* See the Top 10 best-selling models and brands by clicking on the title *
The European new car market celebrates two full years (24 months) of year-on-year gains in August, delivering its second best monthly improvement at +11.5% to 781.783 registrations. This lifts the year-to-date total to 9.385.361 units, up a very encouraging 9% or 766.000 units on 2014. August sales are always a little atypic in Europe as it is the midst of Summer holidays with a lot of markets all but closing down: France is at just 92.000 registrations, the UK at 79.000 and Italy at 59.000, giving disproportionate weight to Germany (226.000) representing 29% of overall European sales vs. 22.7% year-to-date. This traditionally brings unusual rankings, and this year is no exception.
Volkswagen gains less ground than the market at +3% but, unlike in China where it looks like it may be starting to lose foot, manages to place no less than 3 nameplates inside the European Top 4 for the first time in recorded history: the Golf (+5%) celebrates 65 consecutive months in pole position, the Polo is #3 but the record-breaker is the Passat thanks to sales up 44% as the new model is taking the market by storm. Launched in 1973, the Passat nameplate hits #4 in Europe this month, an all-time record ranking beating its previous best of #5 reached in December 2005, April 2011 and last month. But that’s not all for the VAG Group: the Skoda Octavia also soars 17% year-on-year to its best-ever ranking in 5th place – meaning 4 of the Top 5 best-sellers in Europe VAG Group models – a position it has reached twice in the past: in October and November 2013.
More good news: for the first time in history, Skoda places two nameplates in the European monthly Top 10 with the Fabia pointing its bonnet in 10th place thanks to sales boosted 38% by the new generation. This is only the third time the Fabia slips up among the continent 10 best-sellers, the last one being 6 years ago in August 2009 (#8) and the first one a year before that in August 2008 (#10). At the time, the Fabia was the very first Skoda ro break into the Top 10, since then the Octavia joined it, achieving this milestone for the first time in January 2012. The other great performer is the Renault Clio up a gigantic 26% to 2nd place, and both the Peugeot 208 (#7) and Opel Astra (#8) are back inside the Top 10 after falling to #11 and #13 respectively last month.
Back to the brands ranking with Opel (+15%) and Renault (+21%) frankly outperforming the market in third and 4th places respectively, while below we witness a coup d’etat in the luxury rankings. Lifted by the tremendous success of the 2 Series Active Tourer (#3 overall at home in Germany!), BMW shoots up 3 spots on July and 17% year-on-year to a fantastic 5th position, distancing Mercedes (+15%) and Audi (+9%), now desperately waiting for the new A4. Year-to-date however the positions are unchanged: Audi dominates (+5%), followed by Mercedes (+12%) and BMW (+9%). This trio manages to kick Peugeot into 8th position in August, just as Toyota brilliantly breaks into the Top 10 below Skoda.
Previous post: Europe July 2015: Now with Top 335 All-models and All-brands
One year ago: Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains
Full August 2015 Top 10 models and brands below.