usually a pretty strong month for the American brand that has a more than average dependency on the UK market, whose weakness this month in combination with the Fiesta model change have resulted in a 14,6% loss for the brand and only a third place barely ahead of Mercedes-Benz. It also means that the likeliness of Ford recovering to 2nd place in the brands ranking by the end of the year is officially close to zero. BMW is back ahead of Audi and Peugeot in September, while Fiat re-enters the top-10 after a one-month hiatus, kicking out Toyota which even falls behind Nissan for only the second time this year.

After an impressive 12th place in August, Dacia is back down to 16th place in September, despite growing faster than any brand ahead of it at +8,8%. Seat pulls of the same in 17th place and closes in on the Romanian brand, and Suzuki traditionally has a relatively weak ranking in September so is down to 21st behind Mazda despite being the fastest growing brand in the top-30. Jaguar outsells Alfa Romeo for only the second time this year thanks to its dependence on the UK market which has seasonal peaks in March and September. Tesla came within 4 sales of outperforming DS for the first time ever, but at least the American EV maker outsold both Subaru and Lancia for the first time ever.

September brands ranking

  Brand sep-17 sep-16 change 2017 share 2016 share
1 Volkswagen 156.787 161.031 -2,6% 10,8% 10,8%
2 Renault 95.109 96.675 -1,6% 6,5% 6,5%
3 Ford 92.677 108.559 -14,6% 6,4% 7,3%
4 Mercedes-Benz 92.492 91.762 0,8% 6,3% 6,2%
5 Opel/Vauxhall 92.267 102.518 -10,0% 6,3% 6,9%
6 BMW 86.629 87.453 -0,9% 5,9% 5,9%
7 Audi 78.677 81.795 -3,8% 5,4% 5,5%
8 Peugeot 76.098 77.309 -1,6% 5,2% 5,2%
9 Fiat 65.140 67.108 -2,9% 4,5% 4,5%
10 Skoda 64.747 62.493 3,6% 4,4% 4,2%
11 Nissan 64.106 61.834 3,7% 4,4% 4,1%
12 Toyota 63.519 60.829 4,4% 4,4% 4,1%
13 Hyundai 51.992 51.079 1,8% 3,6% 3,4%
14 Citroën 45.437 45.017 0,9% 3,1% 3,0%
15 Kia 44.666 44.500 0,4% 3,1% 3,0%
16 Dacia 34.949 32.127 8,8% 2,4% 2,2%
17 Seat 32.313 29.436 9,8% 2,2% 2,0%
18 Volvo 27.146 27.334 -0,7% 1,9% 1,8%
19 Mazda 25.242 27.164 -7,1% 1,7% 1,8%
20 Mini 24.999 26.363 -5,2% 1,7% 1,8%
21 Suzuki 24.968 21.053 18,6% 1,7% 1,4%
22 Land Rover 20.870 21.268 -1,9% 1,4% 1,4%
23 Honda 16.209 19.777 -18,0% 1,1% 1,3%
24 Jeep 10.599 10.343 2,5% 0,7% 0,7%
25 Mitsubishi 9.815 10.394 -5,6% 0,7% 0,7%
26 Smart 8.931 9.720 -8,1% 0,6% 0,7%
27 Jaguar 8.093 9.675 -16,4% 0,6% 0,6%
28 Alfa Romeo 8.043 6.941 15,9% 0,6% 0,5%
29 Porsche 6.142 6.786 -9,5% 0,4% 0,5%
30 Lexus 5.913 6.046 -2,2% 0,4% 0,4%
31 DS 4.685 6.491 -27,8% 0,3% 0,4%
32 Tesla 4.682 3.206 46,0% 0,3% 0,2%
33 Lancia-Chrysler 4.660 5.397 -13,7% 0,3% 0,4%
34 Subaru 3.508 3.804 -7,8% 0,2% 0,3%
35 SSangYong 1.366 2.167 -37,0% 0,1% 0,1%
36 Infiniti 980 1.024 -4,3% 0,1% 0,1%
37 SAIC MG 842 1.005 -16,2% 0,1% 0,1%
38 Maserati 674 926 -27,2% 0,0% 0,1%
39 Lada 430 328 31,1% 0,0% 0,0%
40 Bentley 367 455 -19,3% 0,0% 0,0%
41 Aston Martin 207 155 33,5% 0,0% 0,0%
42 Chevrolet 163 116 40,5% 0,0% 0,0%
43 Ferrari 149 204 -27,0% 0,0% 0,0%
44 Lamborghini 99 90 10,0% 0,0% 0,0%
45 Rolls Royce 66 100 -34,0% 0,0% 0,0%
46 Dodge 56 58 -3,4% 0,0% 0,0%
47 Lotus 50 94 -46,8% 0,0% 0,0%
48 Cadillac 49 76 -35,5% 0,0% 0,0%
49 Geely 34 24 41,7% 0,0% 0,0%
50 Mahindra  33 8 312,5% 0,0% 0,0%
51 DR 27 30 -10,0% 0,0% 0,0%
52 Bugatti 2 2 0,0% 0,0% 0,0%

 

In the year-to-date ranking, the top-3 positions seem all but guaranteed to remain as is for the rest of the year, and even despite its good run lately, Mercedes-Benz is unlikely to finish 2017 ahead of Opel/Vauxhall. BMW has moved back into 8th place ahead of Fiat, while Nissan has leapfrogged Citroën in September to reclaim 12th place and Kia has done the same with Dacia for 15th place.

