* Now updated with the Top 334 best-selling models and Top 53 All-brands *
Thanks to JATO Dynamic we now have access to preliminary figures for the Top 20 models and brands and December saw its lot of surprises. The European market finishes 2015 on a high with sales up a whopping 16% year-on-year in December to 1.155.157 registrations, the largest year-on-year increase in the past 3 years. 20 of the 29 markets analysed post double-digit year-on-year gains, with the Netherlands leading the pack at +89% followed by Romania at +56%, Estonia at +37%, Cyprus at +32% and Austria at +31%. Only 3 markets decline: Switzerland (-1%), Ireland (-2%) and Luxembourg (-27%).
Volkswagen remains the most popular brand on the continent of course but as it has been the case since the “dieselgate” scandal broke, the German manufacturer underperforms the market at +5%. It is followed by Renault up an impressive 29%, Ford (+19%), Peugeot (+27%) and Opel/Vauxhall (+4%). BMW (+22%) passes Mercedes (+15%) to take the lead of the luxury race this month while Audi (+7%) loses share. Fiat lifts 23%, Hyundai 38%, Dacia 24%, Volvo 35% and Mazda 56%.
Model-wise, the VW Golf (+8%) and Renault Clio (+9%) lead but lose share, but the biggest event this month is without a doubt the record third position of the Peugeot 308, boosted by an exceptional month in the Netherlands. There, the tightening of low-emission tax cuts scheduled for January 1, 2016 brought sales forward for the 308 which sold an out-of-this-world 44% of its European total in the Netherlands only: 12.052 deliveries for a 17.4% market share… This means the 308 smashes its previous best European ranking (#8) to bring it to #3 with 27.144 sales, up 74% on a year ago.
In other news, the Ford Fiesta drops to #5 vs. #2 over the Full Year, the VW Passat is up 68% to 6th place, the Peugeot 208 is up 27% at #8, the Renault Captur is inside the European Top 10 for the 2nd time this year after June and the 4th time overall along with June and December 2014, the Opel Astra is back up 22% to #12, the Toyota Auris up 42% to #14, the Dacia Sandero up 38% to #15 and the BMW 1 Series up 17% to #17.
Previous month: Europe November 2015: Market shoots up 13.5%, Volkswagen up 3%
Full December 2015 Top 334 models and Top 53 All-brands below.