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The locomotive of European new car sales, Germany is still not frankly on the road to recovery with a market down down 0.4% year-on-year in August to 213,092 registrations. This brings the year-to-date total to 2,021,609 units, up 3% on 2013. We have an extremely stable manufacturer ranking this month: the entire Top 7 is identically to July and year-to-date, with Volkswagen (21.6%) leading the way ahead of Mercedes (9%), Audi (8.2%), BMW (8%) and Opel (7%). The biggest year-to-date gainers in the Top 15 are Mazda (+20%), Nissan (+18%), Skoda (+15%) and Seat (+10%).
Further down, we witness an interesting move: for the second time in the past 12 months after last December, Renault’s budget brand Dacia manages to outsell both Peugeot and Citroen in 16th place with 3,900 sales and 1.8% vs. 3,510 and 3,472 respectively, In the models ranking, the VW Golf is boosted by the new Sportsvan (included by the KBA in the nameplate total) with sales up 27% year-on-year to reach 9.2% share vs. 7.7% year-to-date, while the Passat is up 30% to 5,367 sales, potentially thanks to runout prices on the current gen mixed with the first dealer units of the new gen being delivered. This surge earns the Passat a spot inside the European Top 10 for the first time in almost two years.
The VW Polo rounds up the podium, making it 100% Volkswagen for the first time since last March, the Opel Corsa delivers an excellent result: up 24% to #4 and the Ford Focus is up an outstanding 53% on August 2013 and 6 spots on last month to #6. Below we have a historical milestone unfolding before our eyes: the Seat Leon is up a further 4 spots on July to reach #15 (its 2nd best ever ranking below the #13 it reached last May), meaning it outsells its competitor the Opel Astra for the very first time in history this month. Gven the Astra used to be the Golf’s main competitor, the fact that it is now below the Golf’s premium (the A3), budget (Skoda Octavia) and sporty twins speaks volumes. This event seemed unthinkable only a year ago: the Leon ranked #35 vs. #6 for the Astra in February 2013, but it is now done and the long-term trend is in favour of the Leon so chances are it will happen again.
The Hyundai i10 delivers a remarkable performance at #25: it doubles its sales year-on-year and is up 16 spots on July to become the country’s best-selling ‘true’ foreigner (discarding Skoda and Seat), just above the Fiat 500 down 12% to #26. Notice also the BMW X1 up 20 ranks to #28, the Toyota Auris up 23 to #34, the Mercedes GLA smashing its ranking record at #38 (previous best: #48 last May), the Dacia Duster up 24 to #44, Mitsubishi Space Star up 22 to #60 vs. #104 year-to-date and the BMW 2 Series beating its ranking record for the 2nd month in a row at #83 (+16).
Among recent launches, let’s salute the Citroen C4 Cactus up 163 spots on July to #119 with 366 sales and already #4 for the brand below the C4 (#748, C3 (#81) and Berlingo (#93), the BMW i8 up a shy 4 ranks to #224 and the new Smart Forfour making its very first appearance in the German ranking at #255 with 22 sales.
Previous month: Germany July 2014: Mercedes E-Class in Top 10
One year ago: Germany August 2013: Audi A3 up to record 2nd place
Full August 2014 Top 300 models and Top 50 brands Ranking Tables below.