Auto sales in Europe are up 5,5% in July 2014 to 1.076.705 units, extending the streak of year-over-year gains to 11 months, and the Year-to-Date tally now stands at 7.882.231 up 5,8% on 2013.
The biggest winner in July is once again the VW Group, reaching its highest market share of the European car market ever at just over 27%, with Skoda and Volkswagen as the brands with the biggest volume increases overall, followed by Dacia. Skoda has passed Citroën and Fiat in July to move into the top-10 in 9th place.
Similarly, Dacia is closing in on Hyundai, with less than 1.500 units between them for the third time this year and the second straight month. If Dacia continues this performance and if Hyundai continues to struggle, the Romanian brand may overtake the South-Koreans sometime later this year. The impending model change of the i20 and the continuous decline of the i30 don’t help the Hyundai brand either.
Also in July, Audi has passed Peugeot for only the fifth time in the past three years (and possibly ever), despite the French enjoying great success with their Car of the Year, the 308. However, the Peugeot compact car is still outsold by a more than 3.000 units by its German premium competitor Audi A3.
With a more than 10% increase over July 2013 for Nissan, thanks to the successful new generations of the Note small MPV and the Qashqai compact crossover, and an almost 10% decline for Toyota, due to declines for all of its models with the exception of the Auris compact, Nissan is closing in on its mid-term target of reclaiming the title of best selling Japanese brand which it lost in 1999.
Lancia-Chrysler had remained virtually flat in the first six months, but a 23,8% decline in July has thrown the Italians firmly into negative territory Year-to-Date as sales of the Ypsilon, the brand’s best seller by far, slow down. A 22% increase of Voyager sales do little to keep the brand alive, as this translates to a volume increase from 353 units to 432.
With the new generation Mini hatchback reaching full availability, Mini is able to take back its 20th place from Suzuki in July, but still trails the Japanese brand by more than 15.000 units Year-to-date, a backlog that the Brits won’t close by the end of the year, but at least they’ve leapfrogged Honda this month already.
Sales of Chevrolet in Europe, down 86% in June, have sunk even further in July, to a loss of 92,3%, the largest loss of all brands both in absolute volume as in percentage. With just over 1.000 cars sold over the entire continent, the American brand looks set to leave the European car market a year earlier than planned. Jaguar and Lexus each have sold more than twice as many cars in July as Chevrolet.
Further down in the ranking, the lower volume brands are subject to higher volatility, which translates into Tesla being the fastest gaining brand as their Model S hadn’t officially been introduced until later in 2013.
MG, the Chinese reincarnation of the classic British brand, multiplies its July 2013 sales by a factor 7,5 and even ninefold Year-to-Date, thanks to a relative successful introduction of the MG3 subcompact car to the UK market.
The introduction of the Maserati Ghibli premium large sedan and the new generation Quattroporte limousine help the Italian luxury brand multiply its 2013 sales as well, but that’s not enough for Sergio Marchionne, who plans to add a smaller sports coupe to compete with the Porsche 911 and a luxury SUV to the brand’s line-up within the next couple of years.
On the other end of the scale, sales of the Russian Lada brand are down almost a third as the brand’s core model, the ancient Niva 4×4 which enjoys a cult status among some groups, have started to slow down. It’s not clear whether this has to do with the model’s challenges to meet increasingly strict emission and safety standards, or with an oncoming minor facelift of the model that’s been around since the 1970’s.
Scroll down to see the July and Year-to-Date winners and losers and the July and Year-to-Date brand rankings.
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