After looking at the August 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s zoom in on individual model sales figures. The major thing to notice in the top-3 is the arrival of the Skoda Octavia behind the usual suspects VW Golf and Renault Clio. If last month the Octavia set a new personal best ranking with a 4th place, it immediately breaks that record in August, landing on the European podium for the first time since the nameplate’s was launched in 1996. The facelift with the double headlights must really have struck a chord with European buyers. In fourth place, the Volkswagen Tiguan equals the record ranking it also hit last April, and it’s Europe’s best selling crossover for the third time this year after April and January, and for the sixth time ever, after August, October and November of 2016. But wait, there’s one more record breaker in the top-5: the Dacia Sandero climbs two more spots on the personal best it set last month and is in the European top-5 for the first time ever. This also makes it a Renault-Dacia 1-2 in the subcompact car segment, as the Sandero outsells overall top-5 regulars like the Volkswagen Polo (#6), Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (#8) and Ford Fiesta (down to a record low of 32nd place), as well as other rivals like the Peugeot 208 (#9) and Toyota Yaris (#10). Granted, the Polo and Fiesta suffer from model change-overs and the Corsa is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that still doesn’t really discount the Sandero’s top performance with a gain of 23,3%.
If Opel/Vauxhall seems in trouble with its traditional models Corsa and Astra (#11), the Mokka X (#14) is saving the brand’s face, outselling its rivals Renault Captur (#20) and Peugeot 2008 (#33). In fact, the 2008 is even outsold by the Dacia Duster (#21), which continues to go from strength to strength even though the brand has already revealed the 2nd generation of its hit model. The Citroën C3 is down to 15th place after a couple of impressive months, but its gain of 76,9% is still healthy and it still outsells the Skoda Fabia. While the Fiat 500 (#17) has more than made up for its relatively slow start of the year with a second consecutive month of >20% gains, its sibling Panda is down to 39th place and only one spot from losing its position as the Italian brand’s #2 model to the Tipo, which is already the second-best selling Fiat in its home country Italy, behind the Panda. Another great performer in the second half of its life cycle is the Ford Kuga in 22nd place. The already 5-year old model has miraculously reclaimed 3rd place in the compact crossover segment despite the arrival of hot new models like the Peugeot 3008 (#25) and moves ahead of the much fresher Hyundai Tucson (#27). The next ranking record breaker is the Mercedes-Benz GLC (including the Coupe version), with an impressive 23rd place. This reflects the nameplate’s excellent performances in Germany and Switzerland, where it ranked a spectacular 6th and and 4th place in the overall rankings respectively in August.
For the first time since February 2016 the BMW 5-series (#31) outsells its rival Mercedes-Benz E-Class (#43), but more impressively: for the first time ever the 5-Series is the best selling BMW in Europe, ahead of the X1 (#34), 3-Series (#35) and 1-Series (#36). The new generation Volvo XC60 (#47) improves its sales by 87% but can’t keep up with the GLC for now. The Renault Scenic (#48) also shows impressive gains, but is still unable to reclaim the segment leadership. In July, the Citroën C4 Picasso (now #51) stayed in front, and in August the Volkswagen Touran (#44) has inched ahead of the recently renewed Scenic. The Nissan Micra is back down to #58 despite a continued strong form, while the Renault Kadjar (#63) continues to decline but stays ahead of the Seat Ateca (#72). The new generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (#73) finally shows a year-over-year gain, but is still way behind the Skoda Superb (#55) and not that far ahead of the Ford Mondeo (#88). In that same segment, the Renault Talisman is down to #147 with only a fraction of the sales of its German rivals and even behind the Toyota Avensis (#137). A very painful result for what I still consider to be one of the best looking models in the segment. Missing out on the UK market and a lack of francophilia in the German market, especially toward the larger models, make it a difficult proposition, but perhaps the improved interior quality of the 2018 Model Year can turn things around, as this was one of the major criticisms for the model.
The Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X is up to #85 with a significant improvement in volume compared to its predecessor Meriva, indicating the crossover-isation has been a wise decision and a positive sign for the upcoming Citroën C3 Aircross (#298 as deliveries haven’t officially started yet) based on the same platform and philosophy. In 92nd place the Ford B-Max enjoys a second wind as dealers are heavily discounting remaining stock models before production will end in September. The new generation Jeep Compass is starting to get noticed and climbs the ranking to #158, while the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (#172) outsells the Giulia (#174) for the second straight month.
Best selling newcomers (<12 months) are the Toyota C-HR at #41, the Skoda Kodiaq up to #57 and the aforementioned Crossland X, followed by the Suzuki Ignis at #98. Among recent launches, the Range Rover Velar stabilizes at #191 before undoubtedly jumping up the ranking next month when the UK market gives it a boost. The Renault Koleos is slightly back up to #189 and so is the Volkswagen Arteon to #192. Further down, the Lexus LC in 276th place outsells the RC (#284) and GS (#285).
Thanks to its excellent performance in August, the Sandero climbs from #16 in the YTD ranking after July to #13 after August. The Fiesta and Golf are the big losers in the top-10 so far this year, while the Tiguan and C3 are the big winners in the top-25. The Megane (#24) has moved ahead of the 308 (#25), while the X1 (#42) jumps two spots, leapfrogging the Kadjar and Touran. The GLC also climbs two spots to #47 thanks to its excellent August score, moving ahead of the 5-Series and i20, while distancing the XC60 (stable at #50). The Crossland X jumps from #188 to #173, the Selvio enters the top-200 at #196, the Arteon enters the top-250 at #249 and the RR Velar climbs to #257.
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