China Full Year 2016: Tax cut boosts market up 14% to 28 million sales

Haval H6 Coupe China 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe Haval H6 soars 56% to 2nd place overall, symbolising the ongoing Chinese SUV boom.

* See the Top 83 All China-made brands and Top 520 models by clicking on the title *

See 35 years worth of Chinese Historical Data here

The Chinese new vehicle market, by far the largest in the world, got a higher-than-expected boost this year from a 50% purchase tax cut on small engine vehicles (1.6L or less) from 10% to 5% taking effect from October 1, 2015 until December 31, 2016. Sales shot up 14% on an already very impressive 2015 score (24.61m) to reach a record 28.03 million units, whereas the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers had tabled on a much more discreet 6% gain at the start of the year (we said 7%). Incredibly, 2016 marks the 26th consecutive annual sales record in China: the last time Chinese sales declined year-on-year was in 1990… Light vehicles surge 15% to just under 24.4 million, with vehicles of 1.6L and less soaring 21% to 17.6 million.

Wuling Hongguang S1 China 2016The Wuling Hongguang is the best-selling vehicle in China for the 4th straight year.

Once again SUV sales do the heavy lifting with a mammoth 45% gain to 9 million sales, crusading the symbolic one million monthly unit-mark for the first time in November, and again in December. In fact, SUV monthly sales records were broken four consecutive times at the end of the year: in September (891.612), October (919.279), November (1.023.633) and December (1.081.014). MPV sales are up 18% to 2.5 million and sedan sales up 3.4% to 12.1 million. Microvans on the other hand continue to tumble at -38% to 683.500. Finally, after a couple of tough years declining, commercial trucks and buses are back in positive in 2016 at +4% to 3.6 million sales. As it was the case in 2015, Chinese brands are gaining market share and taking advantage of the tax cut as well as the SUV boom more effectively than their foreign counterparts. More detail on this further down in this Report.

VW Lavida China  2016. Picture courtesy auto.fengniao.comVolkswagen continues to dominate the Chinese market. The Lavida is #3 overall.

Despite a crackdown on manufacturers inflating volumes, sales of eco-friendly vehicles surge 53% in China this year to break the symbolic half-million mark at 507.000 units thanks to generous government subsidies. Battery-electric vehicles are up 65% to 409.000 units divided into 257.000 passenger cars (+75%) and 152.000 commercial vehicles (+51%) while plug-in hybrids are up 17% to 98.000 with 79.000 passenger cars (+17%) and 19.000 commercial vehicles (+19%). In 2017, the Chinese government has new set standards for EV energy consumption and range, while cutting subsidies by 20% in a bid to “clean-up” a segment rocked by scandals and corruption.

Buick Excelle GT China 2016. Picture courtesy autoifeng.comThe Buick Excelle GT is up 28% to #4 overall in 2016.

From January 1, 2017 the purchase tax on small engine vehicles has been raised to 7.5% which leads the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers to predict a slower 5% growth for 2017 to 25.7 million light vehicles, which, added to 3.7 million commercial trucks (+2%), leads to an overall market up 5% to 29.4 million units. This would mean the symbolic 30 million overall sales will be passed in 2018. We at BSCB table on a 7.5% market increase to 30 million right here in 2017. The CAAM predicts – and we at BSCB agree – that the Chinese vehicle market will continue to expand over the next five years thanks to strong demand in Tier-3 and smaller cities. Our numerous Photo Series through various countryside regions of China have confirmed the untapped sales potential of these regions which are taking the relay of the eastern seaboard as the country’s engine of growth.

Baojun 730 China 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe Baojun 730 gains another 15% to remain #5.

Group-wise, in 2016 the Volkswagen Group reclaims the top spot off General Motors thanks to sales up 12% to 3.98 million units. The Volkswagen brands resumes its galloping ride with deliveries up 14% to approach 3 million units thanks to the majority of its sedan range benefitting from the tax cut and despite a glaring lack of a decent SUV lineup. Audi is up 3.6% to 591.600 sales, Skoda up 13% to 317.100 and Porsche up 13% to 65.200. In contrast General Motors sales are up just 7.1% to 3.87 million units, handicapped by a 14% drop at Chevrolet to 525.300 units and a 7% decline at Wuling to 1.4m as microvans implode. On the other hand Baojun retail sales surge 49% to 688.300 (760.200 wholesales), Buick is up 19% to 1.18m (1.23m wholesales) and Cadillac is up 46% to 116.406. China remains GM’s largest market in the world for the fifth straight year, accounting for more than one-third of its global sales.

Nissan Sylphy China 2016. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cnThe Nissan Sylphy is up 10% but down two spots to #6. 

Hyundai-Kia improves just 6.7% – half the speed of the market – to 1.79m units but remains the third best-selling group in China, ahead of all the Japanese. The Hyundai brand falls from #2 in the 2015 passenger cars ranking to #5 this year (see further down). Nissan Motor remains the most popular among them despite trailing the market also at +8.4% to 1.35m units but the big news is Honda Motor leaping up 24% to 1.25m sales, overtaking Toyota Motor up just 8.2% to 1.2m units. Ford Motor for its part gains 14% to 1.27m units, with cars produced by the Changan-Ford joint-venture up 14% to 957.495, models under the JMC partnership up 7% to 265.056, Ford-branded imports down 31% to 17.599 and Lincoln-branded imports triple the 2015 result to 32.558.

