Spain Full Year 2014: First ever year of reign for Seat Leon

Seat Leon Spain 2014. Picture courtesy automobile-magazine.frSeat Leon

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Very encouraging results for the Spanish new car market in 2014, definitely out of the woods at +18.5% on 2013 to 857,635 deliveries, the best annual tally since 2010 (985,287). We are still a far way off the all-time record reached in 2005 (1,647,837) but 2014 is 22% above the low of 2012 (700,562). Even more encouragingly, this year’s market growth comes from private sales (up 21% on 2013) whereas rentals (+16%) and sales to companies (+15%) have somewhat under-performed but stayed dynamic. Volkswagen is the most popular manufacturer for the third year in a row thanks to sales up 20% to 76.999 for a round 9% share while local carmaker Seat holds onto its 2nd spot but drops below 8% share (+15%). Opel and Renault (both up 22%) sidestep Peugeot down two spots to #5. Ford, Citroen and Toyota remain unchanged. Dacia (+40%), Kia, Fiat (both at +43%), Mazda (+71%), Mitsubishi (+53%) and Lexus (+68%) shine inside the Top 25. Models analysis will follow shortly.

Seat Leon 19991999 Seat Leon. It took 15 years to the Leon nameplate to rank #1 at home.

But the big news this year in Spain are in the models ranking. For the first time since the launch of the nameplate in 1999, the Seat Leon is the annual best-seller at home, and in any country in the world for that matter. Its sales shoot up by an outstanding 43% to 27,714 units, ranking first 4 times this year including December which brought it a definitive albeit tiny 142 sales advantage over its little sister the Ibiza. It is the first time since 1992 (Toldeo) that the Ibiza is not Seat’s best-seller at home. The Leon win is its first annual podium ranking at home and breaks the Ibiza’s run of 5 consecutive years in pole position and a total of 10 wins, illustrating the giant leap forward the Leon has made for its current generation. The Leon first broke into the Spanish annual Top 10 in 2003, lifting its record to #9 in 2005, #7 in 2006, #5 in 2007 and #4 in 2011.

Dacia Sandero Spain 2014The Dacia Sandero is up to a best-ever #7 in Spain in 2014.

The entire Top 8 best-selling nameplates improve their sales year-on-year, demonstrating the renewed vitality of the Spanish market. The VW Polo stays in third place, ahead of the Opel Corsa kept afloat by large discounts on the outgoing generation, the VW Golf, Renault Mégane and Dacia Sandero, up 35% and 3 spots on 2013 to a best-ever #7. The Nissan Qashqai (-16%) is the only model in the Top 11 to lose ground, and as a result it drops 7 spots to #9. December results seem to indicate the Qashqai should get back up the ladder in 2015. Excellent year of the Ford Focus up 47% to #10, along other great gainers including the Renault Captur, VW Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Dacia Duster, Peugeot 3008 and 2008, Fiat 500, 500L and Opel Mokka.

Mercedes GLA Spain 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Mercedes GLA is by far the best-selling new nameplate of 2014 in Spain.

Among all-new models, the Mercedes GLA is tops, landing directly at an excellent #59. Total success for the compact SUV which was Mercedes’ best-seller in November. Below we find the Citroen C4 Cactus at #69, Nissan Pulsar at #113, Ford Tourneo Courier at #119, the BMW X4 at #136, Ford Ecosport at #143, Mercedes V-Class at #148, Lexus NX300h at #156, Porsche Macan at #157 and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer at #164.

Previous year: Spain Full Year 2013: Seat Ibiza marks 10 years at #1

Two years ago: Spain 2012: Seat Ibiza and Nissan Qashqai resist in worst year since the eighties

Full Year 2014 Top 375 All-models and Top 60 All-brands vs. 2013 below.

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