* See the Top 10 best-selling groups, Top 50 brands and models by clicking on the title *
As we predicted last month, new passenger car sales in Europe 27 markets (excluding Russia and Turkey) rebound back up 7.5% in May to 1.425.420, the largest May result in a decade and coming just 19.000 units below the all-time record for the month set in May 2007. Only three of the 27 countries included in this data set post a year-on-year decline: the UK (-8.5%) continuing to suffer from a pull-forward effect due to changes in Vehicle Excise Duty, Ireland (-7.8%) and Greece (-20.9%). The rest of the Big Five all deliver solid gains: Germany is up 12.9%, Spain up 12.4%, France up 8.2% and Italy up 7.6%. The markets displaying the biggest year-on-year improvements are Croatia (+34.1%), Hungary (+28.7%), Romania (+27.1%), the Netherlands (+25%) and Poland (+20.5%). The year-to-date tally across the continent is now up 4.9% to 6.892.631.
Looking at the market segment-wise, once again SUVs are the standout performer with sales up 22.9% to 397.767, now holding a 27.9% market share vs. 24.4% a year ago. Subcompact cars are up 7.1% to 305.633 and compact cars up 0.9% to 269.842. Group-wise, the VW Group stops months of decline and improves its share to 24.4% thanks to sales up 8.8%. It is followed by PSA-Opel at 16.1%, Renault-Nissan/Mitsubishi at 14.7% and FCA Fiat Chrysler at 7.6%, up 11.6%. Daimler AG leads the luxury race thanks to deliveries up 17.1%, overtaking the BMW Group up just 2.9%. Toyota Motor is up 17.7% in 9th place.
Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen outpaces the market for once at +8.7%, while Renault (+3.1%) remains above Ford (+5.7%) with a 12.000 sales advantage. Ford retains the 2nd spot year-to-date but its gap with Renault has thawed to just 1.200 units. In 4th place, Opel/Vauxhall is the only brand in Top 20 to lose ground year-on-year at -1.7%. Mercedes delivers the largest gain inside the Top 10 at +20.2%, distancing Audi (+1.6%) and BMW (+2.5%) among premium brands. In the remainder of the Top 10, Fiat (+14.6%) and Skoda (+15.6%) both doubling the market growth. Below, Toyota (+19.2%), Dacia (+21.9%), Seat (+12.7%), Volvo (+11.4%) and Suzuki (+24.5%) shine. Among smaller brands, Alfa Romeo (+49.2%), Abarth (+40.4%), Tesla (+220.3%) and Aston Martin (+91.4%) are among the biggest gainers whereas Lancia (-28.7%) and DS (-36.6%) fall heavily.
Model-wise, the VW Golf continues to lead despite a 1.7% drop and is followed this month by the VW Polo boosted up 12.5% by runout discounts on the outgoing generation. The Polo overtakes the Ford Fiesta for #3 year-to-date and the Renault Clio rounds up the May podium with stable sales, holding onto its #2 ranking year-to-date. The Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208 make it five subcompact cars in the Top 6, and the Nissan Qashqai reclaims the title of best-selling SUV in Europe at #7 overall with deliveries up 10.3%, distancing the VW Tiguan up 111.3% to #9. The Citroen C3 is up 83.9% but drops out of the Top 10 at #11, a mere 49 units above the Dacia Sandero up 29.3%. Note only 1.400 units separate the #6 from the #13, which may result in substantial ranking changes once final figures get released next week.
In the sub-compact SUV segment, the Peugeot 2008 outsells the Renault Captur and is getting very close to toppling it year-to-date also with less than 1.000 units separating the two nameplates after five months. Further down the ranking, the Fiat 500 (+23%), Renault Megane (+30.4%), Mercedes E-Class (+40%), Renault Scenic (+35.9%), BMW X1 (+28.1%) and BMW 5 Series (+44.4%) post solid gains, but the Fiat Tipo tops them all with a 224% surge now that all body types are well established. After first appearing in the sales charts in December 2015, the Tipo breaks into the European Top 30 for the first time for this 2nd generation of the nameplate at #24. The Peugeot 3008 is boosted uup 163.6% by the new model and the Mercedes GLC is up 87.1% to break into the Top 50 at #49 for the second time after January (#41).
Full May 2017 Top 10 groups, Top 50 brands and models below.