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Europe 8 months 2014: Dacia and Skoda help lift market up 6%

October 23rd, 2014 6 comments

Dacia Duster Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frEuropean sales of low-cost manufacturer Dacia are up 31% so far in 2014.

* See the Top 60 brands and Top 340 models rankings by clicking on the title! *

After detailed data for August, we now explore the year-to-date European sales charts to try and extract longer-term trends. If in 2013 the sales trend in Europe was a very clear “Low-cost or Premium” with very little mainstream brands standing out, in 2014 this has smoothed out a little. However looking at the manufacturers gaining the most ground so far, a clear picture still takes shape. Budget brands are still the ones making the most progress in Europe this year. Superstar of the market for almost a decade now, Renault-owned low-cost manufacturer Dacia doesn’t seem to be nearing any sales plateauing, up another 31% over 8 months to 250,231 sales and overtaking Kia and Seat in the process. There are many reasons to this as I detailed in my exclusive Dacia interview Paris Auto Show.

Skoda Yeti Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda is up 19% and now flirting with the Top 10 most popular brands on the continent.

Skoda is the other manufacturer behaving exceptionally well this year at +19% to 382,202 units, mainly thanks to the Octavia testing new highs all across the continent, and given the new generation Fabia is just about to be launched, expect Skoda sales to spike up for a little while more. The Volkswagen-owned Czech manufacturer now ranks just outside the Top 10 brands on the continent (#11), although it has managed to break into the monthly Top 10 a few times already in 2014 (#9 both in July and August) and should, if all goes well, pass Fiat to establish itself in the Top 10 in 2015. Think: Dacia and Skoda together account for 120.000 additional European sales so far compared to the same period in 2013, or 1 in 4 additional sales overall in Europe!

Renault Captur Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Captur helps Renault deliver the strongest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 at +11%.

In an overall ranking extremely stable compared to one year ago (Top 10 unchanged), the list of other manufacturers frankly outperforming the market is a lot more diverse than it was last year when it was roughly confined to the premium German brands. Renault is up 11% thanks to the Captur and the Clio IV still on the up, Seat benefits from the exceptional success of the Leon to grow by 12%, Volvo is up 10% thanks to an performance of a new addition to its range the V40, Mazda is up 21% thanks to the new 3 and Suzuki gains 12% thanks to the SX4 S-Cross. That’s for the Top 20 brands. Outside, Mitsubishi is up 26% thanks to the Outlander PHeV doing well in countries favouring electric cars such as the Netherlands and Norway, Porsche is on fire at +20% thanks to the Macan, Jeep is up 42% and should continue on this trajectory with the Cherokee reaching cruise level and, most importantly, the Renegade bring the Italian-American brand down to European size by hitting the boo most compact SUV segment.

Tesla Model S Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.com P26,200 Tesla Model S have found a buyer in Europe so far this year.

Premium-prestige brands are doing well: Tesla is up 1988% to 6.201 sales but really only launched one year ago with the Model S, Maserati is up 388% thanks to the Ghibli, Lexus is up 25% to 17.523 units, Infiniti up 89% to a still anecdotal 2,454 sales, Bentley is up 13% to 1.662 units and Rolls Royce is up 51% to 454 sales.

Model-wise, below the usual suspects in the Top 10, 9 vehicles stand out in the Top 50 with year-on-year gains superior to 30%: the Peugeot 2008 (+368%) and Renault Captur (+210%) of course, but also the Peugeot 308 and Seat Leon both up 62%, the Opel Mokka up 61% and earning a spot in the Top 35, the Citroen C4 Picasso up 56% and now segment leader, the Dacia Duster up 46% to enter the Top 25, the Fiat 500L up 41% thanks mainly to its success at home in Italy and the Opel Insignia (+34%) enjoying a second wind and return inside the European Top 50 at #41 thanks to its facelift.

Mercedes GLA Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Mercedes GLA is the most successful new nameplate in Europe so far in 2014.

