Home > Europe > Europe April 2013: Audi A3 breaks into Top 10 for the first time!

Europe April 2013: Audi A3 breaks into Top 10 for the first time!

Audi A3 Europe April 2013The Audi A3 is in the Top 10 for the first time since the nameplate launched in 1996.

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

Whereas recession has now spread across most of Europe, April new car sales in the region are unexpectedly up year-on-year for the first time since... August 2011 (!) at +2% to 1,086,501 registrations. Year-to-date, the market is still down 7% on 2012 at 4,190,447 units. According to Bloomberg, the Euro zone economy is forecast to stagnate in the 3 months through June and return to growth in the third quarter, so this might signal the start of a revival of the car market, especially as governments are starting to implement measures to boost sales. However, Autonews says there is no reason to rejoice as April sales were flattered by two extra days in many European markets after Easter holidays fell in March, with last year's weak April also helping the year-on-year comparison. So this may not be the end of the tunnel after all.

Renault Clio  2013Renault Clio sales are up 29% in April in Europe

Now taking full advantage of its new generation, the VW Golf is up a magnificent 18% year-on-year this month to dominate the ranking once again with 43,175 sales but is still down 2% year-to-date at 155,542 units. Outstanding month for the Renault Clio, also boosted by the new generation #1 in France, up a massive 29% to rank #2 for the second time in the last 3 months and on the podium for the 4th time in the last 6 months with 26,352 sales. The Clio is now also up to #2 year-to-date at 101,691 units vs. 101,282 for the Ford Fiesta, down to #5 in April. The VW Polo and Peugeot 208 are both back up 4 spots on March to #3 and #4 respectively.

Audi A4 2013Audi also placed the A4 in the European Top 10, last time in August 2012.

But the big event this month is the arrival of the Audi A3 in the monthly European Top 10 for the very first time since the nameplate's original launch 17 years ago in 1996! The premium hatch is up to #9 with 16,787 sales (ahead of the Opel Astra!), up a whopping 45% year-on-year, with its year-to-date total now reaching 49,908 units, up 9% on 2012, and this is as the sedan version has not launched yet... As a reminder let's note the A3 finished 2012 at #24 in the European ranking. It is the second Audi model to manage to break into the European monthly Top 10 after the A4 did so for the first time in July 2008, then peaking at an out-of-this-world #2 in August 2008 and clocking up a total of 6 Top 10 finishes, the last one being August 2012.

Mercedes A Class 2013Can the Mercedes A-Class break into the European monthly Top 10 this year?

Audi therefore becomes the first premium brand to have ever placed two models in the European Top 10. BMW has one so far: the 3 Series which made its first appearance within the Top 10 back in July 1999 (However my monthly records are incomplete for that period so it may have been earlier) and peaked at #6 in December 2006. Mercedes has not yet managed to bring one of its models into the Top 10, at least in the last 30 years as the 'Strich 8' may have done so in 1974-1975 and the W123 in 1977-82 but sales figures are unavailable (please let me know if you have them!). The all-new A-Class, hailed as the brand's most successful launch ever, may break new ground and do so in the coming months...

Dacia Logan Romania March 2013. Picture courtesy of www.autoevolution.comDacia sales are up 20% in Western Europe so far in 2013.

The arrival of the A3 in the European Top 10 is another illustration of the 'premium or low-cost' trend we have seen apply to European car sales over the last few years. In fact in 2013 year-to-date, Dacia (+20%) and Mercedes (+4%) are two of only a few carmakers to gain ground so far. BMW is stable and Audi down just 2% but up 9% to #6 in April...

Previous month: Europe March 2013: Nissan Qashqai and BMW 3 Series strike again

One year ago: Europe April 2012: BMW 3 Series in Top 10 for the first time since 2008

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

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Categories: Europe
  1. gianfranco
    June 11th, 2013 at 01:50 | #1

    FIAT FOREVER!!

  2. Steam
    May 26th, 2013 at 23:14 | #2

    Golf-sales are amazing. The station-wagon will arrive soon – hard times for the competitors. But the upcoming Peugeot 308 probably will be good for some growth of Peugeot. Anyway the new models of Peugeot seem to be able to reinforce Peugeot-sales (2008 – a segment where VW is not active at the moment). When is the next Megane coming?

  3. Steam
    May 26th, 2013 at 11:24 | #3

    Mercedes has overtaken BMW in april. BMW is ahead of Mercedes YTD.

  4. Pedro
    May 23rd, 2013 at 21:17 | #4

    Laurent :
    @Pedro
    French or Korean “bullshit” have far more fiability than Audi or Volkswagen. So, those german cars should be nicknamed “super-bullshit” ?

