* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands ranking + Top 300 models! See title *
In a gloomy European context, German new car sales have remained very solid in 2012, down just 3% to 3,082,504 registrations. Unsurprisingly the VW Golf is the most popular model in the country for the 32nd consecutive year (no interruption since 1981!) and for the 37th time in the last 38 years, with only the Mercedes W123 interrupting its reign in 1980. It sells 240,702 units for a 7.8% market share, down 7% on 2011 but the arrival of the 7th generation should give it a kick in 2013. In fact the podium is unchanged on 2011 with the VW Passat (-14%) and Polo (-16%) following in the ranking, making it the 2nd year in a row (and ever) that Volkswagen monopolises the year-end German podium.
The Mercedes C-Class (-13%) and Opel Astra (-23%) exchange positions, while the BMW 3 Series is up one spot to #6. But the most impressive progression in the Top 10 is without a doubt delivered by the Mercedes B-Class, boosted by the arrival of the new model. It simply doubles its sales vs. last year and gains 21 spots to reach a record #7 at 59,420 units, even breaking into the monthly podium for the very first time in September at #3. The BMW 1 Series, also supported by a new generation, is up 7 ranks and 12% to #8 with 59,241 sales and hits a record #2 in December.
The other model hitting a significant milestone this year is the VW Tiguan, up 8 spots and 22% to a best-ever #11 at 55,615 units. While it had only broken into the monthly Top 10 twice before 2012, it repeats this feat no less than 7 times this year, peaking at #7. The Audi A6/A7 is also up 8 ranks to #13, the Skoda Octavia is stable at its highest ever year-end ranking (#17) while the VW Up! manages to break into the German year-end Top 20 for its first full year of sales in the country at #20 with 42,842 units.
Given Skoda and Seat are 100% owned by the Volkswagen Group, the best-selling foreign model in Germany this year and for the first time ever is the Nissan Qashqai in spite of sales down 11% to #29. It only just passes the Hyundai i30 at #30 (-12%) with the Renault Megane (#37), Toyota Yaris (#38) and Renault Clio (#40) the only other imports in the Top 40. Other great performers include the Opel Zafira up 52% to #26, Audi Q3 up 778% to #34, Hyundai ix35 up 44% to #48, Mercedes GLK up 34% to #51, Mercedes ML-Class up 117% to #58 and Hyundai i40 up 433% to #87.
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