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Europe April 2015: VW Passat leaps up to 7th place

VW Passat Europe April 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comThe VW Passat hits its highest European ranking since February 2012.

* See the Top 53 All-brands and Top 335 All-models by clicking on the title.

JATO Dynamics didn’t publish their traditional ‘teaser’ Top Tenners this month so it’s straight to the complete rankings with the traditional one month delay. The European new car market continues to recover from 7 dark years of recession: celebrating 20 consecutive months of year-on-year gains in April at a solid +7% to 1.200.717 and +8% to 4.817.100 so far in 2015. Volkswagen follows the market atop the brands ranking (+6%) while Ford (+2%) is under pressure from Renault (+16%) for the overall 2nd spot with only 938 units separating the two manufacturers.

Volvo XC90 Norway May 2015Volvo sales are up 12% year-on-year in May.

Audi (69.863) remains the #1 premium brand on the continent while BMW (60.679) passes Mercedes (59.013) for the #2 spot and #7 overall. Compared to March, Fiat, Skoda (both at +9% yoy) and Citroen (+1%) overtake Nissan (+7%) while Toyota is down 2% to #12. Notice also Dacia and Volvo both up 12%, Land Rover up 18%, Porsche up 20%, Mitsubishi up 28%, Mini up 33%, Smart up 56%, Tesla up 85% and Jeep up 173%.

Renault Clio Europe April 2015. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frThe Renault Clio is up 15% to 2nd place overall.

In the models ranking, the VW Golf maintains a comfortable 18.000 unit-lead over all other nameplates despite sales down 3% just under 48.000. That’s to be compared with just above 30.000 (+15%) for the Renault Clio, still in great shape despite its age and competition from the Captur, itself up 20% to #13. The Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Opel Corsa rounds up the Top 5 with the Ford Focus brilliantly staying at #6 despite the comedown from March sales traditionally boosted by UK license plate changes. But the hero of the month in the European Top 10 is the VW Passat, up 45% year-on-year and 10 spots on March to 7th place, its best ranking in Europe since February 2012 and allowing it a #11 spot year-to-date only 1.157 units below the Skoda Octavia which was just passed by the Audi A3.

Skoda Fabia Europe April 2015. Picture courtesy rad-ab.comThe new model lifts European Skoda Fabia sales up 37% in April.

Outside the Top 10, the Peugeot 308 continues to lodge solid month after solid month, up 45% on April 2014 to #12 this time and now #13 year-to-date. The Dacia Sandero is up by a stunning 22% year-on-year and 11 ranks on March to #15, the Peugeot 2008 up 20% to #18, the Skoda Fabia up 37% to #19, the Opel Mokka up 39% to #22, Mercedes C-Class up 23% to #23 and the Mini takes full advantage of the addition of a 5-door variant, almost doubling its sales year-on-year to #29.

Fiat 500X Jeep Renegade Europe April 2015. Picture courtesy motorbox.comThe Fiat 500X is up to #60 in Europe, the Jeep Renegade up to #85.

Further down, the Hyundai ix35 is up 28% to #34 despite its age, the VW Golf Sportsvan is back up 10 spot to a solid #38, the Renault Twingo is up 46% year-on-year to #43 thanks to the new model and the BMW 2 Series is up 577% to #51 thanks to the Active Tourer. Among recent launches, the Fiat 500X is gearing up at +41 spots on March to land in 60th place overall with almost 7.000 sales Europe-wide, its twin the Jeep Renegade is up 13 ranks to #85, the Suzuki Vitara is up to #104, the Land Rover Discovery Sport recedes 3 spots to #110 but with March boosted by strong UK sales this actually means a marked improvement, and the Mercedes AMG GT gains a further 11 ranks to #237.

Previous post: Europe 1st Quarter 2015: Nissan Qashqai leads SUV surge

Previous month: Europe March 2015: Now with Top 333 All-models and All-brands

One year ago (Top 10): Europe April 2014: Nissan Qashqai regains traction at +22%

One year ago (complete): Europe April 2014: Discover the Top 334 models and Top 55 brands

Full April 2015 Top 53 All-brands and Top 335 All-models below.

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