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Europe 1st Half 2015: Recovery now firmly in place – albeit artificial?

Renault Captur Europe June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe success of the Captur lifts Renault up to third place in Europe.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 brands and Top 350 models *

At +8% to 7.370.832 registrations over the 1st Half of 2015, the European new car market is clearly headed towards a second consecutive year of growth. However apart from the UK (+7%), the major part of other positive markets such as Germany (+5%), France (+6%), Italy (+15%) and Spain (+22%) have relied heavily upon artificial ways of sustaining demand such as scrappage schemes or fleet and rental purchases. In these countries, private demand seems to have reached saturation already, so the 2nd Half of 2015 will give a good indication of the long-term prospects of this return to growth in Europe.

Europe 1st Half 2015Source: JATO Dynamics

Brand-wise, Volkswagen manages to outpace the market with sales up 9% to just under 900.000 units with the Golf remaining Europe’s best-seller by far at 274.000 sales, the Polo up 13% to #4 and the Passat up 39% to brilliantly break back into the European Top 10 at #9. Ford underperforms at +6% in 2nd position: the Fiesta is up just 4% at #2 and the Focus up 5% at #6. Renault posts a double-digit gain on 2014 at +10% to 514.600 deliveries, boosted by the Captur up 23% to #12 (and #7 in June) while the Clio is up just 2% in third place overall. Opel (+5%) is knocked down to 4th place despite a full year of running it alone in Europe as the Chevrolet brand was discontinued a year ago, with the Corsa up 13% thanks to the new model, the Astra up just 4% and the Mokka up a very satisfying 40% to jump inside the Top 20.

VW Passat Europe June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe VW Passat is up 39% to return into the European Top 10.

Peugeot stays at #5 with the 208 is in difficulty at #8 (+1%) but the 308 (+34%) and 2008 (+15%) both making their way towards the Top 10. Audi keeps the lead in the luxury race but posts the smallest year-on-year gain by far at just +4% to 399.200 units (#6) vs. +8% for BMW at 371.000 sales (#7) and a stunning +11% for Mercedes at 370.500 deliveries, helped by the success of the new C-Class (+45%), GLA (+78%) and CLA (+44%) and before the GLC and GLE with their respective coupe variants hit the market. Skoda breaks into the European Top 10 with sales up 7% to 315.600 with the Octavia holding onto its Top 10 spot and the Fabia (+28%) getting very close too the Top 20 thanks to the new model.

Nissan Qashqai Europe June 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frNissan Qashqai sales are up 13% year-on-year in Europe.

Nissan is up a splendid 21% and two spots on a year ago to #11, overtaking Toyota (+5%) to become the best-selling Asian brand in Europe. The Qashqai nudges up one spot to a best-ever 7th place Europe-wide thanks to sales up 13% and the all-new Pulsar adds 24.000 deliveries to the Japanese brand’s total. Other great performers in the brands ranking include (in order of sales) Mini (+34%), Land Rover (+18%), Mitsubishi (+52%), Smart (+61%) and Jeep (+181%) thanks to the Renegade landing directly at #89. Notice also Lamborghini more than doubling its sales year-on-year to 498, the new Huracan accounting for 68% of this total.

Jeep Renegade Europe June 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comThe Jeep Renegade is one of 3 all-new nameplates in the Top 100.

Launched roughly a year ago, the VW Golf Sportsvan (#41), BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (#48 including the Coupe), Citroen C4 Cactus (#56) and Peugeot 108 (#67) make themselves noticed. Fifteen new nameplates make their entrance in the European ranking compared to the 1st Half of 2014, but only three make their way to the Top 100: the Fiat 500X, its platform twin the Jeep Renegade and the Nissan Pulsar. The Smart Forfour, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Suzuki Celerio and Renault Kadjar make it to the Top 200 whereas the Opel Karl/Vauxhall Viva, Mazda CX-3, Jaguar XE, Mercedes AMG GT, Ssangyong Tivoli, Lexus RC, Mitsubishi Attrage and Hyundai Tucson miss out for now.

June post: Europe June 2015: Now with Top 340 All-models and All-brands

June post (Top 10): Europe June 2015: Renault Captur equals all-time record #7 spot

Q1 2015 update: Europe 1st Quarter 2015: Nissan Qashqai leads SUV surge

FY 2014 update (1): Europe Full Year 2014: Sales up for the first time in 7 years, Octavia and A3 in Top 10

FY 2014 update (2): Europe Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 360 All-models and All-brands

One year ago: Europe 1st Half 2014: Trusted nameplates outperform market

Full H1 2015 Top 55 brands and Top 350 models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.

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