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The European new car market is in decline for the 5th year in a row in 2013, down 2% to 12,358,239 registrations, a loss of 220,000 units over 2012 (Read also Europe: Will the new car market ever grow again?). However the decline reached 7% at mid-year and the last 4 months of the year were all in positive, peaking at +13% in December, so there could be a light at the end of the tunnel in 2014… Volkswagen unsurprisingly remains atop the brands ranking by far thanks to 1,554,915 sales (-4%) and in fact the Top 6 is unchanged on 2012 with Ford at #2 (-3%) followed by Opel/Vauxhall (-1%), Renault (-2%), Peugeot (-7%) and Audi (-2%). BMW (stable) and Mercedes (+4%) both pass Citroen (-11%) to rank 7th and 8th respectively.
Model-wise, the VW Golf dominates for the 6th year in a row and the 26th time ever (starting in 1983) with 470,229 sales, up 9% year-on-year. The Golf was #1 each and every month of the year, in fact the last time it did not top the monthly European ranking was in March 2010! The Ford Fiesta remains #2 in spite of sales down 4% to 293,663 units and in spite of trailing the #3, the Renault Clio up 2 spots and 18% to 287,111 sales, after 8 months. Pushed by the broad success of its 4th generation, the Clio is on the European podium for the first time since 2006. The VW Polo (-7%) and Opel Corsa (-9%) follow, both down one rank on 2012.
For its first full year of sales, the Peugeot 208 lands at #6 with 239,102 sales, a relatively disappointing result compared to the previous performances of the Peugeot 206 (#1 in 2003) and Peugeot 207 (#1 in 2007). It never reiterated the #2 spot it reached back in December 2012, peaking at #3 in May and not ranking in the Top 5 after then. The Nissan Qashqai holds onto the 8th spot it hit last year (still the best-ever year-end ranking reached by a Japanese model in Europe) down just 3% to 202,593 sales but hitting an all-time record 5th position in February and March.
The BMW 3 Series is back inside the year-end Top 10 for the first time since 2008.
Other models reaching their best-ever monthly ranking in Europe this year are the BMW 3 Series, Skoda Octavia and Audi A3. The BMW 3 Series finishes the year at #9 with 201,224 units (its first time in the year-end European Top 10 since 2008), up 15% and 3 ranks on 2012, peaking at #4 in August, the Skoda Octavia lodged no less than 4 months inside the monthly Top 10 this year whereas it had only managed that feat once before in the nameplate’s 17 year-career, peaking at an out of this world 5th place in October and November. Finally the Audi A3 became the 2nd Audi to ever break into the monthly European Top 10 in April, beating that record again in August when it ranked #6. The last two models finished the year just outside the Top 10.
Previous post: Europe December 2013: VW Golf up 64%, Skoda Octavia up 53%
Full Year 2013 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.