VW Jetta China 2016. Picture courtesy nanrenwo.netThe VW Jetta is up 27% to 7th place and receives a facelift for 2017. 

If you paid close attention to the last two paragraphs, you would have noticed that among the Top 7 best-selling foreign groups, only Honda outpaces the overall Chinese market in 2016. Where does all the growth come from? The answer is simple: Chinese carmakers. If Changan, China’s largest domestic manufacturer, also trails the market at +9% to 1.420.399 light vehicles, it overtakes Wuling to become the #1 light vehicle Chinese brand in 2016. Great Wall Motor on the other hand surges 26% to cross the one million annual sales milestone for the first time at 1.074m units. Of these, 938.018 (+34%) are Haval-branded crossovers and SUVs, 105.621 (+6%) are Great Wall-branded pickups and 30.831 (-43%) are Great Wall-branded sedans, an endangered species. Great Wall will attempt to build on this tremendous success with a new premium brand Wey, whose first production model is scheduled to launch at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

VW Sagitar China 2016. Picture courtesy che.comAlthough up 22%, the VW Sagitar is down one spot to #8 in 2016.

The other stellar Chinese performer of 2016 is Geely, with sales up 50% to 765.851 or 767.331 wholesales (+45%), making it into the Top 10 passenger car brands at #10 (#14) thanks to four very successful launches this year (the Boyue, Emgrand GS, Emgrand GL and Vision SUV). Geely even crossed the 100.000 monthly sales benchmark in December and could be aiming at one million deliveries in 2017. In the passenger car brands ranking, a plethora of Chinese manufacturers also display explosive gains, such as – in sales order – Beijing Auto (+36%), Dongfeng (+26%), GAC Trumpchi (+95%), Zotye (+45%), Roewe (+142%), Soueast (+59%), Leopaard (+110%), Landwind (+86%), Jinvei (+121%) and Changhe (+152%) all within the Top 50. We also welcome Cowin (38.345 sales), Borgward (30.015), SWM (25.688), Hanteng (16.117), FQT Motor (2.918) and Bisu (2.917) in the brands ranking for 2016.

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China 2016Astounding first full year of sales for the GAC Trumpchi GS4 at #9… 

In the luxury aisle, Audi maintains its lead but gains just 3.6% to 591.554 sales while BMW AG is up 11% to 516.355. Mercedes-Benz on the other hand oars 27% to 472.844 and was even the #1 China-made luxury brand in December, historically outselling Audi. In fourth place, Jaguar Land Rover is up 31% to 119.000 sales thanks to the local production kick start of the Land Rover Discovery Sport (26.557), Range Rover Evoque (12.759) and Jaguar XFL (5.644). Cadillac is up 46% to 116.000, overtaking Lexus (+26%), Volvo is ip 11% to 90.930 and Lincoln, two years after its launch in the country, triples its sales vs. 2015 to 32.558. According to the company, five of Lincoln’s top 10 and 11 of its top 20 dealerships worldwide, ranked by sales in 2016, are based in China.

Baojun 560 China 2016b. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cn…as well as for the Baojun 560 at #10.

A veteran to the Chinese market, PSA Peugeot Citroen had missed the SUV boat until the launch of the 4008 late last year and as a result sees its sales freefall 16% to 618.123 units, its joint-venture with Dongfeng seeing a 15% drop to 602.000 and its partnership with Changan for the DS brand imploding 34% to just 16.123 vehicles. A recent entrant to the local production arena, Jeep shows a 16-fold increase in its China-made sales to a splendid 129.516 units, while Renault, local producer since June in partnership with Dongfeng, is up 82% to 36.525 deliveries including 30.026 China-made. With Acura poised to kick start local production in 2017, Subaru and Lexus are the only main manufacturer not having a foot in the Chinese market so far. Fiat, back to local production in 2012, hasn’t launched any new nameplate since the original introduction of the Viaggio and Ottimo, consequently seeing its deliveries come to an almost full stop at -60%.

2016 Best-selling China-made brands by segment (wholesale data – source CAAM):

Pos Brand Sedan sales
1 Volkswagen 2,717,352
2 Toyota 811,743
3 Buick 802,876
4 Hyundai 753,583
5 Nissan 665,011
6 Ford 660,108
7 Honda 601,064
8 Geely 502,368
9 Chevrolet 479,069
10 Kia 430,204
Pos Brand SUV sales
1 Haval 938,019
2 Changan 540,644
3 Honda 515,562
4 Hyundai 384,542
5 Buick 347,328
6 GAC Trumpchi 343,438
7 Nissan 342,050
8 Baojun 321,555
9 Ford 288,573
10 JAC 272,780
Pos Brand MPV sales
1 Wuling 667,629
2 Baojun 370,169
3 Changan 277,973
4 Dongfeng Fengxing 156,922
5 Weiwang 134,306
6 Huansu 120,689
7 Dongfeng Fengguang 112,359
8 Buick 79,600
9 Jinbei 71,399
10 Honda 71,041