Further down, let’s salute the Nissan Note up 146% to #62, the Dacia Logan up 177% to #74 both thanks to their new generations, the BMW 4 Series landing at #87 and the Mazda3 up 119% to #90. The Mercedes GLA has been the most successful all-new nameplate over past 12 months, climbing up to #101 with 25,779 sales this year (and already knocking on the monthly Top 50’s door), ahead of the VW Golf Sportsvan at #117, BMW 2 Series at #156, Citroen C4 Cactus at #157, Peugeot 108 at #180, Ford Ecosport at #199 and Mercedes V-Class at #206.

Previous post: Europe August 2014: Now with Top 330 models and Top 55 brands!

Previous monthly post: Europe September 2014: VW Golf and Polo biggest gainers in Top 10

Previous month: Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains

One year ago: Europe August 2013: BMW 3 Series and Audi A3 smash records

Full 8 months 2014 Top 60 brands and Top 340 models Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe August 2014: Now with Top 330 models and Top 55 brands!

October 23rd, 2014 1 comment

VW Golf Sportsvan Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe VW Golf Sportsvan breaks into the European Top 30 this month.

* See the Top 333 best-selling models and Top 55 brands by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after studying the Top 10 models and brands in Europe we now go into the full ranking. We backtrack a little bit this month with August data finally available. First a bit of memory refresh. In August, the European new car market celebrates 12 consecutive months of year-on-year growth at +3%, with the year-to-date total up 6% on 2013 to 8.6 million units. In the models ranking, the Top 10 highlights were the VW Golf selling double any other model on the continent for the first time in the history of the nameplate and the VW Passat back among Europe’s 10 most popular vehicles for the first time since November. Beyond this, there is as always a lot of movement in the sales charts. Boosted by the tremendous success of its SW variant (41% of orders Europe-wide), the Peugeot 308 is up 59% to #14, the Dacia Sandero is up 6 spots on July to #16 and the Dacia Duster is up 43% on August 2013 to #18.

Renault Twingo Europe September 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frRenault Twingo

Outside the Top 20, the Seat Leon does not slow down: up another 42% at #24, while the VW Golf Sportsvan spectacularly breaks into both the Top 50 and Top 30 for the very first time, up 23 ranks on July to land at #29 with 6,531, also instantly leading its category above the perennial leaders: the Citroen C4 Picasso (#35) and Renault Scénic (#53)! The Mini continues to climb the European ladder now that the third generation is establishing itself, up a further two ranks to #36 vs. #58 year-to-date, the Renault Twingo is already feeling the effects of the new model piping in: up a huge 46 spots on last month to #41 and the Skoda Rapid can thank its hatchback variant for another record ranking in Europe at #46.

BMW X5 Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frEuropean BMW X5 sales are 6 times what they were in August 2013.

The Mercedes GLA is getting closer to the Top 50, gaining another 13 ranks to a best-ever #59 with 4,094 sales, the Mazda3 takes off at #67 vs. #90 year-to-date as do the Peugeot 108 up 37 ranks to #77, the Citroen C4 Cactus up 21 to #84, delivering a second consecutive month above the C4 (#97) and the BMW X5 up 6-fold on August 2013 at #86. The Porsche Macan is still by very far the brand’s best-seller on the continent at #136 with 1.115 sales vs. #163 and 662 units for the Porsche 911. Brand-wise, Skoda (22%) is the biggest gainer in the Top 20 this month, with Mazda (+15%), Volkswagen, Ford and Volvo (+14%) also performing well. Below, notice Mitsubishi up 60% thanks to the Outlander PHEV, Porsche up 43%, Jeep up 47%, Tesla up 80% and Maserati up 202%.

