European car sales are up by 6% in August 2017, the largest year-over-year increase in the last 3 months, and the fourth straight month of growth for the European market. August being the traditional holdiday month for Europeans, especially those in the South, it’s by far the slowest month of the year in terms of volume. Just 893.000 cars were registered in August 2017, more than a million fewer than last March. The year-to-date figure now stands at 10,54 million sales, up 4,1% on the first eight months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) also outgrew the market, and Germany (+3,5%) improved at a lower pace, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) is once again going in the opposite direction. Including the smaller markets, Lithuania (+34,4%) and neighbouring Latvia (+25,8%) showed the strongest growth, split by Iceland (+28,8%). Besides the UK, other markets in a negative trend are Ireland (-21,3%), Denmark (-12,1%), Cyprus (-10%), Belgium (-8,1%) and Romania (-3,3%).
Renault-Nissan is the biggest gaining manufacturer for the first time since last March, although the company has held on to its top spot in the year-to-date rankings ever since. In August, Renault-Nissan’s gain is more than 10.000 sales ahead of the next best performer, Volkswagen Group, while Daimler AG is not far behind the latter, leaving last month’s big winner Toyota Motor Company off the podium this month. In terms of relative growth, Aston Martin doubles up for the second consecutive month, while the two Chinese manufacturers SAIC and Geely also outperform. SAIC’s MG brand comes from a low base, selling just a few hundred cars a month in the UK only, while Geely benefits from its investments in the Swedish Volvo brand and the small British Lotus sportscar brand.
On the other end of the scale, Ford Motor Company is the big loser of the month with sales down more than 8-fold of the next manufacturer. It’s not just the Fiesta that’s in a model change pulling Ford down, as almost all of its car and MPV models show weak sales, which its crossover models can’t offset. Honda has lost volume every month so far this year, while Tata Motors‘ Jaguar and Land Rover brands suffer from a slowdown in their most important market, the UK. Subaru, Mahindra & Mahindra and General Motors are the only other manufacturers to lose volume in September 2017.
Looking at brand level, Skoda adds the most volume in September, closely followed by Renault and Dacia as all three brands add more than 5.500 sales, while Volkswagen and Ford each lose more than 4.000 sales compared to September 2016. All other brands that decline do so with losses of less than 700 sales. Percentage-wise, Alfa Romeo joins Aston Martin and SAIC MG among the fastest growing brands in Europe, while Rolls Royce and Lotus both lose more than half of their sales compared to last year. Cadillac is also down by almost half, after being the fastest growing brand in August. All three brands are niche players in Europe with fewer than 100 sales each this month.
Looking at the brands ranking, we find a surprise in second place behind traditional leader Volkswagen: Mercedes-Benz sets a new ranking record with an almost unbelievable 2nd place. Its previous highest ranking was 4th exactly one year ago in August 2016. At 6,5%, Mercedes-Benz also sets a new record for market share in Europe. Among the brands traditionally competing for the #2 spot, Renault is still best, less than 500 sales behind Mercedes-Benz and almost 4.000 sales ahead of Opel/Vauxhall, with Ford even further behind in 5th place, down 7,7% from its #2 spot last year. Audi is the #2 luxury brand ahead of BMW, with Peugeot splitting the two brands in 7th place. Skoda and Toyota are the biggest improvers in the top-10, while Dacia is up more than 20% to hit its highest ranking ever in 12th place, up from #15 YTD and beating its previous top of #14, hit in August 2015 and last April. Nissan is behind Hyundai for the second consecutive month, an event that has happened only once in the last 4 years: in July and August of 2016. With a gain of 26,7%, Suzuki is once again among the best performers in the top-20 thanks to the Ignis but is trumped by Volvo at +29,1% thanks to the S90/V90 and the new generation XC60. After starting the year on a bang, Jaguar has suffered 4 months of decline in the last 5, of which 3 with double digits, including August. It is now only a handful of sales ahead of Lexus, but this is also because of seasonalities in demand, as the UK market (Jaguar‘s most important market) traditionally dips in August to less than half of its full-year average monthly volume, before jumping back in September because of the twice-annual licence plate change.
Year-to-date, the top-6 remains unchanged on both last year and last month, although in both instances Renault consolidates its 2nd place and Mercedes-Benz closes in on Peugeot‘s 5th place. Mercedes-Benz is also the big winner in the top-10 so far this year. Audi moves ahead of Fiat, while Skoda re-enters the top-10 to the detriment of Toyota, which had leapfrogged the Czech brand earlier this year. Toyota remains the fastest growing brand in the top-18, though. Thanks to its excellent performance in August, Dacia is now ahead of Kia in the year-to-date ranking. Suzuki is still the big winner in the top-25, while Alfa Romeo is the fastest growing brand in the top-30. Other notable improvers not already mentioned above are Maserati (+50,8%) and Geely (sales quadrupled).
Get all of the latest sales figures right to your inbox!
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.