Toyota is the big volume winner among brands in June, followed by Fiat and Peugeot, the former of which builds on continuous demand for its 500 minicar, but increasingly on the success of the Tipo compact car. Peugeot scores nicely with its new crossovers 3008 and 5008. In the short term, PSA might regret its acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall, as it’s the fastest declining brand in Europe at double the volume lost of the next loser, BMW. PSA’s luxury brand DS has become a mainstay in the losers aisle this year and shows no signs of improvement anytime soon, unless the upcoming crossover DS7 Crossback proves to be a big hit. The rest of the already aging line-up will have to make do for a few more years, as only one new model launch is planned per year. In terms of relative growth, both Chevrolet (mostly Camaros and Corvettes) and Cadillac (mostly Escalades) more than double up, while Lotus, now under the flag of Volvo owner Geely, also shows a nice growth. Besides DS, we also find Lamborghini and Infiniti among the relative losers. For the latter, the Q30/QX30 duo which has been designed to put the brand on the map in Europe, has now officially and solidly flopped.
All top-4 brands decline in June, as Volkswagen naturally keeps its traditional leadership, followed by Renault. Ford takes third place, which was temporarily taken by Opel/Vauxhall last year. Peugeot is closing in quickly on its newly acquired sister brand, reducing a gap of more than 15.000 sales last year to less than 800 sales. BMW falls behind Mercedes-Benz and Fiat, the latter of which is the fastest growing brand in the top-10. Toyota moves past Citroën as the biggest winner in the top-15, while distancing Japanese rival Nissan. Dacia closes in on Hyundai, while Kia shows a rare loss in Europe. Kia is now seriously under fire from Seat, the biggest winner in the top-20. Suzuki outpaces Mazda and jumps into the top-20, while Honda is in danger of falling behind Mitsubishi. Jeep has lost steam now the Renegade is no longer brand new, but the new generation Compass should revitalize the brand again. Alfa Romeo is hte fastest growing brand in the top-30 thanks to the Giulia and Stelvio, almost doubling the volume of sister brand Lancia, which takes a big hit. DS barely stays ahead of perennial wallflower Lexus, and Telsa almost outsells Subaru.
Thanks to its solid performance in June, Toyota steals the crown of biggest winner in the first half from Mercedes-Benz, with Fiat a close third. All three brands add more than 40.000 sales and when combined can be credited with 43% of the European market growth. On the other end of the scale, DS, Opel/Vauxhall and Honda each lose more than 10.000 sales, which for DS means a loss of almost 37% of its volume. Mahindra, which sells just a handful of cars a month in a few European countries, also shrinks hard, as does Dodge, which until recently didn’t have an official importer for Europe and was only available through grey-market imports. However, in order to bring more structure to its low-volume representation, FCA has now appointed not one but two official importers of Dodge and RAM vehicles. Of these, RAM will take the bulk of the volume with its pick-up truck, while Dodge may find some popularity for its Hellcat versions of the Charger and Challenger in Europe, now that demand in the US has peaked.
In the first half of 2017, Volkswagen loses half a percentage point of market share but remains ultra dominant. The brand seems completely unphased by the diesel scandal in the US and even by the reports of collusion and price fixing between the German automakers. It helps of course that VW has a firm grip on corporate sales in some of Europe’s most important markets, which all but guarantees a steady stream of orders. Renault consolidates its #2 position, outgrowing Ford which may start to catch up when the new Fiesta hits full steam, but that may be too little, too late to reclaim second place by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Opel/Vauxhall is falling further behind since the take-over by PSA, as sister brand Peugeot has slashed the gap in half. Mercedes-Benz and Fiat both gain around 11% and kick down Audi into 8th place, while BMW remains #3 of the German luxury brands. Skoda holds on to its top-10 position by the skin of its teeth, as Toyota has closed in to 17 sales, helped by the successful launch of the C-HR crossover. The bottom end of the top-15 is relatively stable, although Dacia is closing in on Kia after a slow June for the South-Korean brand. Suzuki has switched places with Mazda and Smart has fallen behind Jeep. Alfa Romeo now outsells Porsche and has distanced Jaguar, not to mention sister brand Lancia. Further down below, Aston Martin outsells Ferrari and if it keeps that up until the end of the year, it will be the first time in exactly a decade that it will do so.
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