Previous post: Europe September 2014: VW Golf and Polo biggest gainers in Top 10

Previous August post: Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains

Previous month: Europe July 2014: Peugeot 308 and Dacia Duster strongest in Top 50

One year ago: Europe August 2013: BMW 3 Series and Audi A3 smash records

Full August 2014 Top 333 models and Top 55 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe September 2014: VW Golf & Polo biggest gainers in Top10

October 18th, 2014 8 comments

VW Polo Europe September 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frVW Polo

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

All top 5 European markets registered year-on-year gains in September, enabling European sales to grow for the 13th straight month at +6% to 1.272.559 sales, bringing the year-to-date total to 9.9 million units, also up 6% on 2013. In fact, 22 of the 29 countries included in the data are up year-on-year this month, led by the UK up 6%, Germany up 5%, France up 6%, Italy up 3% and Spain up 26%. As usual the mammoth new licence plate month in the UK (426,000 sales this year vs. 260,000 in Germany) skews the models ranking. The two fastest growing models in Europe this month are from Volkswagen: the Golf is up 19% to 53,888 sales in pole position and the Polo is up 32% but down one spot on August to #3 and 28,379 units.

Fiat 500 Europe September 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frTwo generations of Fiat 500

The Ford Fiesta (#2), Opel Corsa (#4) and Opel Astra (back inside the Top 10 at #9) benefit from their strength in the UK market, while the Renault Clio is down to #5 ahead of the Ford Focus and Peugeot 208. Another strong month for the Audi A3 in 8th place with just over 20,000 sales across the continent, while we welcome the Fiat 500 among Europe’s 10 most successful vehicles for only the third time ever after last March, another month boosted by UK sales, and last June. The 500 sells 18,194 units, up 8% on September 2013 and allowing it a brilliant 10th spot this month.

Previous month: Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains

One year ago: Europe October 2013: Skoda Octavia breaks into Top 5 for the first time

Full September 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains

September 21st, 2014 1 comment

VW Passat Europe August 2014The VW Passat is inside the Europe Top 10 for the first time since November 2012.

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

In spite of sales down in Germany (-0.4%) and France (-3%), the European new car market is up 3% year-on-year in August to 703,918 registrations, marking a full year (12 consecutive months) of year-on-year gains. The year-to-date total now stands at 8,628,789 units, up a beautiful 6% on 2013. Brand-wise, Volkswagen and Ford both outperform the market by a large margin at +14% each leading to a 14% market share for VW (vs. 12.3% year-to-date) and 7.1% for Ford. Opel/Vauxhall is up 8% at #3 while Skoda jumps 21% to #9 with 36,530 sales and 5.2% share. In the models ranking, once again Volkswagen impresses but this time it does so more than usual, and for 3 reasons.

VW Polo Europe August 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Polo makes it a one-two for Volkswagen this month.

First, the VW Golf is up 20% on August 2013 to reach 32,456 sales. This means that for the first time in the history of the Golf nameplate, it sells double any other model on the continent, with the #2 (the VW Polo) at 16,033 units.

Second, the VW Polo is up a cool 14% year-on-year thanks to the facelifted model now hitting dealerships, meaning Volkswagen achieves a one-two for the second time in the past 12 months after last January.

Third, boosted by run-out prices across the region in preparation for the arrival of the 8th generation late this year/early next year, the VW Passat is back among the 10 most popular models in Europe, and this for the first time since November 2012, making it the first time in almost 3 years that Volkswagen places 3 models inside the European Top 10.

Opel Corsa Europe August 2014Opel Corsa sales are up 15% Europe-wide in August.

With the Opel Corsa up 15% to remain in 5th position, all Top 5 models in Europe bar the VW Golf are superminis for the 2nd month running. The Skoda Octavia (+23%) and Ford Focus (+25%) also shine, while the Audi A3 registers the harshest fall in the Top 10 (-7%) but August 2013 was an all-time record for the model and it falls to a still very impressive #8 ranking, above the #10 spot it holds year-to-date. The French are struggling, in line with their home market: the Renault Clio is down 2% to #3 and the Peugeot 208 down 5% to #9.

