The top-4 is stable on January, with Volkswagen stealing both first and second place, followed by the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta. However, the Fiesta is likely to more than make up for its disadvantage next month, as March is traditionally the busiest month in the year for UK dealers, benefiting Ford and Vauxhall. From past experience, I expect the Fiesta to sell more than 40.000 units in March, which would help it leapfrog both the Clio and the Polo in the first quarter ranking.
In fifth place we find the Peugeot 208, which is the model’s highest ranking in exactly one year and allows the 208 to outsell the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa also for the first time since the same month last year. After showing a huge gain of almost 50% in January, the Corsa is actually down a little in February, despite being facelifted recently.
The Volkswagen Passat makes it three VWs in the top-10 (and 5 VW Group models), as it hits its highest ranking in 36 months with sales up by almost 66% on last year thanks to the new generation. We’ll have to be patient for the long-awaited battle between the Passat and the Ford Mondeo, as the new generation Mondeo hasn’t hit full steam yet. In fact, the Ford is selling at less than a third of the volume of the Passat in the first two months and is stuck in 73rd place.
The Ford Focus also remains stuck outside of the top-10 for the second month in a row, while the Renault Captur holds on to its 12th place, underscoring the huge success of small crossovers in Europe. The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (#18) does the same as it stays within 250 units of its compact stablemate the Astra (#17) after outselling that model for the second time ever last month. The Mokka also outsells the Peugeot 2008 (#19) and Dacia Duster (#24).
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 20th place enjoys its sixth straight month ahead of its arch rival the BMW 3-series (#23) as the C-Class is up by more than half while the 3-series is down 14%. The soon to be replaced Audi A4 is in 31st place, amazingly adding sales on last year. However, in the compact premium segment, Audi leads the way with the A3 in tenth place, followed by the BMW 1-series (#30), while the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is now threatened by the BMW 2-series thanks to the apparent and for me personally incomprehensible success of the 2-series Active Tourer.
The fastest growing model in the top-35 is the Renault Twingo (#25) at +133% and into third place of the minicar segment, like Renault had projected the model to do. The Twingo is still far behind the traditional segment leaders Fiat Panda (#13) and Fiat 500 (#15), but ahead of the Volkswagen Up! (#41) and Toyota Aygo (#47). Contrastingly, the Suzuki Celerio (down to #160) seems to be suffering from internal competition by its heavily discounted predecessor Suzuki Alto (#120), which outsold the Celerio by more than a 2-to-1 ratio in February. Combined, the two models are still down 14% on last year’s performance by the Alto on its own.
Biggest newcomer is still the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan in 39th place, although it falls behind the Renault Scenic and Citroën C4 Picasso again. The Jeep Renegade (#83) is close to hitting 4.000 units for the first time, while its sibling Fiat 500X (#98) rises even faster, already breaking the 3.000 units threshold in only its second month of sales.
The Nissan Pulsar in 85th place continues to improve, now even threatening the Mazda3 in 81st place, although it hasn’t yet hit the sales pace Nissan had projected for the model. Still, if it passes the Mazda3, the Pulsar would be the second-best selling Japanese compact car in Europe, behind the Toyota Auris, unreachable at #34.
Sales of the new generation Smart Fortwo (#86) are already down on last year’s volume of the outgoing model, but that’s a result of internal competition of its four-door sibling Smart Forfour in 96th place, less than 350 units behind it.
At 565 units, the Land Rover Discovery Sport (#194) is now not only ahead of its predecessor Freelander (#255), but also ahead of the larger “regular” Discovery at #201. Considering February is a particularly weak month in the UK, where Land Rover sells most of its European volume, expect the Disco Sport to shoot up next month to at least 3.000 units.
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