After looking at the November 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s take a closer look at individual model sales figures. After hitting a historic #1 spot last March, the Ford Fiesta has been off the European podium every month since. Until November, when deliveries of the new generation Fiesta boosted the model back to third place behind the traditional leader Volkswagen Golf and the Renault Clio. The Golf is up for the 5th consecutive month of which its third straight double digit gain after its facelift, while the Clio is down for only the second time this year. [Read more…]
In November 2017, European sales of passenger cars continued on the same pace as in October, with a 6% growth rate to 1,25 million sales, partially helped by one additional selling day compared to November 2016. This marks the 9th month of increased sales this year 2017 and brings the year-to-date total up 3,7% to 14,36 sales after 11 months. That’s already above the 2015 full year figure and gives us an estimated 15,6 million sales for the full year 2017, the fourth consecutive year of growth and just half a million sales off the record years 2004 and 2005. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are stable in [Read more…]
After looking at the October 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s take a closer look at individual model sales figures. For the last two months we’ve had a newcomer to the podium, with the Skoda Octavia scoring a best-ever 3rd place in August followed by the Nissan Qashqai jumping to a surprise 2nd place in September, and in October we welcome back the Peugeot 208 on the podium for the first time since May 2013, marking only the 5th time the 208 scores this high. For comparison: its predecessor 207 finished on top of the ranking in 2007 and in 2nd place a year later. The 208 is not far behind its rival Renault Clio and outsells all other subcompact cars this month. Not to discount its performance as sales are up 14,5%, but it also benefits from unusual circumstances at some of its rivals with both the Ford Fiesta (still down 10,4% but back up to #4 now that deliveries of the new generation are picking up traction) and the Volkswagen Polo (-41% to #22) hampered by their generation changes and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (-18,3% to #15) hurt by a reduction in fleet deliveries by the brand’s new owner PSA, as well by a decline in overall UK volume. The two French subcompacts trail the market leader Volkswagen Golf which is impressively up by 24%, its fourth straight month of growth (and its second with double digits) after a 14-month losing streak. An impressive rebound considering its facelift has been only minor in terms of cosmetics and the VW Group has added a number of crossovers to its line-up that are expected to cannibalize sales from the regular hatchbacks and station wagons.
European sales of passenger cars returned to growth in October 2017 after a one-month decline in September. 1,2 Million new cars were registered in Europe, which leads to a 10-month figure of 13,1 million, an increase of 3,5% on the same period last year and more than the 2014 full year figure. That means 2017 is very likely going to be the fourth consecutive year of growth after hitting a low of 12,3 million sales in 2013. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are up by 0,5% (YTD: -0,5%), while MPV sales are down by 5,5% (YTD: -11%) and sales of crossovers and SUVs are booming just like in the US and China: up 19,8% (YTD: +16,7%).
Among the five biggest markets Spain, France (both +13,7%) and Italy (+7,1%) outgrow the European market while Germany (+3,9%) trails and the United Kingdom continues to struggle with another double digit loss (-12,2%). Besides the UK, only Ireland (-13,8%) and Finland (-4,6%) lose volume in October, while Bulgaria (+41,3%), Lithuania (+33%) and Hungary (+30,4%) show impressive growth rates. Year-to-date, Italy (+8,9%) and Spain (+7,3%) are the fastest growing among the five largest markets, followed by France (+4,8%) and Germany (+2,3%). In contrast, UK sales are down by 4,6% so far in 2017.
After a slight decrease in the second quarter of 2017,sales of exotic cars in Europe have returned to double digit growth with a 10% increase in the third quarter. As a result, the year-to-date figure is still up 16% to just over 5.500 units. The all-new Aston Martin DB11 has already lost the segment lead it took in the first quarter, as it was down into third place in both Q2 and Q3. The best seller in the third quarter was the former segment leader Bentley Continental GT, even though the next generation of that model has already been revealed and will hit showrooms in 2018. The current generation lost 13% of its volume in the third quarter. The Ferrari 488 was up 13% in Q3 and holds on to its top spot for now, but it will be a tight race with the Continental GT if the latter keeps up its momentum. If the Bentley manages to top the ranking again this year, it would mark the 6th consecutive year the model will do so. For the 488 it would be the first time in its career. Its predecessor 458 Italia never took the title, as the last time a Ferrari was the best selling exotic car in Europe was in 2009, the last year of the F430. The only other model to sell over 150 units in Q3 is the Lamborghini Huracan, up 8% on last year.
