* See the Top 340 All-models and Top 60 All-brands by clicking on the title *
All manufacturers present in Europe are breathing a sign of relief as the European new car market soars 9% over the first Quarter of 2015 to 3.621.045 sales, presaging a first frank year of growth since the 2009 recession. As it is the case in both the two other large vehicle markets in the world, the USA and China, SUVs and crossovers are the engine of this growth as we will detail further down. Volkswagen remains sovereign in the European brands ranking, even outpacing the market at +11% to 434.000 sales, above Ford (+7%) while Renault (+13%) overtakes Opel/Vauxhall (+7%) partly thanks to an excellent performance of its Captur crossover (+31%) and a renaissance in the UK.
Peugeot rounds up the Top 5 as it was the case a year ago, ahead of the Top 3 luxury German marques. The race to #1 luxury brand is getting very heated – the same way it is in the US and worldwide: Audi is up 4%, BMW up 8% and Mercedes up 15% but only 1.300 sales separate the last two, with Audi having a meagre 10.000 units advance on its two pursuants. Nissan (+26% thanks to the Qashqai), Seat (+15% thanks to the Leon), Mini (+35% thanks to the 5-door hatch), Smart (+46% thanks to the Forfour), Porsche (+50% thanks to the Macan), Mitsubishi (+70% thanks to the Outlander PHEV) and Jeep (+203% thanks to the Cherokee and Renegade) all shine.
The Top 5 models are unchanged on a year ago, with the VW Golf leading of course ahead of the Ford Fiesta, however the Renault Clio and VW Polo are being threatened for the final spot on the podium by the Opel Corsa surging 21% and standing less than 2.000 units below the former two nameplates. The Nissan Qashqai is up two ranks on 2014 and 21% to land at a best-ever 6th place, and is the tree in front of a forest of soaring SUV scores. The Renault Captur (+27%) stops 2.200 sales short off a historical Top 10 ranking over Q1, the Opel Mokka is up 43%, Peugeot 2008 up 14%, Dacia Duster up 13% and Hyundai ix35 up 20%. And it’s only the beginning, with the Jeep Renegade landing at #95 and the Fiat 500X at #112.
New generations boost the Peugeot 308 up 47%, the Mercedes C-Class up 46%, Mini up a round 100%, while the VW Golf Sportsvan landing at #42, BMW 2 Series at #53, Citroen C4 Cactus at #54, Peugeot 108 at #57, Nissan Pulsar at #88 and Smart Forfour at #110.
Full Q1 2015 Top 340 All-models and Top 60 All-brands vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.