Previous month: Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

One year ago: Europe August 2013: BMW 3 Series and Audi A3 smash records

Full August 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe 7 months 2014: Discover the Top 50 models

September 1st, 2014 1 comment

Seat Leon Europe July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Seat Leon is up two spots in the European year-to-date ranking at #24.

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

As the year progresses, the European best-selling models sales charts cements itself and less changes are visible at the top of the ranking. This month we see no change inside the Top 20, and a counter-intuitive position swap just outside with the Citroen C3 (+35%) overtaking the Peugeot 2008 (+362%) even though the latter can still be considered in launch mode. A hiccup that will be reversed in the coming months unless the 2008 has found its cruising (and very satisfying) rhythm at #22 in Europe. The Seat Leon is up two spots compared to last month to #24, exchanging its ranking with the BMW 1 Series while the VW Up stays at #25.

Mercedes E Class Europe July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Mercedes E-Class now leads its segment above the BMW 5 Series.

The Leon is now almost 10 places above its little sister the Ibiza (#33), once upon a time the Spanish brand’s sole true breadwinner. Similarly, the Dacia Duster is up two ranks to #27 vs. -2 to #29 for the Toyota Auris. The Mercedes A-Class overtakes the C-Class to become the brand’s best-seller in Europe so far in 2014 at #31, the Mercedes E-Class passes the BMW 5 Series to lead its segment at #38, the Kia Sportage is up two spots to #43 and the Hyundai ix35 up one to #46.

Previous Europe post: Strategy: Was killing Chevrolet in Europe a good idea?

Previous post: Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

One year ago: Europe July 2013: Ford Focus at highest in almost a year

Full January-July 2014 Top 50 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Europe

Europe July 2014: Peugeot 308 & Dacia Duster strongest in Top 50

September 1st, 2014 4 comments

Peugeot 308 Europe July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Peugeot 308 continues to climb up the European ranking: #14 in July.

* See the Top 333 best-selling models and Top 52 brands by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after looking into the Top 10 models and brands we get to explore into a more detailed European ranking. As far as models are concerned, inside the Top 20 the Peugeot 308 (+79% to #14), VW Tiguan (+17% to #15), Renault Captur (+51% to #17), Dacia Duster (+86% to #18) and Seat Leon (+75% to #19) all register impressive gains. The Audi A4 is up 9 spots on June to #23, the Skoda Fabia up 5 to #29, Kia Sportage up 9 to #44, the Mini up a further two spots to #38 thanks to the third generation and the Skoda Rapid up 13 to break into the European Top 50 for the second time in the past 3 months at a record 48th position.

Previous Europe post: Strategy: Was killing Chevrolet in Europe a good idea?

Previous post: Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

One year ago: Europe July 2013: Ford Focus at highest in almost a year

Full July 2014 Top 333 models and Top 52 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Strategy: Was killing Chevrolet in Europe a good idea?

August 20th, 2014 15 comments

Chevrolet Cruze crash. Picture courtesy of autoblog.comGeneral Motors crashed Chevrolet down in Europe. A good thing?

On paper yes, in practice no.

In December 2013, General Motors announced it would kill the Chevrolet brand in Europe to concentrate on ailing Opel and its UK sister brand Vauxhall. A reshuffling of priorities that made sense given Opel racked up an incredible $18 billion in losses over the past 12 years. GM cited damaging in-house competition that had eroded the profitability of both Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet in the region to justify the cull. Harsh but clean-cut, killing Chevrolet Europe is one of these decisions that is strategically sound but could potentially oversee the reality on the ground and changing consumers perceptions as a result.

Chevrolet Bel Air ImpalaChevrolet’s heritage is still present in European consumers’ minds.

Too big to kill?

