After discussing European car sales for December 2016 by brand, let’s check out what the model ranking looks like in the last month of 2016. Renault amazingly places 3 models in the top-7, with the Clio, Captur and Megane, all showing double digit improvement. Volkswagen managed this same feat in August (when it had 3 models in the top-6) and October with the Golf, Polo and Tiguan, but for the French brand this is a much more unusual performance. In its fourth year, the Captur just keeps improving even without any updates, while the Clio had its best December since 2010 thanks to a minor facelift and the Megane has its second-best month in 4,5 years after last June, now that the new generation is picking up steam including the station wagon version. As a result, the Megane is not that far behind its rival Opel/Vauxhall Astra, hinting at an interesting battle between these two in 2017, a battle which will undoubtedly hurt the segment (and total market) leader VW Golf. The Volkswagen Tiguan makes it five top-10 finishes in a row, of which it outsold its rival Nissan Qashqai four times.
The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa drops out of the top-10 for the first time in 16 months with a 13th place, its lowest ranking in at least a decade. The Peugeot 2008 (#16) keeps improving since its facelift and stays well ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (#24), which feels the Dacia Duster (#25) breathing down its neck. The Peugeot 308 barely holds on to a top-20 position but its 51% loss looks worse than it is. Its December 2015 volume was a one-off 27.000 units peak, placing it in 3rd place due to massive pre-registrations in The Netherlands that month because of a change in a taxation system which disproportionally benefitted the 308. The new generation Citroën C3 (#27) improves almost a third on the outgoing model last year, while the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (#30) and Audi A4 (#33) also show healthy growth, the latter now close behind the BMW 3-series (#32). The Renault Kadjar (#28) outsells the Hyundai Tucson (#31) for a segment 3rd place. Not far behind we find the Peugeot 3008 (#36), again outselling the Ford Kuga (#44) and Kia Sportage (#48).
The Volvo XC60, due to be replaced later this year, shows no signs of slowing down in 35th place, easily its highest ranking ever and even ahead of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (#40). That’s not its direct rival of course, but it’s another sign of how crossovers and SUVs are slowly closing in on sedan sales, most notably in the luxury segments. The XC60’s real rivals are in 55th and 58th place: the Mercedes-Benz GLC (including Coupe) and Audi Q5. At #80 we find the Renault Talisman, which means it outsells the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (#87) and Ford Mondeo (#90) for the first time. Further down the ranking, the Alfa Romeo Giulia (#156) distances the Jaguar XE (#175).
The Fiat Tipo is the best selling newcomer (although not entirely new anymore) in 49th place, hitting its highest volume ever helped by the hatchback and station wagon versions. Best real newcomer is the Seat Ateca in 70th place, followed by the Toyota C-HR at #79, proving its polarizing design does have its share of fans. Much further behind, the Ford Ka+ (#129) loses 16 places on its November ranking and still loses volume on its predecessor a year ago. The Suzuki Ignis jumps 76 places on the month before to land at #173, while the Suzuki Baleno drops 14 places to just outside the top-180. The Hyundai Ioniq (#179) distances its rival Toyota Prius (#205), and sibling Kia Niro stays ahead at #161. The Tesla Model X tops 1.000 sales again in 192nd place, as the American brand tends to backload deliveries to the last month of each quarter. The Maserati Levante (#215) outsells family member Jeep Cherokee (#216), but the Grand Cherokee, whose next generation is expected to be closely related to the Levante, remains ahead in 171st place. The Infiniti Q30 just can’t seem to find success, stuck outside the top-200, while the closely related QX30 doesn’t add much to the tally at #277.
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