    Thats just your personal opinion :p

  5. sandu
    May 23rd, 2013 at 06:14 | #5

    audi a3 is a very good looking car. but with that money i would buy the leon. its the same car. when people want to buy a new car, they are looking for a german one. there are the best.

    and to increase the economy in europe, europeans should buy european cars. not hyundai, kia, opel, mitsubishi, honda, etc (all ugly cars)

  6. Laurent
    May 23rd, 2013 at 05:20 | #6

    @Max

    Totally true !

  7. Laurent
    May 23rd, 2013 at 05:17 | #7

    @Pedro

    French or Korean “bullshit” have far more fiability than Audi or Volkswagen. So, those german cars should be nicknamed “super-bullshit” ?

  8. J77
    May 23rd, 2013 at 00:01 | #8

    Pedro :

    Max :
    Talkin about style, the a3 is the same car of 10 years ago so i dunno how can you talk about “beautiful looking car”, and audi reliability suck big times.

    You answered the question yourself. I like the A3 BECAUSE it has the same stable serious design like 10 years ago, not like french or korean bullshit who tries to reinvent the design completely every 3 years.

    Big changes are more characteristic of Japanese and Korean, it is false that French brands completely changed every 3 years models, change every 6 years like other American or German marks.

  9. Pedro
    May 22nd, 2013 at 21:14 | #9

    Max :
    Talkin about style, the a3 is the same car of 10 years ago so i dunno how can you talk about “beautiful looking car”, and audi reliability suck big times.

    You answered the question yourself. I like the A3 BECAUSE it has the same stable serious design like 10 years ago, not like french or korean bullshit who tries to reinvent the design completely every 3 years.

  10. J77
    May 22nd, 2013 at 09:37 | #10

    @Bryan

    Truth. The Opel are too heavy and their engines are not up to par with other manufacturers.

  11. J77
    May 22nd, 2013 at 09:34 | #11

    @Carlos Tomic

    Germany has a population of 82 million, and they buy German brands.

  12. Bryan
    May 22nd, 2013 at 08:21 | #12

    The problem with Opel is that VW is so much better with the equivalent price. In the past they have been always cheaper but nowadays VW are affordable cars and people who want a German car buy a Volkswagen and not a Opel. The French car makers offer better products in terms of quality/price and Ford cars have more indentity than the Opel/Vauxhall ones. GM strategy for Europe is completly outdated, Opel should be sold to the chinese or indians and GM should investy on Chevrolet brand like Ford does.

  13. Bryan
    May 22nd, 2013 at 08:16 | #13

    frank stevens :
    @Sonico
    GM Europe build good mainstream cars, that are the equal of any Ford and are better in quality than the French or Italian alternatives. Admittedly they still trail VAG in overall perception.

    That’s false. Opel aren’t better than Peugeot/Citroen or Renault. In fact Peugeot in the carmaker that built the better cars in Europe after VW (excluding the premium brands pof course). Opel cars are the same as Ford or Renault.

  14. Steam
    May 22nd, 2013 at 08:16 | #14

    Carson :@Lancia Lover
    Whatever about regarding Opel/GM as German, why would you count Ford?
    It would be more accurate to say there are as many US cars in the top 10 as there are German (4). In any case, VAG is totally dominant now in Europe. 25% share and rising.

    People in the UK regard Vauxhall and Ford as english brands, people in the USA regard them as american brands. Difficult question, I agree to Carson.

  15. frank stevens
    May 22nd, 2013 at 07:54 | #15

    @Sonico
    Not so much that Opel/Vauxhall have lost their way … more likely GM’s inept European dealing with the whole bankruptcy issue has pushed a lot of would-be buyers away.

    Bringing Chevrolet to Europe as a budget brand was not the smartest move. GM seems hell-bent on establishing Chevy globally at any cost. What other manufacturer offers punters something akin to a Spark and a Corvette under the same roof. If you want to trash a brand look no further. The Spark is not a bad little car, but please GM, market it as a Daewoo! Do I go to a Lamborghini showroom to buy a Skoda Citigo?

    Opel in Europe has particularly suffered, given the protracted Union negotiations in Germany; indecision over the Bochum plant closure; sale or not of Opel/Vauxhall. These among other issues have raged over the last 3 years and have yet to be fully resolved! No wonder customers are looking elsewhere. GM Europe build good mainstream cars, that are the equal of any Ford and are better in quality than the French or Italian alternatives. Admittedly they still trail VAG in overall perception.