Killing a brand such as Chevrolet in such a large market as Europe – 13 million new vehicles this year – is a huge deal and is not likely to happen smoothly. In troubled times, General Motors has made the decision to sacrifice the smaller of two struggling brands, but perhaps not the less healthy. By 2011 Chevrolet was selling just under 200,000 annual units on the continent through a network of 1,900 dealers, a little below Volvo and more than Mini, Honda, Suzuki or Mazda. Granted, the brand perception of Chevrolet may have morphed from badass American cars to dubious Korean imports by the time most models in the range had a Daewoo origin, but Chevrolet enjoys almost 100% awareness in Europe due to its long American heritage.

It’s not like GM killed a young, tiny brand in the bud like Nissan could be tempted to do with Infiniti in Europe if sales don’t increase dramatically in the near future. And it’s certainly not the same as killing Cadillac which had repeatedly struggled to sell more than a few thousand cars annually in Europe over the past two decades. Chevrolet is a brand that, if segmented well and properly differentiated with Opel, could definitely have kept growing on the continent. Heck, if Peugeot/Citroen PSA, in a similar precarious situation in Europe as GM, can finally decide to significantly differentiate its two brands while adding a third premium one (DS), why can’t the #3 manufacturer in the world do so?

Chevrolet Spark Europe 2014The Spark was Chevrolet’s best-seller in Europe in 2013.

Is the Opel brand really more healthy than Chevrolet?

By killing Chevrolet instead of Opel, did GM make a big mistake and cull the healthier of the two brands? The plan was that in the process, two things would happen: first most Chevrolet sales would transfer to Opel, then Opel, now GM’s only mass market brand on the continent, could return to profitability and its long lost days of teasing Volkswagen as Europe’s favourite brand. Does this mean that the health of the Opel brand is so tarnished that it needs its internal competitors shut off to prosper? It would appear so. Again on paper, it looks like the first thing happened: as Chevrolet abruptly died, losing 40,000 sales year-on-year in Europe in H1 2014, Opel gained almost as much (35,400). But there is nothing to say that these additional sales came from buyers who would have otherwise bought a Chevrolet.

Opel Corsa Europe 2014GM is counting on a clumsily facelifted Corsa to revive Opel sales in Europe…

In fact the detail by model over the period shows that Opel’s gains are in fact due to two new models (the Mokka and Adam), quite independently from Chevrolet’s death. The Corsa is only up 1% on the back of massive rebates continent-wide and stronger-than-usual sales to rental companies, plus I don’t believe the new ‘generation’ is ground-breaking enough to trigger a sudden surge upwards. The Astra (-9%) is outside the Top 10 for the first time since the nameplate was launched over two decades ago. The Insignia is up 35% but that’s not coming from the Chevy Malibu, stillborn here. The Meriva (2%) and Zafira (+8%) are ok but not selling in enough numbers to lift the brand, the Agila (-8%), Antara (-51%) and Ampera (-64%!) are sinking while the Cascada (+41%) is merely a blip on the radar at just 4,200 sales continent-wide. Only the Mokka (+62%) and Adam (+28%), both launched a bit over a year ago, logically step up, but what will happen when they stabilise?

Opel Mokka Europe 2014…but this responsibility falls on the Mokka for now.

Another concerning element is the definite lack of appeal of the Opel brand with private buyers, and this is a consistent situation all over Europe. Having a large part of its sales going to rental companies or fleet impacts a brand’s resale value extremely negatively as lots of ‘young’ used cars flood a market that never had a natural demand for it in the first place. For example, at home in Germany where you would expect a minimum amount of loyalty for the brand, the Corsa and Astra are the least popular models in their segments in terms of private sale ratio (17% on average). In comparison, Chevrolet was above 40% private sale ratio across most segments before last December’s announcement…

General Motors says “Opel showrooms will become bigger, this is a really good opportunity to strengthen the Opel brand. We will try to capture customers who were in the low-price segment of the market.” So Opel has been rid of Chevrolet to get bigger showrooms and compete with Skoda and Dacia, whereas it couldn’t make a profit even when competing with Volkswagen? More than an uninspired facelift of its best-seller Corsa will be needed to achieve that. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has said in April that the automaker could reach break-even as soon as 2015, which would be a year ahead of target. However GM lost $305 million during Q2 2014, compared with a $114 million loss a year earlier, saying most of the losses were related to the closure of Opel’s assembly plant in Bochum. A lot of mixed messages indeed.

