After discussing the European brand sales ranking for February 2016, let’s look at the model rankings. For the second month in a row Volkswagen monopolizes the top-2 with the Golf and the Polo. After losing volume in January, the Golf shows a slight increase last month. The Renault Clio benefits from a traditionally weak month of February as UK buyers, who buy more than 40% of all European Fiestas, are waiting for the new license plates in March. I expect sales of about 50.000 units for the little Ford in March, helping it move past the Polo in the YTD ranking. The Peugeot 208 also shows a nice improvement thanks to its recent facelift, while the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa makes it 5 subcompact cars in the top-6. The Corsa will also rebound next month on strong UK volume.
The Fiat Panda keeps the incredible pace it showed in January, proving it wasn’t a freak performance, even though it’s disproportionately dependent on its home market Italy. The Panda’s 7th place is its best ranking since at least 2009, when it ranked 8th for the full year. The little Fiat’s performance is even more impressive when you see that almost all other minicars are either stable or lose sales, with the exception of the renewed Smart Fortwo and the all-new Opel Karl/Vauxhall Viva. The Skoda Octavia holds on to the 8th place it held in January, while the Peugeot 308 kicks its fresher rival Opel/Vauxhall Astra back out of the top-10.
The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka has an off-month, with sales slightly depressed and the Peugeot 2008 moving into the small SUV segment #2 spot behind the Renault Captur. The Fiat 500X is the fastest growing model in the top-100 in 37th place while its sister model Jeep Renegade is closer to the Nissan Juke than ever, at #61 and #54 respectively. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, no longer the freshest model in the midsized premium segment, shows its fifth consecutive year-over-year decline and is now even outsold by its main rival BMW 3-series, while the new generation Audi A4 is breathing down its neck as well.
The Hyundai Tucson is the best selling newcomer again, and it holds on to the #2 spot of the midsized SUV segment for the second straight month, ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage. In the last few months of 2015, the also brand new Renault Kadjar consistently outsold the Tucson, but in 2016 the roles have reversed so far. However, keep in mind that registration figures of the Kadjar are limited by supply, as the waiting list for new orders has run up to as much as six months. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the success of the Tucson doesn’t rub off on the rest of its line-up, as its other models are either stable (i10 and i20) or lose volume (all others). In contrast, all Honda models are up, except the discontinued ones. A nice change of fortune for the only manufacturer to lose volume in Europe last year.
In the midsized MPV segment, the new generation Volkswagen Touran has held onto its lead ahead of the Citroën C4 Picasso and the BMW 2-series Active & Grand Tourer, while the Renault Scenic tumbles down the ranking as the new generation has just been revealed in Geneva and should hit showrooms in Q3. One segment larger, the new generation Ford S-Max again beats the new Renault Espace, but at least the latter has now moved past the Volkswagen Sharan. The Volvo XC90 has outsold the Audi Q7 which means Volvo now leads two Premium SUV segments, an impressive performance in this German-dominated part of the world. The new generation Lexus RX is still far behind, but almost triples its low figure of last year.
We welcome the Jaguar F-Pace with just 88 sales in its first month, and it’ll be interesting to see how well the British brand’s first SUV will do the rest of this year. We also welcome the Mercedes-Benz SLC, the facelifted and renamed SLK.
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