In the China-made passenger car brands ranking (wholesale data), Volkswagen (+13%) crosses the symbolic 3 million unit-mark ahead of Buick (+19%), Honda (+22%) and Changan (+24%) while Hyundai (+7%) tumbles down from #2 last year to #5 and Toyota (+5%) drops two ranks to #6. Looking at sedans only, Volkswagen’s domination is glaring with 2.7m units vs. just 811.700 for the 2nd best-seller – Toyota – with Buick, Hyundai and Nissan in tow. Among Chinese manufacturers, only Geely manages a Top 10 sedan ranking thanks to the Emgrand EC7. Yet Volkswagen doesn’t make it to the Top 10 SUV nor MPV brands, both rankings dominated by Chinese fares. In the SUV aisle, Haval and Changan dominate ahead of Honda, Hyundai and Buick while in the MPV segment Wuling, Baojun, Changan, Dongfeng Fengxing and Weiwang are tops. Buick and Honda are the only foreign brands to appear in all three rankings.

Chery Arrizo 5 China 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cnThe Chery Arrizo 5 is the most popular all-new nameplate for 2016…

Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang is the best-selling vehicle in the country for the fourth straight year and has stabilised around 650.000 annual units. It ranked #1 seven times and peaked at an all-time record 82.543 units in December. But the most impressive performer is the Haval H6 surging 56% to an astounding 580.683 units – including the H6, H6 Sport and H6 Coupe. To give perspective to this figure, here are three other: firstly that’s almost 100.000 units more than the VW Golf in the whole of Europe, secondly the Nissan Qashqai, #1 SUV in Europe 31 countries (incl. Turkey and Russia), sold less than half that amount over the entire continent last year (271.428) and thirdly the Honda CR-V, #1 SUV in the USA, sold a mere 357.335 units there last year… The H6 broke its monthly sales record no less than five time in 2016, lifting it to 46.075 (March), 53.268 (September), 56.667 (October), 70.292 (November) and finally 80.495 in December, the third largest-ever monthly volume for any nameplate in China.

Geely Boyue China 2016. Picture courtesy che.com…followed by the Geely Boyue...

In third place overall, the VW Lavida follows the market at +16% and remains the best-selling foreigner in China. At a fair distance, the Buick Excelle GT gains 28% to land in 4th place just above the Baojun 730 up another 15% and crossing the symbolic 50.000 monthly sales milestone in December. The GAC Trumpchi GS4 ends its first full year of sales at a flamboyant 9th place, lightyears ahead of any previous nameplate the brand had launched in the past. The Baojun 560 also breaks into the annual Chinese Top 10 for its first full year, becoming in January the fastest nameplate to reach 40.000 monthly sales (7 months). Its second half of 2016 was a lot more subdued though. Other great performers this year include the Ford Escort (+38%) and the Buick Envision, now China’s best-selling foreign SUV ahead of the VW Tiguan. Confirming their newfound stranglehold on the booming segment, 6 of the Top 10 best-selling SUVs in 2016 are Chinese (see table below).

2016 Best-selling SUVs in China:

Pos Model /15
1 Haval H6 56%
2 GAC Trumpchi GS4 150%
3 Baojun 560 122%
4 Buick Envision 69%
5 VW Tiguan -5%
6 ChangAn CS75 12%
7 JAC Refine S3 1%
8 Haval H2 17%
9 Honda CR-V 15%
10 Nissan X-Trail 8%

As a result of out monthly series “Focus on the all-new models” it’s only natural to dedicate a section to the most popular all-new models of 2016. The #1 isn’t in fact a true new nameplate (the Hyundai Elantra Lingdong), which makes the “true” king of all-new models the Chery Arrizo 5 at #54 with almost 130.000 units. A surprise success given the paltry performances of the previous Arrizo launches, the 5 puts Chery back on the Chinese sedan map, even ranking #2 in its segment over the last quarter of 2016. Next is the Geely Boyue (109.000), symbolising the – late – arrival of Geely in the booming SUV segment, 2017 will see the Boyue tease the best-sellers in the segment. Something the Roewe RX5 (90.000), #6 SUV in China in December, is already doing, in the meantime resuscitating the Roewe brand. No surprise: the next five most popular newcomers are all SUVs: the Dongfeng Fengguang 580, Changan CX70, BAIC Senova X35, Kia KX5 and Geely Emgrand GS…

roewe-rx5-china-2016…and the Roewe RX5.

Note: Main article data is retail sales unless indicated otherwise, data tables below are wholesales. Overall market = Light vehicles + Commercial trucks and buses. Light vehicles = passenger cars + microvans. Passenger cars = sedans+SUV+MPV.