Chevrolet closing down. Picture courtesy of Auto PlusChevrolet closing down, Opel opening up?

How is the transition going at dealership level?

This is potentially the worst sign. The brand is supposed to sell cars up until 31 December 2015, yet in the Netherlands, Europe’s 6th biggest market, not a single Chevrolet was sold in July! And only one in Latvia, 4 in Finland and 6 in Estonia. This is a particularly abrupt fall even for a brand that has announced it would close down shortly. Saab didn’t fall that fast that early. A few days ago General Motors announced that “the dealer transition from Chevy to Opel is working extremely well: 85 percent have converted to selling only Opel.” This may be the case as a European average but is actually incorrect in France.

Over the decade up until 2013, Chevrolet was the third fastest growing brand in France below just Dacia and Kia with sales up 452% between 2003 and 2013 and its standalone dealership network growing from 93 to 170. Here the sudden announcement of the death of Chevrolet in Europe has angered a large part of Chevy dealers which felt they were left with no future while having built a brand from scratch for nothing. As a result, according to French magazine Auto Plus, the relationship between the General Motors France head office and the dealers is currently at its worst and that cannot be a good sign of healthy sales in the country. 140 dealerships have reportedly already closed down, not selling a single new vehicle this very minute, and as a logical consequence no Opels either – although the magazine is unclear on this point.

Fine, we can’t buy any Chevrolets in France anymore, or close to that. How about current owners that need repairing and/or spare parts? This is where it gets worse. Officially, over 160 service centres affiliated with Chevrolet are still in operation across the country, and General Motors has vowed to maintain Chevrolet after-sales service in Europe up to 2025. In practice, Auto Plus magazine reports French Chevy owners having trouble getting spare parts under reasonable delays and, more worringly, even getting latent defects taken care of!

Chevrolet Camaro Europe 2014The Camaro & Corvette are your only hope of getting a new Chevrolet in Europe after 2015. Or are they?

But Chevrolet is not dead…

But fear not, everything will be fine because “Opel will develop a range of models targeting former Chevrolet buyers” said Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann recently. So let me get this straight. We kill Chevrolet, then start from scratch again and create a whole new range of Opel models that will undercut the current ones price-wise the same way Chevrolet undercut Opel. All this while counting on current Chevrolet owners that can’t even get their cars repaired (even though they’re supposed to until 2025) to not be angry enough to give up on either Opel or Chevrolet altogether?

The Corvette and Camaro will supposedly remain available after 2015 though. Only there won’t be anyone to sell them.

Not such a good idea after all.

Categories: Europe, STRATEGY

Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

August 20th, 2014 7 comments

NISSAN QASHQAINissan Qashqai

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

European new car sales mark an 11th consecutive month of year-on-year gains in July at 1,081,195 registrations, up 5.4%. The year-to-date total now stands at 7,917,269 units after 7 months, up 5.8% on the same period last year. In the models charts, the VW Golf remains sovereign, even growing twice as fast as the market at +11% to 41,914 sales, almost 20,000 units above the second best-selling car… Talk about ultra-domination… Inside the Top 5, the Ford Fiesta (+6%), Renault Clio (+12%) and Opel Corsa (+17% thanks to run out prices on the outgoing model) also outperform, as opposed to the VW Polo, down 4% in spite of its mid-life facelift.

Skoda Octavia Europe July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Octavia

Ousted by a record-breaking Renault Captur and the ever-young Fiat 500 last month, both the Skoda Octavia (up 35% yoy to #7) and Audi A3 (up 23% to #9) reclaim their traditional spot among the Top 10 most popular models on the continent in July. Notice also the Nissan Qashqai hitting its best European ranking since March 2013 at #6 and the Peugeot 208 down a harsh 10% to #10.

