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New car sales in Europe are down 5% both in August at 686,526 registrations and year-to-date at 8,178,716 units. Traditionally the slowest month of the year, August is often the theatre of ranking reshuffles made easier by lower volumes. Well this year it over-achieves in this area! Reflecting the long-term “premium or low-cost” trend at play in Western European car sales, both the BMW 3 Series at #4 (previous best: #6 in December 2006) and the Audi A3 at #6 (previous best: #9 last April) absolutely and positively smash their European ranking records this month!
The 3 Series is up a whopping 47% year-on-year to 12,874 sales this month. It made its first appearance in the monthly European Top 10 back in July 1999 and lodged its first year-end Top 10 finish in 2000, then went on peaking at #8 in 2001 and 2012, totalling 6 year-end Top 10 finishes so far, ranking #10 in 2002, 2006 and 2007. It is now #9 in 2013 after 8 months with sales up 20% year-on-year. Now for the first time the 3 Series belongs to the Top 5 most popular models in Europe, even though it has only been for one month for now.
As far as the Audi A3 is concerned, the progression is even more impressive: never had the nameplate, originally launched in 1996, ranked inside the monthly European Top 10 until last April when it ranked #9. This month the A3, bolstered by a record 2nd spot in Germany, even knocks on Europe Top 5’s door, up 42% year-on-year to 12,089 sales which is only 280 off the Ford Fiesta at #5, and ranks #2 in its segment behind only the VW Golf and above the Ford Focus and Opel Astra, both outside the Top 10 in August! A fantastic achievement indeed, with the sedan version only hitting European dealerships this September. As a reminder let’s note the A3 finished 2012 at #24 in the European ranking.
A European ranking more than ever dominated by the VW Golf which sells almost double any other model this month in spite of sales down 6% on August 2012 to 27,011 units. The Renault Clio is back up to #2 both this month and year-to-date, passing the Ford Fiesta. Finally, the third high achiever this month is the Skoda Octavia, breaking into the monthly European Top 10 for only the second time ever after January 2012 when it also ranked #10. A good testimony of how well the new generation of the model has been welcomed in the region.
Previous month: Europe July 2013: Ford Focus at highest in almost a year
Full August 2013 Top 10 models and Top 30 brands Ranking Tables below.