Previous post: China December 2016: Haval up 73%, Geely up 101% in final tax rush

Previous year posts:

China Full Year 2015: Market up 4.7% to record 24.61 million despite sluggish summer

China Full Year 2015: Discover the Top 137 All-brands (BSCB Exclusive)

China LCV Full Year 2015: Sales transfer to mini pickups boosts Wuling Mini Truck to #1

Two years ago: China Full Year 2014: Growth cools to 7% to record 23.5 million units

Full Year 2016 Top 83 All China-made brands and Top 520 All models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Europe Full Year 2016: VW flat, Renault up in highest market in 9 years

Renault Captur Europe 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frRenault is up 13.5% to 2nd place and the Captor signs its first annual Top 10. 

* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Check out 45 years worth of European Historical Data here

Despite the disruption caused by the Brexit vote, the European new car marks a third consecutive year of gains in 2016 at +6.5% to 15.141.326 registrations, the highest annual volume on the continent since 2007. Like in 2015, 27 of the 29 markets covered post a year-on-year increase, the two exceptions being the Netherlands (-14.9%) and Switzerland (-2.1%). The big 5 markets are all in positive: Germany (+4.5%) is at its strongest since 2009, the UK (+2.3%) posts a second all-time record in a row, France (+5%) at its highest since 2011, Italy (+16.1%) at its highest since 2010 and Spain (+10.8%) at its highest since 2008. Best performing countries are Hungary (+24.9%), Croatia (+23.4%), Cyprus (+20.4%), Latvia (+18.8%) and Lithuania (+18.8%). The most striking mega-trend in Europe is the ever-growing success of the SUV segment with sales up by a gigantic 21.4% to 3.880.618 units and 25.6% market share whereas subcompacts, once ultra-dominant on the continent, are up just 2.7% to 3.213.813 sales and see their market share thaw to 21.2%.

VW Golf Alltrack Europe 2016. Picture courtesy mullersvarld.seThe VW Golf is the best-selling vehicle in Europe for the 9th consecutive year.

Group-wise, the Volkswagen Group defied forecasts in the midst of its emissions scandal with sales up 3.3% to 24% market share vs. 24.8% a year ago. It is followed by Renault-Nissan at 13.8%, PSA Peugeot-Citroen at 9,74%, Ford at 6.98%, BMW Group at 6.81%, FCA at 6.57%, General Motors at 6.56%, Daimler at 6.285, Hyundai-Kia at 6.29% and Toyota at 4.26%. In the brands ranking, Volkswagen is down 0.7% and the only carmaker in the Top 10 in negative to lose almost one percentage point of market share at 11.3% while Renault (+13.5%) overtakes Ford (+1.8%) to snap the 2nd place with 1.1 million registrations. Opel (+6.1%) and Peugeot (+1.6%) round out the Top 5 like last year.

mercedes-e-class-europe-2016For the first time since 2010, Audi isn’t the #1 luxury brand in Europe, Mercedes is.

Big change this year in the luxury ranking: thanks to sales shooting up 14.2% to 845.178, Mercedes historically overtakes both Audi up “just” 8.8% to 830.364 and BMW up 10.2% to 820.505 to take the lead. It is the first time since 2010 that Audi isn’t the #1 premium brand in Europe. Fiat (+12.4%) and Skoda (+9.5%) close out the Top 10 but both outpace the market. Kia (+13.2%), Dacia (+11.3%), Mazda (+12.6%) and Mini (+15.3%) also post double-digit gains inside the Top 20. Among smaller-volume brands, the SUV boom shows: Land Rover (+18.8%), Jeep (+19.8%), Honda (+21.8%) thanks to the HR-V, Ssangyong (+35%) thanks to the Tivoli, Bentley (+38.9%) thanks to the Bentayga, Jaguar (+70.1%) thanks to the F-Pace and XE and Infiniti (+151.9%) thanks to the Q30 and QX30 post the largest increases in the Top 50. Abarth (+41.5%) and Lada (+109.7%) are the exceptions.

Renault Clio Europe 2016The Renault Clio hits its highest ever European annual ranking at #2. 

There are no surprises atop the European models ranking: the VW Golf is #1 the 9th year in a row and the 29th time in the past 34 years starting in 1983, and extending a stretch of 81 consecutive months in the European pole position – that’s almost seven years: : the last time it did not rank #1 in Europe was in March 2010 when the Ford Fiesta led the way. The Golf has now held the #1 spot during 98 out of the past 100 months. However it drops a heavy 7.3% – the largest decline in the Top 10 – to fall below 500.000 units. The Renault Clio (+4%) gains one spot on 2015 to climb to 2nd place overall, its highest ever ranking in Europe, also hit in 2006, as does the VW Polo (+3.3%). Both superminis overtake the Ford Fiesta (-4%) as the Opel Corsa (-1.3%) remains 5th.

vauxhall-astra-europe-2016The Opel/Vauxhall Astra is up to 6th place, its highest since 2011. 