Audi A3 Europe July 2014Audi is the 5th best-selling brand in Europe in July, above Peugeot and #1 premium.

In the brands ranking, the Top 4 best-sellers return to their year-to-date order this month with Volkswagen in the lead (+8%) ahead of Ford (+1%), Opel/Vauxhall (+8%) and Renault (+5%). Surprise in 5th place: Audi outsells Peugeot for the first time since last August to break into the Top 5 for only the third time in two years with 63,817 sales and 5.9% share (+8%) vs. 63,634 for the French manufacturer. The premium Germans are in great shape with Mercedes up 7% to #7 and BMW up 9% to #8. Finally, let’s salute the outstanding performance of Skoda, up 28% on July 2013 to 9th position with 51,876 units.

Previous post: Europe First Half 2014: Trusted nameplates outperform market

Previous monthly post: Europe June 2014: Discover the Top 340 best-selling models!

Previous month: Europe June 2014: Renault Captur first small SUV in Top 10 at #7

One year ago: Europe July 2013: Ford Focus at highest in almost a year

Full July 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe First Half 2014: Trusted nameplates outperform market

August 5th, 2014 7 comments

Audi A3 Europe June 2014. Picture courtesy of L'ArgusThe Audi A3 reaches its highest ever year-to-date ranking in Europe at #9.

* See the Top 356 best-selling models and Top 60 brands by clicking on the title! *

Check also:

China First Half 2014: Santana makes it 4 Volkswagens in Top 6

USA First Half 2014: Top two pick-ups pause growth

After going through the detailed European models ranking for June, we now spend some time studying the year-to-date rankings in order to extract longer-term trends. As a reminder, Europe-wide sales are up 6% to 6.85 million units halfway through the year. An interesting observation at the very top of the models sales charts: the higher the rank, the stronger the year-on-year gains! This goes against a decade-long trend of increased fragmentation and thiner market shares for the leading vehicles, and would seem to indicate a strengthening of notoriety for the trusted nameplates around in these uncertain times. This can also be explained by new generations being launched roughly at the same time for the models in question, but in any case we have not seen this phenomenon happening in Europe in over a decade.

VW Golf Europe June 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frBoth market leader and biggest gainer in the Top 8: the VW Golf.

Illustrating the trend, the VW Golf gains a very significant 14% over the same period one year ago, cementing its pole position at 269,074 sales, the Ford Fiesta is up 9% to regain the 2nd spot off the Renault Clio, itself up 5%. Reversely, the VW Polo is down 2% at #4, the Opel Corsa up just 1% at #5, the Ford Focus down 1% at #6 and the Peugeot 208 down a tough 13% at #7, hit full frontal by the success of the 2008 (#21). Note the Focus overtakes the 208 this month for 6th place overall, with another shift inside the year-to-date Top 10: the Audi A3 passes the Skoda Octavia to reach its highest-ever European year-to-date ranking at #9, even though neither models make it to the June Top 10.

Citroen C4 Picasso Europe June 2014The new generation pushes the Citroen C4 Picasso up 63% this year across Europe.

Other interesting changes inside the year-to-date Top 50 compared to last month include the Renault Captur boosted by its historical 7th place in June to #15 overall with 87,103 units, the Peugeot 308 back inside the European Top 20 at #19 (+60%) whereas it only ranked #41 one year ago and the Renault Mégane back up 4 ranks to #23, still a harsh 9 spots below its ranking at the same time last year. Not moving much on the ladder but lodging impressive year-on-year gains are the Fiat 500 at #12 (+15%), the VW Tiguan at #16 (+13%), Dacia Sandero at #20 (+36%), Citroen C3 at #22 (+40%), Seat Leon at #26 (+62%), Citroen C4 Picasso at #28 (+63%), Dacia Duster at #29 (+39%), Opel Mokka at #33 (+63%), Fiat 500L at #37 (+51) and Opel Insignia at #41 (+35%).