January – September brands ranking

  Brand 2017 2016 change 2017 share 2016 share 2016 rank
1 Volkswagen 1.286.167 1.304.958 -1,4% 10,8% 11,3% 1
2 Renault 846.456 811.611 4,3% 7,1% 7,0% 3
3 Ford 799.604 812.845 -1,6% 6,7% 7,1% 2
4 Opel/Vauxhall 737.991 768.850 -4,0% 6,2% 6,7% 4
5 Mercedes-Benz 696.740 634.259 9,9% 5,9% 5,5% 7
6 Peugeot 689.478 663.050 4,0% 5,8% 5,8% 5
7 Audi 637.119 636.568 0,1% 5,4% 5,5% 6
8 BMW 624.844 615.094 1,6% 5,3% 5,3% 8
9 Fiat 621.033 574.783 8,0% 5,2% 5,0% 9
10 Skoda 528.408 497.819 6,1% 4,4% 4,3% 10
11 Toyota 523.490 455.936 14,8% 4,4% 4,0% 11
12 Nissan 447.384 425.789 5,1% 3,8% 3,7% 12
13 Citroën 440.881 424.313 3,9% 3,7% 3,7% 13
14 Hyundai 389.621 380.698 2,3% 3,3% 3,3% 14
15 Kia 356.235 338.611 5,2% 3,0% 2,9% 15
16 Dacia 349.103 315.959 10,5% 2,9% 2,7% 16
17 Seat 299.749 262.026 14,4% 2,5% 2,3% 17
18 Volvo 223.590 208.409 7,3% 1,9% 1,8% 18
19 Suzuki 185.057 151.791 21,9% 1,6% 1,3% 21
20 Mazda 177.914 185.762 -4,2% 1,5% 1,6% 19
21 Mini 160.536 159.296 0,8% 1,3% 1,4% 20
22 Land Rover 132.829 130.937 1,4% 1,1% 1,1% 22
23 Honda 111.122 127.779 -13,0% 0,9% 1,1% 23
24 Mitsubishi 88.221 89.126 -1,0% 0,7% 0,8% 24
25 Jeep 78.224 79.514 -1,6% 0,7% 0,7% 26
26 Smart 74.534 80.168 -7,0% 0,6% 0,7% 25
27 Alfa Romeo 66.517 48.469 37,2% 0,6% 0,4% 31
28 Porsche 56.526 52.709 7,2% 0,5% 0,5% 28
29 Jaguar 55.418 50.426 9,9% 0,5% 0,4% 30
30 Lancia-Chrysler 49.092 52.676 -6,8% 0,4% 0,5% 29
31 DS 35.737 53.697 -33,4% 0,3% 0,5% 27
32 Lexus 34.221 34.312 -0,3% 0,3% 0,3% 32
33 Subaru 26.203 28.381 -7,7% 0,2% 0,2% 33
34 Tesla 19.069 11.041 72,7% 0,2% 0,1% 35
35 SSangYong 13.384 15.195 -11,9% 0,1% 0,1% 34
36 Infiniti 10.527 10.904 -3,5% 0,1% 0,1% 36
37 Maserati 7.501 5.452 37,6% 0,1% 0,0% 37
38 Lada 3.805 2.929 29,9% 0,0% 0,0% 39
39 SAIC MG 3.322 3.307 0,5% 0,0% 0,0% 38
40 Bentley 3.103 2.703 14,8% 0,0% 0,0% 40
41 Ferrari 2.074 2.344 -11,5% 0,0% 0,0% 41
42 Aston Martin 2.048 1.110 84,5% 0,0% 0,0% 43
43 Chevrolet 2.041 1.335 52,9% 0,0% 0,0% 42
44 Lamborghini 753 775 -2,8% 0,0% 0,0% 44
45 Cadillac 673 564 19,3% 0,0% 0,0% 47
46 Lotus 633 674 -6,1% 0,0% 0,0% 45
47 Rolls Royce 560 594 -5,7% 0,0% 0,0% 46
48 Dodge 448 480 -6,7% 0,0% 0,0% 48
49 Mahindra  327 377 -13,3% 0,0% 0,0% 49
50 DR 315 366 -13,9% 0,0% 0,0% 50
51 Geely 196 65 201,5% 0,0% 0,0% 51
52 Bugatti 12 5 140,0% 0,0% 0,0% 52

 

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. The violent dip in Denmark was caused by discussions on the taxes on cars. A discussion that started in August 2017 with, finally on October 3rd, the government found the new taxes. The dealerships then spent most of October re-calculating prices.

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