* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *
New car sales in Europe – 29 countries excluding Russia and Turkey – post their first year-on-year decline in almost three years in July at -3% to 1.157.889 units. The last time the European market declined was in August 2013. Among the largest markets, if Spain (+4%), Italy (+3%) and the UK (+0.1%) deliver modest increases, the overall tally is crippled by significant declines in France (-10%) and Germany (-4%). Greece (+34%), Hungary (+15%), Cyprus (+13%), Ireland (+9%) and Croatia (+6%) register the largest increases whereas Switzerland (-14%) the Czech Republic (-12%) and Norway (-11%) are the worst offenders. The year-to-date total remains frankly in positive however at +7.5% to 9.259.318 units after 7 months.
Looking at this month’s result in a little more detail, it appears three of the four brands registering drops in the Top 10 belong to the Volkswagen Group: market leader VW (-10.8%), Skoda (-10.5%) and Audi (-5.2%), the other one being Peugeot (-10.5%). In fact, if we add up volumes lost vs. July 2015 by VW, Skoda and Peugeot (-29.438), way more than the entire European market loss this month (-27.075). This means the European market bar these three brands is actually up by 0.2%.
Ford (+0.5%) and Opel/Vauxhall (+1.6%) overtake Renault (+0.3%) which however remains #2 year-to-date. Mercedes (+3.7%) posts the largest increase in the Top 10 but falls 422 units short off topping Audi for the #1 luxury spot. Fiat (+2%) also satisfies, while outside of the top ten, Mini (+11%), Jeep (+11%) Dacia (+12%), Honda (+15%), Suzuki (+20%), Jaguar (+33%), Land Rover (+33%) and Infiniti (+218%) post strong gains.
Model-wise, despite dropping a harsh 22% to 36.540 sales, the VW Golf is #1 for the 76th consecutive month, and by a large margin: its closest follower is the VW Polo down 6% to 24.632. The Golf may be affected by the gearing up of the Opel Astra, up a stunning 26% to 20.954 and earning a 4th spot overall, the nameplate’s highest European ranking since July 2012. In the Top 10, only the Opel Corsa (+9%) and Peugeot 208 (+2%) also gain ground. Further down, the Dacia Sandero gains a mammoth 31% to #12 with 15.869 sales and the Audi A4 is up 14% to #14. Reversely, the Skoda Octavia (-18%), Peugeot 308 (-20%) and VW Passat (-23%) struggle.
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Full July 2016 Top 10 brands and Top 20 models below.