Boosted by the new generation, the Opel Astra soars 31% to snap a last-minute 6th place off the Peugeot 208 (+8.8%), its first annual Top 10 ranking since 2013 and its highest year-end position since 2011. The Nissan Qashqai is down one spot to #8 but remains the best-selling SUV on the continent while the Skoda Octavia is back up 2 spots to #9, its highest annual European ranking also hit in 2014. Rare feat: we have a newcomer in the year-end Top 10 in Europe: the Renault Captur, up a very impressive 11.5% to snap the 10th spot overall with 217.105 sales, knocking the Ford Focus out. The Captur peaked at #6 in December. Notice also the VW Tiguan uo 21.8% to #18 but inside the Top 10 from August onwards. The battle for the title of #1 SUV in Europe will be tight in 2017 between the Qashqai, Captur and Tiguan. BSCB predicts the Tiguan will win.

Previous post: Europe December 2016: Renault places Clio, Captur & Mégane in Top 7

Previous year (prel): Europe Full Year 2015: Market up a snappy 9% to 14.2 million units

Previous year (final): Europe Full Year 2015: Discover the Top 355 models and All-brands

Two years ago (prel): Europe Full Year 2014: Sales up for the first time in 7 years

Two years ago (final): Europe Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 360 All-models and All-brands

Full Year 2016 Top 50 brands and models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Europe December 2016: Renault places Clio, Captur & Megane in Top 7

renault-clio-europe-december-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Renault Clio “teases” the VW Golf for the European pole position in December. 

* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

New car sales across Europe (29 countries, excluding Russia and Turkey) are up 3.2% in December to 1.193.286 units. Volkswagen dips 0.3% to an already weak December 2015 in the wake of the emissions scandal and its advantage over the #2 brand thaws to just over 20.000 sales as Renault shoots up 15.5% to 112.953, distancing Ford (-4.8%) and Opel (+1.9%). Mercedes (+15.7%) confirms it is the new European king of luxury, remaining at a stunning 5th place above BMW (-1.5%), Peugeot (-14.7%) and Audi (+19.7%). Fiat (+12%) and Skoda (+14.5%) both post double-digit gains to close out the Top 10. Further down, Kia (+10.4%), Suzuki (+22.5%), Smart (+25.2%), Alfa Romeo (+42.9%), Jaguar (+43.7%), Abarth (+50.5%), Porsche (+64.7%), Infiniti (+158%) and Maserati (+191.4%) post the largest year-on-year increases among the Top 40 brands.

Renault Megane Europe December 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frFirst European Top 10 ranking in four years for the Renault Mégane.

The top of the models ranking is an illustration of Renault’s particularly strong show of force this month. The VW Golf remains in the lead of course but drops 6.4% to 37.488 sales, that’s less than 5.500 more than the Renault Clio up 11.6% to 32.018. In fact, the 10.000 unit-advantage the Clio has over both the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo this month enables the French small car to snap a last minute annual 2nd place (detailed in a separate update). The Opel Astra (+31.3%) holds onto the 5th spot for the third straight month, while the Renault Captur (+14.7%) and Mégane (+92.7%) make it three Renaults in the Top 7 for the first time ever in Europe. That’s one more than Volkswagen, as the Tiguan surges 55.9% to #8. This is the Mégane’s first European Top 10 ranking since December 2012 and its best monthly position since June 2012. Notice also the Citroen C3 up 30.8%, the Audi A4 up 50.7% and the Mercedes E-Class up 44.7%.

Previous post: Europe November 2016: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 57 brands

Previous month: Europe November 2016: Renault up 18%, Captur best-selling SUV

One year ago: Europe December 2015: Peugeot 308 up to #3 thanks to Dutch score

Full December 2016 Top 50 brands and models below.

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Netherlands Full Year 2016: VW Golf holds off Renault Clio by 50 sales

VW Golf Netherlands 2016The VW Golf is the best-selling model in the Netherlands in 2016. 

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 365 All-models by clicking on the title *

Check out 35 years worth of Dutch Historical Data here

Now that the tax cuts regime for low-emission vehicles that had distorted the Dutch market for the past three years has all but been abolished, registrations are in freefall at -15% to just 382.825 units this year. Volkswagen remains in the lead of the brands ranking despite a 22% drop to 43.819 sales and 11.4% while Renault (-0.6%) gains one spot to #2. Opel surges 28% thanks to the new Astra up 182% to #4 and leaps onto the podium with 8.5% share vs. 5.7% a year ago. Peugeot implodes at -43% to #4, ahead of Ford (-15%), BMW (-5%), Kia (-2%) and Toyota (-22%). Mercedes (+0.4%) and Skoda (+3%) break into the Top 10 thanks to sales on the up. Further down, Mini (+18%), Tesla (+38%), Jaguar (+31%), Honda (+32%), Ferrari (+48%), Rolls Royce (+100%) and Infiniti (+151%) impress with gigantic gains in a declining market.

Opel Astra Netherlands 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Opel Astra shoots up 182% to 4th place overall. 

