After discussing the November 2014 brands ranking, we will take a deeper look into which car models are selling well in the last quarter of 2014.
Behind the Volkswagen Golf, which racks up more than double the amount of sales of its nearest non-VW competitor, the Volkswagen Polo manages a second straight month in second place, as the Ford Fiesta suffers a particularly weak month, down 4.600 units on last year and down another spot into fourth as the Renault Clio passes it again.
Another impressive performance by the Skoda Octavia, in 6th place for the fourth time this year and twice in a row, compared to a 9th place year-to-date. The record ranking for the Czech compact sedan and station wagon remains the 5th place it October 2013.
Equally impressive is the 7th place for the Nissan Qashqai, also not a record for the model, but its 15.000+ sales mean that the British-build crossover is likely to finish 2014 above 200.000 sales for the fifth year in a row, despite the shift to the new generation this year.
After outselling its compact segment rival Opel/Vauxhall Astra (down to #19) for the first time ever in October, the Peugeot 308 in 9th place chalks up another first-ever this month, outselling its smaller siblings Peugeot 208 (#10) and 207 (including 207CC) combined. Before November, a Peugeot compact car (30X) has never managed to sell more cars in a single month than the brand’s compact cars (20X). A similar feat has happened at Seat this year, as the Leon compact in 23rd place has outsold the Ibiza subcompact (#38) for the first time ever as well. This trend is caused by several reasons: at Peugeot, the 208 is due for a midcycle facelift in 2015, and may be suffering from internal competition from the 2008 small crossover (#26), while the 308 is still fresh, as its popular station wagon version has just been introduced in the first half of 2014. At Seat, the Ibiza is starting to show its age while the Leon is riding high on the success of the model’s first station wagon version in its three generations, while the market for station wagons in Europe has an annual volume of 600.000 to 700.000 units.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class reaches a best-ever 11th place, the highest position for any Mercedes-Benz model in Europe, ever. The C-Class is less than 200 units from a top-10 position, so let’s see if it can improve on this excellent performance even further next month. Surprisingly, the Audi A4 remains relatively stable in 25th place despite being one of the oldest models in the premium midsized segment by now. The Lexus IS, renewed in 2013 with a more striking design has enjoyed a short-lived success, as its sales are already down year-over-year for the fifth month in a row, down to #183. Trying to compete with the BMW 3-series, the IS now finds itself outsold by the BMW i3 EV (#182) for the fifth month this year.
In the small crossover segment, the hottest segment of the market, the competition remains as fierce as ever, with the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka in 18th place and Dacia Duster in 22nd place closing in on the Renault Captur (#14) as the Peugeot 2008 suffers a particularly weak month. The Nissan Juke seems recover from its recent sales slump to move back up into #35 as the facelifted version reaches showrooms.
The Fiat Panda (#16) outsells its sibling Fiat 500 (#17) for only the second time this year, after February, to take this months victory in the minicar segment, if we don’t combine sales of the twins and triplets in the segment. If we do, the recently renewed Kolin triplets Citroën C1 (#61), Peugeot 108 (#55) and Toyota Aygo (#57) outsell the VW-Group triplets for the third month in a row and with the largest margin since June 2012, when the Volkswagen Up! (#32) and its siblings were still gaining traction in the market. One could argue that the Panda and 500 are on the same platform as well, but I wouldn’t call them twins as their designs and price levels set them more apart from each other.
The Renault Zoe subcompact EV seems to benefit from Renault’s decision to abandon the battery-leasing strategy and also offer customers to buy the car including the batteries outright. The Zoe, #151 in November has outsold the larger Nissan Leaf compact EV (in 154th place) for the second month in a row and has a (albeit long) shot of becoming the second electric car to break the 10.000 annual units threshold in Europe.
The BMW 4-series and 2-series continue to impress in 73rd and 75th place respectively, the latter also thanks to the introduction of the 2-series Active Tourer, BMWs first-ever MPV and first-ever front-wheel drive vehicle. The i8 also keeps shining, again the best selling exotic car of the continent by a large margin and set to finish the year with more than 1.000 sales.
Best newcomer is again the VW Golf Sportsvan in 40th place, pushing down its sibling Touran into 50th place with sales down 18%. After flamboyantly taking the lead of the midsized MPV segment, the Sportsvan is leapfrogged again by the Citroën C4 Picasso (#37), but remains ahead of the Renault Scenic (#43).
We welcome the Suzuki Celerio in its first month of sales as a replacement to the evergreen Suzuki Alto, it is in 213th place with 350 sales. Suzuki has taken a different approach to the minicar segment than the other brands, and it’ll be interesting to see how this pays off for them in 2015 as the Alto (#140 in November) is phased out and the Celerio can go full steam ahead.
Year-to-date, the Skoda Octavia passes the Audi A3 to move into 9th place and it has a shot at the Nissan Qashqai’s 8th place by the end of the year. For the rest, the top-10 is likely to remain unchanged when 2014 comes to an end. Other interesting battles by the end of the year are between the Hyundai i10 and Renault Twingo, in 55th and 56th place YTD respectively, with less than 1.600 sales between them, while the Twingo outsold its rival by 1.201 units in November. Similarly in the minicar segment, the Citroën C1 is still behind the Ford Ka and Kia Picanto by the end of November, but at the current selling rates, the C1 will finish 2014 ahead of those to competitors.
In the compact segment, the Renault Megane needs to pull a rabbit out of its hat in December to prevent the Seat Leon from outselling it for the first year ever, while the Nissan Pulsar could end its first (partial) year of sales in the segment’s top-25 ahead of the dying Chevrolet Cruze and the Citroën C-Elysee.
The recently introduced Jeep Cherokee needs another strong December sales volume in order to leapfrog the dated Opel/Vauxhall Antara for the full year 2014, after already passing other geriatrics like the Renault Koleos and Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Despite outselling the Audi A1 by more than 2.100 units in November, the Mini is too far behind (almost 5.000 units) to retake the full-year 2014 crown of the premium small car segment.
One of the closest battles is for the top spot in the premium compact SUV segment, where the Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5 are separated by less than 100 units. In the premium large SUV segment, the Range Rover is still less than 200 units ahead of the Porsche Cayenne while the latter outsold it by more than 400 units in November after a horrible October score.
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