After looking at which brands were selling well in January, we’ll zoom in on model level to see what’s caused the trends. It won’t surprise anybody to see the VW Golf still firmly in the lead, but it does lose 8,5% on last year. That has been expected, as the Golf VII is now three years old and the competition is getting stronger with the new Opel/Vauxhall Astra storming up the charts and a new Renault Megane ready to do the same. The Golf is again followed by the Polo in 2nd place ahead of the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa used to be close behind these three subcompact models, but has fallen behind in 2016, and the Peugeot 208 has moved into the vacant spot at #5. The Corsa’s loss is made up by the advance of the Astra, the fastest growing model in the top-40, now firmly back in the top-10 and here to stay.
The Nissan Qashqai has its strongest January ever in 6th place, but the big surprise comes from the Fiat Panda. The 4-year-old minicar has the best January of this generation and grabs a top-10 position for the first time in almost 2 years with an increase of 28,9%. However, almost 80% of its sales came from its home market Italy, where it was the #1 seller with 13.367 units, an increase of 42%. That means it was actually down 5% to 3.481 sales in the rest of Europe. Another late-bloomer is the Toyota Yaris, launched in 2011 and showing steady sales improvements for the past three years, and again in January, up 4% and into 11th place.
The Volkswagen Passat finishes its twelve-month streak of double digit increases as the new generation was starting to arrive in dealerships in the beginning of last year, and it drops out of the top-10. Not to worry, it still sells almost 2,5 times as much as its closest competitor, the Ford Mondeo at #50. [Read more…]