It was a race to the finish line in the models ranking, with the Renault Clio snapping the YTD top spot in November but the VW Golf edging past for just 50 units at year end: 10.780 (-40%) vs. 10.730 sales (-37%). This is only the 4th time the Golf ever leads the Dutch sales charts, the previous times were in 20012009 and 2014. The VW Polo (-18%) also struggles but gains one spot to land on the podium. The Peugeot 308, leader in 2015, is down 83% to #22 while, as described above, the Opel Astra makes its grand return inside the Dutch Top 5 at #4. The Peugeot 108 (+9%) and Renault Captur (+2%) are the only other nameplates to gain ground in the Top 10. Further down, the Opel Karl is up 142% to end its first full year at a splendid #12. The Hyundai i10 (+23%), Peugeot 2008 (+55%), BMW 3 Series (+34%), Renault Mégane (+92%) and Kadjar (+220%) also make themselves noticed.

Previous month: Netherlands November 2016: Renault Clio snaps YTD lead

Previous year: Netherlands Full Year 2015: Peugeot 308 sovereign (17.4% share in Dec)

Two years ago: Netherlands Full Year 2014: VW Golf #1 for third time ever

Full Year 2016 Top 45 All-brands and Top 365 All-models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Ireland Full Year 2016: Hyundai Tucson signs historic win

Hyundai Tucson Ireland 2016The Hyundai Tucson is the first Korean model to top the annual Irish sales. 

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 275 All-models by clicking on the title *

Check out 43 years worth of Irish Historical Data here

In its fourth year of bi-annual license plate system, the Irish new car market shoots up 17% to 146.603, with a record 39.722 sales in January (+33%) and 29.683 in July (+8%). In other words 47% of annual sales are registered during the two months of license plate change. Thanks to sales up 18% year-on-year, Toyota takes the lead of the models ranking with 15.530 units and 10.6% share but the fight was intense with Hyundai up 34% to 15.442, Volkswagen up 0.2% to 15.411 and Ford up 21% to 14.603. In fact, Toyota ranked as low as third by end-November, leapfrogging both Hyundai and Volkswagen to end the year in pole position. Skoda (+21%), Renault (+38%) and Kia (+22%) also impress, with Mercedes (+44%), Mazda (+35%), Volvo (+28%), Suzuki (+43%), Land Rover (+51%), Jaguar (+108%) and Ssangyong (+103%) posting some of the largest gains in market.

Toyota C-HR Ireland 2016The Toyota C-HR ranked #1 in November and December and pushed Toyota to #1. 

The models ranking is the theatre of a historical and unexpected win by the all-new Hyundai Tucson: after a launch in late 2015 assembling just 65 buyers, the Tucson dominates the Irish sales charts head and shoulders in 2016 with an astounding 7.425 sales. This is only the second time an Asian nameplate takes the lead of the Irish sales charts after the Toyota Corolla ranked #1 in 2004, and the very first time a Korean model does so. The Tucson has simply struck a chord with Irish car buyers, and also ranks third in Northern Ireland. For comparison, its predecessor the Hyundai ix35 ranked #8 in 2015. The VW Golf, leader for the past three years, is knocked down to #2 while the Ford Focus is also down one spot to #3. The Renault Kadjar surges to #13 for its first full year in market vs. #12 in France, with the Ford Kuga (+321%), Skoda Superb (+67%) and Nissan X-Trail (+133%) all posting spectacular gains. Among newcomers, the Toyota C-HR makes a splash by topping the overall charts both in November (73 sales) and December (157 sales 36.5% share) – granted, the two weakest months of the year – edging Toyota into the annual pole position. Could this be 2017’s leader?

Previous month: Ireland November 2016: Toyota C-HR lands in pole position

Previous year: Ireland Full Year 2015: VW Golf and Ford Focus in the lead

Two years ago: Ireland Full Year 2014: VW Golf leads, Toyota Corolla up to #5

Full Year 2016 Top 35 All-brands and Top 275 All-models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Denmark Full Year 2016: Peugeot 208 ends VW Up reign in record market

Peugeot 208 Denmark 2016The Peugeot 208 is the best-selling vehicle in Denmark in 2016.

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Check out 35 years worth of Danish Historical Data here

Nothing can stop the Danish new car market: up for the seventh consecutive year and hitting an all-time record for an incredible six years in a row at 223.168 units (+7.4%). 1986, with 169.386 sales, is the seventh best sales year according to Bilimp.dk. Some elements that helped spruce up the sales again this year are the reduction of the highest car tax rate from 180% to 150% (!) in late 2015 that continued to have an impact into this year, and the “scale crack” increase so that fewer cars will pay the highest tax rate. Volkswagen widens the gap with the rest of the market with a 18% increase to improve its market share by one percentage point at 11.8%, ahead of Peugeot at 9.9% (+5%), Toyota at 7.5% (+13%) and Renault at 6.5% (+20%). Opel (+33%), Audi (+21%), Mercedes (+36%), Dacia (+28%), Volvo (+22%), Honda (+21%) and Jaguar (+72%) shine but Mitsubishi (-46%) and Tesla (-94%) implode.

