* See the Top 60 brands and Top 340 models rankings by clicking on the title! *
After detailed data for August, we now explore the year-to-date European sales charts to try and extract longer-term trends. If in 2013 the sales trend in Europe was a very clear “Low-cost or Premium” with very little mainstream brands standing out, in 2014 this has smoothed out a little. However looking at the manufacturers gaining the most ground so far, a clear picture still takes shape. Budget brands are still the ones making the most progress in Europe this year. Superstar of the market for almost a decade now, Renault-owned low-cost manufacturer Dacia doesn’t seem to be nearing any sales plateauing, up another 31% over 8 months to 250,231 sales and overtaking Kia and Seat in the process. There are many reasons to this as I detailed in my exclusive Dacia interview Paris Auto Show.
Skoda is the other manufacturer behaving exceptionally well this year at +19% to 382,202 units, mainly thanks to the Octavia testing new highs all across the continent, and given the new generation Fabia is just about to be launched, expect Skoda sales to spike up for a little while more. The Volkswagen-owned Czech manufacturer now ranks just outside the Top 10 brands on the continent (#11), although it has managed to break into the monthly Top 10 a few times already in 2014 (#9 both in July and August) and should, if all goes well, pass Fiat to establish itself in the Top 10 in 2015. Think: Dacia and Skoda together account for 120.000 additional European sales so far compared to the same period in 2013, or 1 in 4 additional sales overall in Europe!
In an overall ranking extremely stable compared to one year ago (Top 10 unchanged), the list of other manufacturers frankly outperforming the market is a lot more diverse than it was last year when it was roughly confined to the premium German brands. Renault is up 11% thanks to the Captur and the Clio IV still on the up, Seat benefits from the exceptional success of the Leon to grow by 12%, Volvo is up 10% thanks to an performance of a new addition to its range the V40, Mazda is up 21% thanks to the new 3 and Suzuki gains 12% thanks to the SX4 S-Cross. That’s for the Top 20 brands. Outside, Mitsubishi is up 26% thanks to the Outlander PHeV doing well in countries favouring electric cars such as the Netherlands and Norway, Porsche is on fire at +20% thanks to the Macan, Jeep is up 42% and should continue on this trajectory with the Cherokee reaching cruise level and, most importantly, the Renegade bring the Italian-American brand down to European size by hitting the boo most compact SUV segment.
Premium-prestige brands are doing well: Tesla is up 1988% to 6.201 sales but really only launched one year ago with the Model S, Maserati is up 388% thanks to the Ghibli, Lexus is up 25% to 17.523 units, Infiniti up 89% to a still anecdotal 2,454 sales, Bentley is up 13% to 1.662 units and Rolls Royce is up 51% to 454 sales.
Model-wise, below the usual suspects in the Top 10, 9 vehicles stand out in the Top 50 with year-on-year gains superior to 30%: the Peugeot 2008 (+368%) and Renault Captur (+210%) of course, but also the Peugeot 308 and Seat Leon both up 62%, the Opel Mokka up 61% and earning a spot in the Top 35, the Citroen C4 Picasso up 56% and now segment leader, the Dacia Duster up 46% to enter the Top 25, the Fiat 500L up 41% thanks mainly to its success at home in Italy and the Opel Insignia (+34%) enjoying a second wind and return inside the European Top 50 at #41 thanks to its facelift.
Further down, let’s salute the Nissan Note up 146% to #62, the Dacia Logan up 177% to #74 both thanks to their new generations, the BMW 4 Series landing at #87 and the Mazda3 up 119% to #90. The Mercedes GLA has been the most successful all-new nameplate over past 12 months, climbing up to #101 with 25,779 sales this year (and already knocking on the monthly Top 50’s door), ahead of the VW Golf Sportsvan at #117, BMW 2 Series at #156, Citroen C4 Cactus at #157, Peugeot 108 at #180, Ford Ecosport at #199 and Mercedes V-Class at #206.
Previous monthly post: Europe September 2014: VW Golf and Polo biggest gainers in Top 10
Previous month: Europe August 2014: 12th month of year-on-year gains
Full 8 months 2014 Top 60 brands and Top 340 models Ranking Tables below.