* See the Top 50 brands and Top 308 models by clicking on the title *
The German new car market is flat in March: down 0.04% year-on-year to 322.913 registrations but a strong start of the year lifts the first quarter result up 4.5% to 791.424 units. Once again Volkswagen, handicapped by a deepening emissions scandal, sees its sales drop at -6% to fall below the symbolic 20% market share at 19.5% and 20.5% year-to-date (-4%). Its luxury division Audi isn’t affected though: volumes are up 10% in March and 15% in the first quarter in 2nd place. Mercedes remains #3 despite sales down 1% just as BMW gains 8% in 4th position. Ford (+4%), Opel (+1%) and Skoda (+5%) post limited gains but Renault (+10%), Mini (+10%), Volvo (+11%), Honda (+13%), Nissan (+16%), Land Rover (+21%) and Mitsubishi (+23%) are more dynamic, with Jaguar lifted up 57% by the XE and Ssangyong pushed up 99% by the Tivoli. On the other hand, Hyundai (-10%), Peugeot (-10%), Toyota (-12%), Fiat (-13%), Citroen (-24%) and Suzuki (-26%) all struggle.
Model-wise, the VW Golf (-5%) and Passat (-9%) lead but lose ground, while just below the Audi A3 (+7%), Skoda Octavia (+23%) and most impressively the BMW 2 Series (+80%) all gain ground. The VW Polo (-9%) drops three spots to #6, the Opel Astra (+21%) ranks 7th and the Audi A4, up 14% to 5.811 sales, is already teasing its direct competitor the Mercedes C-Class, down 8% to 5.827 units whereas the BMW 3 Series has already lost the battle: down 21% to 4.028 deliveries. The Seat Leon gains 28% to #12, its second best-ever monthly ranking in Germany below the #10 it hit last August, the Fiat Ducato is up 30 ranks on February to #20 now that rental companies are starting to purchase camping cars in preparation for summer – a German sales specialty.
The Nissan Qashqai (+30%) is the most popular ‘true’ foreign model (Skoda and Seat excluded), followed by the Hyundai Tucson at a splendid #35 with 2.403 sales. Notice also the BMW X1 up 97% to #34 and the Skoda Superb up 64% to #47, the Ford Mustang getting ever closer to the German Top 100 (#107), the Jaguar XE up 34 spots on last month to #136. Three new nameplates make their first appearance in the German sales charts in March: the Fiat Tipo lands at #173 with 270 sales, the Jaguar F-Pace arrives at #276 with 10 units sold and Suzuki Baleno comes in at #277 with 8 deliveries.
Previous month: Germany February 2016: Volkswagen continues to lose share
One year ago: Germany March 2015: Opel Corsa and Mazda3 impress
Full March 2016 Top 50 brands and Top 308 models below.