Model-wise, the Peugeot 208 ends four consecutive years of VW Up reign with a frank 18% improvement to 9.381 sales vs. 7.361 (-7%) for last year’s leader. The Peugeot 308 (+11%), VW Polo (+24%) and Toyota Yaris (+18%) all post double-digit gains, sending the Toyota Aygo (-6%) down from #2 in 2015 to #6 this year. Thanks to the new model, the Opel Astra shoots up 272% and 38 spots year-on-year to land at #7. Other great improvers include the VW Passat up 39%, the Nissan Qashqai up 23%, Opel Karl up 88% and VW Touran up 146%. The Suzuki Baleno (#41), Renault Talisman (#106), Seat Ateca (#135) and Ford Ka+ (#137) lead newcomers for 2016.

Previous post: Denmark November 2016: Opel Astra shines in market > 200.000 units

Previous year: Denmark Full Year 2015: 5th straight record year, 1st time above 200.000 sales

Two years ago: Denmark Full Year 2014: VW Up leads 4th straight record year

Full Year 2016 Top 90 All-brands and Top 400 All-models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Finland Full Year 2016: Skoda Octavia on top, Opel Astra up 180%

Opel Astra Skoda Octavia Finland July 2016. Picture courtesy aut-motor-und-sport.deThe Skoda Octavia tops Finland again but the Opel Astra is catching up.

* See the Top 65 All-brands and Top 290 All-models by clicking on the title *

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New car sales in Finland are up a solid 9.3% year-on-year in 2016 to 117.821 registrations, and like last year the Top two most popular carmaker fall just short of the market growth, resulting in lower market shares: Volkswagen is up just 3% to 11.2% and Toyota is up 6% to 19.8% while Skoda follows the market at +9% to remain at 9.2% share. Kia (+10%), Ford (+11%), Audi (+13%), Mercedes (+14%), Opel (+30%) and Renault (+49%) are the most impressive gainers in a Top 12 unchanged on 2015. Further down, Mazda (+21%), Seat (+36%), Honda (+48%), Suzuki (+58%) and Jaguar (+152%) impress. In the models ranking, the Skoda Octavia posts a third consecutive year atop the Finnish charts despite sales down 5% to 5.531. It is the fourth time in total that the Octavia leads annual sales in Finland (add 2011).

The podium is unchanged on 2015, with the Nissan Qashqai (+8%) and VW Golf (+9%) evolving like the market, followed by the Toyota Auris (+9%) up one spot to #4. Excellent first full year of sales for the new generation Opel Astra up 180% and 19 ranks on its 2015 score to land in 5th place. The Ford Focus (+40%), Audi A4 (+93%) and Skoda Superb (+118%) also impress in the Top 15, while further down the Seat Leon (+56%), Renault Kadjar (+227%), Honda HR-V (+648%), Suzuki Vitara (+130%) and VW Tiguan (+121%) make their mark. The Volvo V90 (#77) is the most popular newcomer ahead of the Volvo S90 (#92), Kia Niro (#107), Renault Talisman (#114), Seat Ateca (#130) and Ford Ecosport (#135).

Previous month: Finland November 2016: Octavia, Qashqai and Auris in photo finish

Previous year: Finland Full Year 2015: Skoda Octavia remains #1, VW Golf down 27%

Two years ago: Finland Full Year 2014: Skoda Octavia overtakes VW Golf to #1

Full Year 2016 Top 65 All-brands and Top 290 All-models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Austria Full Year 2016: VW Golf celebrates 40 consecutive years at #1

VW Golf Austria 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe VW Golf has been the best-selling vehicle in Austria for 40 straight years. 

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 385 All-models by clicking on the title *

Check out 40 years worth of Austrian Historical Data here

After a weak 1.7% improvement in 2015, the Austrian new car market does much better in 2016 at +6.8% to 329.604 registrations. Volkswagen remains totally in control of the brands ranking, even widening the gap with its immediate followers at +6% to 17.2% share vs. +3% to 6.8% at Opel and -0.4% to 6.4% at Skoda. Just below on the other hand, Audi (+15%), Ford (+12%), BMW (+16%) and Renault (+16%) markedly outpace the market’s growth to post improved shares. Hyundai tumbles down 20%, ahead of Mercedes (+21%), Seat (+15%) and Fiat (+20%). Among smaller volume brands, Land Rover (+18%), Honda (+35%), Alfa Romeo (+36%), Lexus (+41%), Tesla (+46%), Bentley (+54%), Lada (+55%), Maserati (+73%), Ssangyong (+75%), Infiniti (+133%) and Jaguar (+155%) make themselves noticed.

VW Tiguan Austria 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe VW Tiguan is back on the Austrian podium for the first time since 2013. 

In the models ranking, the VW Golf celebrates a pretty impressive milestone: 40 consecutive years in pole position! It does so without batting an eyelid: sales may be down 11% but at 15.777 units it is still almost double the score of the #2, the Skoda Octavia up 8% to 8.693. Boosted by the new generation, the VW Tiguan soars 35% to land on the podium for the first time since 2013 at #3, overtaking the VW Polo (-1%) and Skoda Fabia (-8%). Also lifted by new models, the Opel Astra (+28%), VW Bus (+24%), Hyundai Tucson (+184%), Audi A4 (+70%) and VW Touran (+48%) make large headways into the ranking. In fact, the Volkswagen Group manages to place an incredible 10 nameplates inside the Austrian Top 12. Other great performers in Austria this year include the BMW X1 up 216% to #20, the Ford Galaxy up 62% to #24, Renault Captur up 31% to #27, Renault Kadjar up 161% to #42 and Skoda Superb up 111% to #43.

