* See the Top 60 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *
2006 was a year off for the VW Golf, losing sales to its Golf Plus version.This threw the models ranking into a spin with no less than 5 cars holding the top spot at some stage during the year. This Opel Astra manages to stay in the lead of the European models ranking with 452,881 sales, down 7%. It was close though as the JATO monthly evolution showed the Renault Clio #1 after 11 months but final figures put the French at #3 with 431,817 sales below the Ford Focus at 440,735.
In fact, the year was a succession of changes atop the ranking. The Ford Focus started the year with a bang and ranked #1 for the very first time in the nameplate’s life (8 years after its launch) in January with 40,362 sales. The Fiat Punto, boosted by the arrival of the Grande Punto, then took the top spot in February for the first time since 2000, followed by the Opel Astra in March. The Renault Clio took the relay and led the market in April, only its second time ever at #1 in Europe after September 1991. The Focus was back on top in May before being passed by the Clio again in June…
At half-year, the Ford Focus was #1, followed by the Clio, Astra, Punto and Golf. The Astra was then #1 twice (in July and September) as well as the Golf (August and November), the Clio leading in October and the Focus in December. All in all, the Ford Focus finished the year at a best-ever #2 (-2%), the Renault Clio at #3 (+13%), the VW Golf at #4 (-15%) its worst European ranking in over 25 years, and the Fiat Punto at #5 up a massive 49%.
Other significant events this year include the VW Passat ranking above the Golf for the first time ever in January – it finished the year at a best-ever #7 – and the very fast change-over between the Peugeot 206 and 207: the 206 was still in the Top 10 in April and the 207 made its first appearance in it in July! Only 2 months off, an amazing feat by Peugeot.
Previous year: Europe 2005: VW Golf keeps Opel Astra at bay – or does it?
Next year: Europe 2007: Peugeot 207 edges VW Golf out
Full Year 2006 Top 60, H1, H2 and January to July Top 10 Ranking Tables and every model sales below.