* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *
It’s official: the recession is over in Europe. Overall new car sales are up 11% year-on-year in March to an imposing 1.644.985 registrations, boosted by a record figure in the UK (accounting for 28% of the continent’s sales) and Spain up a joyful 41%. The 1st Quarter ends on a 9% increase at 3.629.902 deliveries. Volkswagen moves with the market at +11% to 11.1% share, while Ford (+9%) and Opel/Vauxhall (+4%) mechanically move up to #2 and #3 given their strong reliance on UK sales but underperform. The French fall right in the average: Renault and Peugeot rank 4th and 5th and both gain 11%. Audi (+7%) and BMW (+5%) step aside and let Mercedes (+16%) shine bright at 82,980 sales (Audi 87,688 – BMW 81,857) but the hero of the month is Nissan jumping 4 spot to crack the European Top 10 thanks to sales up 21% to #9 and 80,471 deliveries. Fiat also enjoys the success of its very profitable 500 family and the arrival of the 500X just in time for summer escapades: +13% in 10th place.
Despite sales up just 0.1% to 56,269, the VW Golf manages to clock its 60th consecutive month atop the European sales charts – that’s a full 5 years with the last time the Golf did not rank #1 in Europe being March 2010… The Top 10 models is heavily influenced by the UK market as is the norm in March: the Ford Fiesta jumps two spots to #2 both in March and year-to-date, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa is up 3 to #3 (+21%), the Ford Focus is up 5 to #6 and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra is up 7 to return inside the Top 10 at #10. While the Renault Clio is solid at +12%, the VW Polo takes a beating and drops two ranks in the 2015 ranking to #4, now only 51 units above the Corsa. Another excellent month for the Nissan Qashqai at #7 (+13%) and Audi A3 at #9 (+15%).
Previous month: Europe February 2015: VW Passat at highest in 3 years
Full March 2015 Top 10 brands and models below.