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Europe 2008: VW Golf defies the GFC

VW Golf

* See the Top 80 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

After two years of chaos, the European models ranking is back to stability – albeit rocked by the GFC – with only 2 models sharing the #1 spot throughout the year.

The VW Golf is only one of 2 models in the Top 10 to see its sales increase year-on-year with 461,620 units, up 6%. It is the best-selling car in Europe for the first time since 2004 – for the 21st year overall since 1983 – and grabs the top spot in January and from April onwards. This return to shape late in the 5th gen’s career could be in part due to the addition of a station wagon. The 6th gen launch in November should make things even easier for the model in 2009.

Peugeot 207

The Peugeot 207’s reign over the European market will have lasted only one short year, like the 206 in 2003. It is #2 with 406,740 sales, down 7% on 2011, and was still #1 only in February and March. In third place, the Ford Focus stays solid with 364,226 units (-10%), followed by the Opel Corsa.

Audi A4

Two models broke into the monthly Top 10 for the very first time this year. The Audi A4 was up there from July to October, and took advantage of a traditionally messy August to get up to a fantastic 2nd place , equalling the ‘large car’ record set by the Opel Vectra in August 1997… It finishes the year at a brilliant #10 with a record 256,349 units, up 16% and 7 spots on 2011. The Skoda Fabia also entered the exclusive monthly Top 10 circle in August when it sold 14,131 units, and finished 2008 at #17.

Among newcomers in the European Top 50 this year, let’s notice the Peugeot 308 landing directly at #13 for its first full year, the Fiat 500 up to #22 with 177,680 sales, the Nissan Qashqai up 23 spots and 61% to #29 at 144,879 units, the Renault Twingo new gen up 48% to #32 and the VW Tiguan landing at #48 with 92,638 sales for its first full year.

Previous year: Europe 2007: Peugeot 207 edges VW Golf out

Next year: Europe 2009: VW Golf and Ford Fiesta dominate

Full Year 2008 Top 80, every Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and every model sales below.

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