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In spite of sales down in Germany (-0.4%) and France (-3%), the European new car market is up 3% year-on-year in August to 703,918 registrations, marking a full year (12 consecutive months) of year-on-year gains. The year-to-date total now stands at 8,628,789 units, up a beautiful 6% on 2013. Brand-wise, Volkswagen and Ford both outperform the market by a large margin at +14% each leading to a 14% market share for VW (vs. 12.3% year-to-date) and 7.1% for Ford. Opel/Vauxhall is up 8% at #3 while Skoda jumps 21% to #9 with 36,530 sales and 5.2% share. In the models ranking, once again Volkswagen impresses but this time it does so more than usual, and for 3 reasons.
First, the VW Golf is up 20% on August 2013 to reach 32,456 sales. This means that for the first time in the history of the Golf nameplate, it sells double any other model on the continent, with the #2 (the VW Polo) at 16,033 units.
Second, the VW Polo is up a cool 14% year-on-year thanks to the facelifted model now hitting dealerships, meaning Volkswagen achieves a one-two for the second time in the past 12 months after last January.
Third, boosted by run-out prices across the region in preparation for the arrival of the 8th generation late this year/early next year, the VW Passat is back among the 10 most popular models in Europe, and this for the first time since November 2012, making it the first time in almost 3 years that Volkswagen places 3 models inside the European Top 10.
With the Opel Corsa up 15% to remain in 5th position, all Top 5 models in Europe bar the VW Golf are superminis for the 2nd month running. The Skoda Octavia (+23%) and Ford Focus (+25%) also shine, while the Audi A3 registers the harshest fall in the Top 10 (-7%) but August 2013 was an all-time record for the model and it falls to a still very impressive #8 ranking, above the #10 spot it holds year-to-date. The French are struggling, in line with their home market: the Renault Clio is down 2% to #3 and the Peugeot 208 down 5% to #9.
Previous month: Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months
Full August 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.