The new generation lifts the 308 nameplate to never-seen before heights in Europe.
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New car sales in Europe celebrate 15 consecutive months of year-on-year gains in November at +1.3% to 989,667 deliveries, the dynamism of Spain (+22%), the UK (+8%) and Italy (+5%) more than compensating for the apathy of France (-3%), Germany (-2%) and the Netherlands (-20%). The year-to-date total now stands a couple of thousands units below 12 million, up 5.3% on 2013. The Top 10 most popular brands are still up year-to-date, however Ford (-7%), Skoda (-1%) and Citroen (-8%) retreat in November whereas all the German premium brands outperform the market: BMW is up 8%, Mercedes up 7% and Audi up 4%. Renault is above Opel/Vauxhall at #3 for the second month in a row but remains at #4 year-to-date.
Nissan Qashqai sales are up 19% year-on-year in November in Europe.
In the models ranking, the main event this month is the arrival inside the Top 10 of the Peugeot 308, lifted by its much-improved new generation and a very successful station wagon variant, up to #9 thanks to sales up 71% YOY to 14,996 units. This is the first time the 2nd generation 308 manages a European Top 10 ranking and the best-ever monthly ranking for the 308 nameplate, its previous best being #10 hit in June and July 2009 with 23,786 and 21,500 sales respectively. It is also the first time the 308 outsells its rival the Ford Focus in Europe, and the second month in a row it outsells the Opel Astra. In other significant news for Peugeot, the 308 (#9) also outsells its stablemate the 208 (#10) this month. The last time the 30- was Peugeot’s best-seller above the 20- was during the 206-207 changeover, when the 307 successively outsold both the outgoing 206 and the upcoming 207 for a period of 4 months between April and July 2006. Note the 307 nameplate was immensely more successful for Peugeot than the 308 has been to-date, peaking at #3 overall over the Full Year 2004 with over 450,000 sales.
The Mercedes C-Class just missed out on a historical European Top 10 ranking this month.
The rest of the Top 10 models sees some significant moves: the VW Polo is up 12% YOY to stay in 2nd place below the VW Golf, the Ford Fiesta crumbling apart at -19% in 4th place and the Nissan Qashqai up a beautiful 19% but now only 13 (!) units above the Skoda Octavia year-to-date. JATO Dynamics also announced that the Mercedes C-Class just missed out on a Top 10 ranking this month with sales up 61% year-on-year. The C-Class has never ranked inside the monthly European Top 10 in the past decade, so this would have been a momentous event, that could still occur in the coming months given how early on it is in the new generation C-Class’s career. The last time the C-Class’ rivals ranked within the European Top 10 was in January 2014 for the BMW 3 Series and August 2012 for the Audi A4. Finally, boosted by the new model and the addition of a 5-door variant, the Mini is up 44% YOY while the Seat Leon continues its impressive run at +43%.
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Full November 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.