After looking at the September 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s look at individual model sales figures. Keep in mind the September ranking is skewed towards models that are relatively popular in the UK, due to the twice annual license plate change that boosts March and September in this market, so the UK takes up about 30% of total European sales this month, compared to about 18% over the course of an entire year. The first thing that you’ll notice at the top of the ranking (and also a result of its success in its home market UK) is the record 2nd place for the Nissan Qashqai, whose previous best ranking was a 5th place which it hit 4 times, including twice this year ( February and July), but in September the Qashqai was the best seller in the UK, Spain and Finland, helping it outsell all subcompacts which usually crowd the podium behind the traditional leader Volkswagen Golf. The Renault Clio is in third place ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, whose #4 position is the highest in 12 months for the nameplate, despite losing 22,2% of its volume on last year. The Corsa is suffering mostly from a 41% loss in the UK, which means this market accounts for 88% of its lost sales this month. The Volkswagen Tiguan makes it 2 crossovers in the top-5, while the Ford Focus benefits from the seasonal peak in UK sales where it is relatively strong to jump from 26th place in August to #6 in September. The last time the Focus ranked this high in Europe was June 2015. That leaves the Volkswagen Polo in 7th place as it’s not the #2 VW in Europe for the second consecutive month, something that hadn’t happened before in at least the last 10 years. The Skoda Octavia drops from its record #3 position last month to 8th, while the top-10 is completed by the Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris, a third consecutive top-10 finish for the latter. [Read more…]
For the second consecutive quarter, the premium large SUV segment in Europe is faced with declining sales after years of booming, double digit growth. In Q3 of 2017, that turned to double digit decline with a loss of 14%, also bringing the year-to-date figure in the red at -3% to just over 210.000 sales. The segment leader BMW X5 lost market share with a loss of 22%. In fact, the entire top-3 lost with double digits and only 5 of the remaining 19 models improved their sales year-over-year in the third quarter. The other two models on the segment podium are in for a tight race by the end of the year, with the Volvo XC90 back in 2nd place in Q3 and the Audi Q7 down to 4th, behind even the Mercedes-Benz GLE. That leaves the Range Rover Sport in 5th place for the third quarter, even though it loses just 5%, outperforming the overall segment and all four of its closest rivals. Its sister model Land Rover Discovery does even better but does not yet manage to improve its volume at -1% in Q3 despite the arrival of the all-new generation in showrooms which gave the model a 42% gain in Q2. The Disco is up 13% year-to-date, the best performance in the top-9. The third model from JLR in this segment is the top-of-the-line Range Rover, up 8% in Q3 but outsold by the soon-to-be-replaced Volkswagen Touareg. [Read more…]
After 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.
The midsized premium SUV segment continues to outgrow the overall market and even accelerates its growth rate with a 29% increase in Q3 and a 25% increase in the first nine months of 2017, to over 372.000 sales. The two segment leaders consolidate their grip on the segment as both did better than the overall segment. As a result, the #1 and #2 hold a combined 43% of the segment in Q3 and 42,6% in the first three quarters. The big winner is the Mercedes-Benz GLC (including the Coupe version) wiht sales almost doubling up to over 30.000 sales in the third quarter, which allows it to take over the year-to-date lead of the segment. If the GLC manages to hold on to this position by the end of the year, it will be the first time ever that Mercedese-Benz tops the ranking of this segment. The GLC’s predecessor GLK has never been a success due to polarizing styling, but the new model appears to have hit the mark. The Volvo XC60 showed double digit growth but still loses its top spot as the changeover to the new generation is hurting its pace of deliveries, even though the outgoing model has kept up strong in its last months thanks to competitive pricing of fully loaded versions. It will be interesting to see which one of these two will end up on top in 2018. Or perhaps the segment initiator BMW X3 will mingle into this fight as well when its third generation hits full steam?
The limousine segment in Europe has been re-energized in the third quarter of 2017 with a 21% increase in sales after small single digit improvements in the first half of the year. Almost all of the growth in the segment can be attributed to a single model, as only two other nameplates improve while 5 out of the 8 losers are down with double digits. The big winner is the Porsche Panamera with sales up almost six-fold on the previous generation last year, helped additionally by the launch of the Panamera S e-Hybrid in June, which accounted for 60% of the model’s sales since. That’s significantly higher than the brand’s own expectations of 10% to 15%. Part of the explanation for its success lies in tax benefits that some countries hand out to buyers of plug in vehicles. For example, the hybrid’s share of Panamera sales in Belgium was above 90%, and 70% in France. Balancing it out, about 25% of its sales in its largest market Germany are partly electrified. As a result, the Panamera was the best seller in July and in 2nd place of the segment in the third quarter ahead of the BMW 7-series but still behind the traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Keep in mind that S-Class sales also include the Coupe and Convertible versions, so in pure sedan sales the 7-Series is on top of the ranking.