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Germany 1st Quarter 2015: VW Golf & Passat help lift market up 6%

VW Passat Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe new model lifts VW Passat sales up 41% on 2014.

* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and Top 324 models by clicking on the title *

Still the engine of the European market despite the UK stepping up, the health of German sales has a large impact on how the continent fares as a whole. 2015 is a very solid year so far in Germany: up 6% over the first 3 months of the year to 757,630 deliveries. As if Volkswagen’s domination of its home market wasn’t implacable already, the German manufacturer posts the largest year-on-year improvement in the entire Top 18, with registrations up a whopping 14% to 169.058 and 22.3% share vs. 20.9% a year ago. The 3 luxury brands follow as they did last year but Audi (65.627) is now getting dangerously close to Mercedes (65.878) for the #1 luxury spot while BMW is a step below (58.875).

Audi Q3 Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frAudi is now threatening Mercedes for the #1 luxury brand title at home.

Opel, Ford, Skoda and Renault all get distanced and lose market share, while Hyundai (+10%), Fiat (+10%), Suzuki (+43%), Porsche (+36%), Smart (+49%), Mitsubishi (+58%) and most spectacularly Jeep (+91%) all deliver outstanding results inside the Top 30. Further down, notice Infiniti (+87%) and Lamborghini (+155%) at markedly higher levels than in 2014.

VW Golf Sportsvan Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Sportsvan variant enables the VW Golf to post a 26% sales gain.

Over on the models side, Volkswagen’s stunning improvement becomes clear: boosted by the new Sportsman variant (separate sales unavailable), the Golf is up 26% to 8.7% share – almost 3 times any other nameplate, while the new generation Passat lifts the nameplate up 41% to 2nd place overall with 23.090 deliveries and 3% share. The Mercedes C-Class (+14%) and Opel Corsa (+16%) also benefit from their recent updates, the Skoda Octavia inches up one spot to #8 which would be its best-ever national ranking if it can keep it up until the end of the year, and the Audi A4 is getting a second wind, up 12% to re-enter the Top 10 at #9, overtaking the BMW 3 Series at #12 (-20%) – the latter in harsh decline mainly due to its coupe/convertible variants now being sold under the 4 Series nameplate (+79%).

Suzuki Swift Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Swift takes off in Germany, lifting Suzuki sales up 43%.

Apart from the C-Class, other Mercedes best-sellers are struggling so far in 2015: the B-Class is stable, the E-Class down 14% and the A-Class down 21%. Reversely, with the Active Tourer MPV now in full bloom, the BMW 2 Series jumps to #25, the Ford Kuga (+27%) and Opel Adam (+39%) have finally found their market at home and the Swift (up a spectacular 137%) along with the arrival of the Celerio (#171) and Vitara (#181) are behind Suzuki’s strong gains this year in Germany.

Citroen C4 Cactus Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frGood start for the Citroen C4 Cactus in Germany.

Removing Skoda and Seat nameplates owned by the Volkswagen Group, there are just 3 foreigners inside the German Top 40: the Fiat 500 (#28), Nissan Qashqai (#31) and Renault Clio (#40). Notice also the clear improvement of the Mazda3 cracking the Top 50 at #41 (+26%), as well as Hyundai placing 3 models inside the Top 50 vs. just one a year ago: the i10 (+47%), ix35 (+36%) and i30 (+5%). The Mercedes V-Class leads newcomers at #53 followed by the Smart Forfour at #69, Nissan Pulsar at #94 and Citroen C4 Cactus at #111.

Full Q1 2015 Top 50 brands and Top 324 models vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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