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Europe January 2013: Worst January in 23 years

Nissan Qashqai January 2013. Picture courtesy of L'ArgusNissan Qashqai

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and brands by clicking on the title! *

Down a painful 10% year-on-year to 911,859, the European new car market delivers its worst month of January since 1990... If the UK (+11%), Poland (+8%) and Portugal (+6%) progress, Germany (-9%), France (-15%), Italy (-18%), the Netherlands (-30%) and Spain (-10%) all fall heavily. Brand-wise, the January Top 7 is identical to the Full Year 2012 ranking with Volkswagen (-12%) and Ford (-26%) in the lead while Opel/Vauxhall manages to go up 2% thanks to the Mokka (5,500 sales this month). Renault (-12%), Peugeot and Citroen (both at -17%) dive while Fiat (-6%) and Audi (-2%) do ok. BMW (+5%) and Mercedes (+2%) are the only other Top 10 carmakers to gain ground year-on-year this month...

Fiat Panda Europe January 2013Fiat Panda

The VW Golf remains by far the most popular model on the continent but drops faster than the market at -18% despite the arrival of the new generation. The Ford Fiesta is back up to #2 but it is only 281 sales above the VW Polo and 329 above the Renault Clio, up 11% on January 2012 thanks to the 4th generation. The Peugeot 208 follows at #5 with 19,260 sales.

The Nissan Qashqai is back within the Top 10, hitting a record #7 spot thanks to 17,047 sales, a ranking it also reached in March and July 2012 and the best-ever monthly ranking for a Japanese model in Europe. Notice also the Opel Astra and Corsa both progressing year-on-year at +1% and +2% respectively and the Fiat Panda breaking into the European Top 10 for the 5th time in the last 12 months at #10 and 14,307 units.

Previous post: Europe Full Year 2012: Now with Top 350 models and Top 60 brands

Previous month: Europe December 2012: Peugeot 208 up to #2

One year ago: Europe January 2012: Skoda Octavia in Top 10 for the first time

Full January 2013 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Europe
  1. Gerry
    April 4th, 2013 at 02:27 | #1


    Well spotted, but in Matt’s defence: the ACEA figures have the caveat (**) of being ‘estimates’ so may not be quite as accurate as JATO data, which is a renowned automotive market data company rather than, in ACEA’s case, an association.

    Furthermore, the JATO data doesn’t seem to reveal the extent of it’s term ‘Europe'; the ACEA data may or may not include smaller countries like Malta and full data from the EEC/ETFA countries.

    Another issue may be the re-badging of Euro-GM models between the Opel/Vauxhall/Chevrolet trinity.

    @Matt: as ever, a great blog -thanks!

  2. Steam
    February 21st, 2013 at 23:23 | #2

    ACEA publishes different data: http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/files/20130219_PRPC-FINAL-1301.pdf

    For example:
    Opel + 3,4 %
    Fiat – 4,0 %
    Renault – 10,5 %

    All data “EU + EFTA-countries”

    Does somebody know the reasons?

  3. February 21st, 2013 at 20:09 | #3

    Opel/Vauxhall do seem to be recovering, UK sales are especially strong (maybe Ford stopping vehicle production has helped, although though they still manufacture tens of thousands of engines here), I agree the Chevrolet name on budget cars is not working, UK sales are down 66% (year on year) in January. Volkswagen may be top in Europe but market share is down in some countries, good to see the Panda and 208 in the top ten. I suppose it is difficult to judge just on one month’s sales, it should be an interesting year.

  4. Frank Stevens
    February 21st, 2013 at 04:10 | #4

    I certainly do hope that Opel has finally turned the corner across Europe. (Vauxhall has remained consistently strong in the UK over the last decade.) They have some great product now with more in the pipeline too. Let’s hope the GM Europe and PSA tie-up starts to bring benefits for both parties. They sure need some good news.
    I’m not convinced GM has helped either, by bringing Chevrolet to Europe as a mainstream budget brand. It’s muddied the waters for sure! For most Europeans, the Chevy name is synonymous with Corvette and Camaro, NOT Spark or Cruze. The latter two aren’t bad cars, but in the UK dropping the Daewoo brand for Chevrolet hasn’t been the sales success GM expected, despite sponsorship of Man U!
    We see the same story in South Africa. Ten years ago Opel was the third biggest brand behind Toyota and VW. Then GM switched their focus to Chev (now with a brand ranking of around 7/8) and with any Opel model struggling to make the top 50. Sad but true.

  5. Steam
    February 20th, 2013 at 23:39 | #5

    Erind :“BMW (+5%) and Mercedes (+2%) are the only Top 10 carmakers to gain ground year-on-year this month…”and Opel? +2%

    Well, Matt wrote “BMW and Mercedes are the only OTHER Top 10 carmakers to gain ground” after mentioning the growth of Opel. So from my point of view he is right. Interesting: Also Astra and Corsa had better sales than one year ago. The worst times of Opel/Vauxhall might be over.

  6. Erind
    February 20th, 2013 at 21:35 | #6

    “BMW (+5%) and Mercedes (+2%) are the only Top 10 carmakers to gain ground year-on-year this month…”
    and Opel? +2%

  7. Rick
    February 20th, 2013 at 19:55 | #7

    When was the Nissan Qashqai introduced? 2007?
    It 2013 and it ranks #7. Amazing feat.
    Guess it’successor will have a hard time equaling this sales achievement.

  8. Nicolas
    February 20th, 2013 at 17:28 | #8

    Clio sales are the addition of Clio Campus + Clio 3 + Clio 4 !

    If you do the same for Peugeot (206, 207, 208) the family is 2 !

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