    Strangely, Vauxhall in the UK has somehow managed to side-step the European GM maelstrom. In the UK it is significantly out-performing Ford and VAG in terms of year on year growth AND is also GM’s fastest growing brand in a single market anywhere in the world, outperforming in percentage terms … even Buick in China! Maybe that’s the answer – stick a chicken badge on the front of every GM product in Europe!

    Despite all the above and rather surprisingly in actual fact, the shared Astra/Cruze platform ranks #2 behind the the Golf/A3/Octavia/Leon platform globally, year to date.

    By the way, these are only my observations. I am not in anyway GM biased. Over the last 16 years my own cars have included a Fiat Stilo, Alfa 159, Merc C class, Audi A4, 2 x BMW 5er’s and no less than 5 x Citroens, two of which are currently parked on the drive!

  16. Carlos Tomic
    May 22nd, 2013 at 06:50 | #16

    German car makers are definitively motivated with their products. Its beyond economics .. there is a mistic that soakes potential consumers like me and success is then expectable.

  17. Olioli
    May 22nd, 2013 at 02:34 | #17

    Struggling to understand how the A3 has managed to get into that top 10! Really not a good looking car…power of the badge I suppose :-/ …Well done to Renault though and looking forward to the new Megane next year!

  18. Max
    May 22nd, 2013 at 02:05 | #18

    Talkin about style, the a3 is the same car of 10 years ago so i dunno how can you talk about “beautiful looking car”, and audi reliability suck big times.

  19. Max
    May 22nd, 2013 at 02:03 | #19

    BMW is a real premium while Audi is just an overpriced VW/SEAT/SKODA. Get a Skoda instead of an audi, you’ll get the same car but saving your wallet.

  20. Carson
    May 22nd, 2013 at 01:29 | #20

    @Lancia Lover

    Whatever about regarding Opel/GM as German, why would you count Ford?

    It would be more accurate to say there are as many US cars in the top 10 as there are German (4). In any case, VAG is totally dominant now in Europe. 25% share and rising.

  21. Bryan
    May 22nd, 2013 at 00:32 | #21

    Sonico :
    @Bryan
    Well, there was a time when the Opel Kadett/Astra and Volkswagen Golf were fighting for the crown in Europe, but lately the Opel guys seem to have lost their way
    I agree with you on the Hyundai i30, it’s a well done project and stylewise they are approaching a European level; I like the sleek lines of the new Peugeot 308, while the C4 is not really my cup of tea but can’t judge on quality. I really like the new Astra, but probably competition has grown more than that.

    Because Opels have always been cheaper than VW, but Volkswagens are the really German cars with much better quality! In long term the Quality wins, that’s te reason why VW now is on the crown of the Europe. GM have to go sell their crap cars to the 3rd world countries. In Europe the Germans rule.

  22. Sonico
    May 22nd, 2013 at 00:07 | #22

    @Bryan
    Well, there was a time when the Opel Kadett/Astra and Volkswagen Golf were fighting for the crown in Europe, but lately the Opel guys seem to have lost their way

    I agree with you on the Hyundai i30, it’s a well done project and stylewise they are approaching a European level; I like the sleek lines of the new Peugeot 308, while the C4 is not really my cup of tea but can’t judge on quality. I really like the new Astra, but probably competition has grown more than that.

  23. Pedro
    May 21st, 2013 at 23:55 | #23

    Great start for the new A3 ! It’s a beautiful AND serious looking car. The new Clio on the other hand looks ridiculously overdesigned, is there chocolate running out at the bottom of the doors ? *LOL*

  24. Bryan
    May 21st, 2013 at 23:33 | #24

    Sonico :
    Audi A3 selling better than the Opel Astra is actually impressive. I think the Astra deserves to sell more, but Matt’s analysis is right: either you are premium or low-cost or a SUV, or else you won’t sell as much as before. Times have changed.

    Astra deserves what? lol Hiunday i30, Peugeot 308 or Citroen C4 are better than Astra, this poor result is normal Opel is banckprut.

  25. Lancia Lover
    May 21st, 2013 at 22:42 | #25

    Only 2 non-German models in the top 10 (counting Opel/Ford as German). What the heck is Europe doing…?!

  26. Sonico
    May 21st, 2013 at 20:30 | #26

    Audi A3 selling better than the Opel Astra is actually impressive. I think the Astra deserves to sell more, but Matt’s analysis is right: either you are premium or low-cost or a SUV, or else you won’t sell as much as before. Times have changed.

  27. Steam
    May 21st, 2013 at 19:29 | #27

    Is Audi going to overtake Opel/Vauxhall?

  1. January 31st, 2014 at 08:13 | #1
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