Previous month: Austria November 2016: Mercedes up 52%, VW places 6 in Top 8

Previous year: Austria Full Year 2015: Volkswagen & Opel on top, Passat & Astra up

Two years ago: Austria Full Year 2014: VW Golf leads, Hyundai i20 on podium

Full Year 2016 Top 55 All-brands and Top 385 All-models below.

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Belgium Full Year 2016: VW Golf back to #1, Hyundai Tucson on podium

Hyundai Tucson Belgium 2016. Picture courtesy autocar.co.ukThe Hyundai Tucson is up to an incredible third place overall in Belgium in 2016.

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Check out 28 years worth of Belgian Historical Data here

The Belgian new car market is up by a very dynamic 8.8% year-on-year in 2016 to reach 539.521 registrations. Four out of the Top 6 best-selling carmakers outpace the market, leading to a slight concentration of tastes towards the tried-and-tested brands out there. Renault remains master in command with sales up 12% to 10.4% share, but as per last year a (very big) caveat to this score is the fact that Renault de-registers up to 30% of its new car sales within 30 days to then re-export them to other European Union countries and sell them as used as we detailed in Strategy: Renault champion of fake registrations. In 2nd place, Volkswagen is up 11% to 9.8% and BMW up 8% to 7.4%. Opel leaps up 14% to overtake Peugeot and rank 4th overall with 7.1% share, while Mercedes passes Audi to rank 6th and #2 luxury with 6.2% share. Citroen is the only brand in the Top 10 to lose ground on 2015 at -19%. Dacia (+10%) gains one spot to #13, with Mini (+27%), Mazda (+28%), Land Rover (+18%), Honda (+41%), Jaguar (+113%), DS (+135%) and Lexus (+28%) the other carmakers in the Top 10 to post double-digit gains. Further down, notice Infiniti up 198%, Rolls-Royce up 111% and Morgan up 107%.

renault-captur-belgium-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe Renault Captur is up 58% to make it three Renaults in the Top 5. 

In the models ranking, the VW Golf (+22%) reclaims the top spot it held in 2014 off the Renault Scénic, surprise winner last year. This means the Golf has now topped Belgian sales charts for 6 of the past 7 years and 21 of the past 30 years. The Renault Clio (-3%) remains in second place just above the revelation of the year: the Hyundai Tucson. The compact SUV has hit the bullseye in Belgium: it is the first Korean nameplate to ever rank on the annual podium. Up 5-fold on 2015, it posts an astounding five-digit sales figure at 10.965 and outsells last year’s winner the Renault Scénic (-21%). At #3, it is by far the highest ranking for the Tucson in a major European market (it ranked #1 in Ireland). Almost four years after its launch, the Renault Captur finally takes off in Belgium with sales up 58% and leaps 13 spots on 2015 to #5. The Opel Astra is up 10 to #7 and the VW Tiguan up 150% and 41 ranks to #9.

Previous post: Belgium June 2016: Renault Scenic and VW Tiguan dominate

Previous year: Belgium Full Year 2015: Renault Scénic takes control for the first time

Two years ago: Belgium Full Year 2014: VW Golf, BMW 3 Series and Renault Clio lead

Full Year 2016 Top 65 All-brands and Top 10 models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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Luxembourg Full Year 2016: VW Golf leads, BMW X1 up to 4th place

bmw-x1-luxembourg-2016The BMW X1 is up 508% year-on-year in Luxembourg in 2016. 

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Check out 25 years worth of Luxembourg Historical Data here

New car sales in Luxembourg are up 8.8% year-on-year in 2016 to 50.561 registrations. Volkswagen remains the most popular carmaker in the country despite sales down 1% to 5.775 and is followed like in 2015 by BMW at 10.6% (-2%). Mercedes jumps up two spots on last year thanks to volumes soaring 23% to 4.673, overtaking Renault (+17%) and Audi (-2%). Ford (+15%), Opel (+12%), Skoda (+13%) and Hyundai (+33%) also outpace the market inside the Top 10. Model-wise, if the VW Golf unsurprisingly remains the #1 vehicle in the country this year despite a 19% drop, the rest of the Top 10 is completely reshuffled. The Renault Clio (+47%) replaces the Scénic (-7%) in 2nd place above the Audi A3, the BMW X1 is up 6-fold on ts 2015 score and leaps to 4th place overall thanks to the new model, the VW Tiguan soars 81% to 7, the Audi A4 is up 68% to #9 and the Mercedes A-Class returns among the country’s ten favourite nameplates thanks to deliveries up 15%.

Previous year: Luxembourg Full Year 2015: BMW 4 Series up to world-best 5th place

Two years ago: Luxembourg Full Year 2014: VW Golf and Audi A3 on top

Full Year 2016 Top 10 brands and models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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