Infiniti Q50 Europe June 2014European Infiniti sales are up 70% so far in 2014.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (+2%) and Ford (+5%) lead but see their market share decline while Opel (+8%), Renault (+14%) and Peugeot (+7%) outperform the market. Premium brands pause: Audi and BMW are up 5% while Mercedes is up 3%. Outside the Top 10, notice Skoda up 17%, Nissan up 10%, Dacia up 35% and among the Top 15 most popular brands in Europe for the first time ever, Seat up 12%, Mazda up 23% and Suzuki up 13%. Further down, let’s salute Jeep up 40%, Lexus up 35%, Infiniti up 70%, Maserati up 393% and Tesla landing at #34 with 5,440 sales.

Previous post: Europe June 2014: Discover the Top 340 best-selling models!

Previous month: Europe 5 months: Opel Astra rebounds

One year ago (models): Europe June 2013: Renault Clio now #2 year-to-date

One year ago (brands): Europe June 2013: Ford up 7%, Renault up to #3

Full First Half 2014 Top 356 models and Top 60 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Europe June 2014: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 55 brands

August 5th, 2014 1 comment

Renault Mégane Europe July 2014. Picture by largus.frThe Renault Mégane is up 20 spots on May to #12 this month in Europe.

* See the Top 340 best-selling models and Top 55 brands by clicking on the title! *

As is now the tradition on BSCB, after going through the June Top 10 where the main event was the historical 7th place of the Renault Captur, I can now share with you much more detailed data for the European new car market, with a Top 340 models ranking – full brands ranking will follow shortly. As always there is one change in the Top 10 compared to the initial figures: the Fiat Nueva 500 finds its way among Europe’s 10 most popular vehicles for the 2nd time ever after last March at #10, dislodging the Opel Astra at 19,011 sales (+22%) vs. 18,766.

Mini Europe June 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe new generation pushes the Mini back into the European Top 40 in June.

Tremendous performance of the Renault Mégane up 20 spots on last month to a splendid 12th place with 18,099 units (+11%), and the Scénic also shining: up 16 ranks to #20 at 14,498 units (+6%) vs. #35 year-to-date, making it definitely a month to remember for the Renault brand. Other great performers inside the Top 50 include the Peugeot 308 up 93% on June 2013 to #15, the Seat Leon up 60% to #21 vs. #26 year-to-date, the Dacia Duster also up 60% to #25, Opel Insignia up 50% to #35 and the Mini back up 25 spots on May to reclaim its place inside the Top 40 thanks to the new model whereas it only ranks #62 in 2014 so far.

Dacia Logan MCV Europe July 2014Dacia Logan MCV

Further down, let’s salute the Nissan Note up 168% to #60, the Dacia Logan up 19 spots on May and a huge 292% year-on-year to #65 thanks to the new generation MCV, the BMW 4 Series up 17 ranks to a best-ever #71 with 5,515 sales, the Mercedes GLA still headed upwards at a record #82 and 4,773 units, the BMW 2 Series also hitting its highest ranking so far in Europe at #145 (+19 on May) and the Porsche Macan down 10 to #148 but still the brand’s best-seller on the continent.

BMW i8 Europe June 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deFirst appearance of the BMW i8 in the European sales charts.

Traditionally a couple of months after their first appearance in their respective countries, all-new model pop up in the European ranking as continent-wide data becomes available. This month we welcome no less than 7 newcomers in the sales charts! The VW Golf Sportsvan leads the charge, landing directly inside the Top 100 at #98 with 3,902 sales, followed by the Citroen C4 Cactus at #119 with 2,670 units and the Mercedes V-Class at #167 and 1,136 sales. Then we have the Peugeot 108 at #171, the BMW X4 at #223, the BMW i8 at #288 and the Rolls Royce Wraith at #297.

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One year ago: Europe June 2013: Renault Clio now #2 year-to-date

Full June 2014 Top 340 models and Top 55 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Europe