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Germany Full Year 2015: VW Golf celebrates 40 years in pole position

VW Golf 1974 2014 Germany 2015The VW Golf nameplate originally launched in 1974.

* See the Top 50 brands and Top 375 models by clicking on the title *

* Check out 70 years worth of German Archived data here *

New car registrations in Germany are up a comfortable 6% year-on-year in 2015 to 3.206.042 units, the highest annual figure since scrappage scheme-boosted 2009 (3.807.175). The brands ranking is a model of stability, with the entire Top 10 unchanged on 2014. Volkswagen (+4%), Mercedes (+5%), Audi (+4%) and BMW (+4%) continue to dominate but all lose scraps of market share, followed by Opel (+5%), Ford (+7%) and Skoda (+4%). Renault (110.039) retains the title of best-selling ‘true’ foreigner but the fight was intense with Hyundai (108.434) up 9% this year. Nissan (+12%) and Mazda (+11%) are the only carmakers posting double-digit gains in the Top 15.

Skoda Octavia Germany 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Skoda Ocatvia is up to an all-time high 6th place in 2015.

There is a lot more movement further down in the ranking, with Suzuki (+11%), Volvo (+13%), Porsche (+17%), Jaguar (+18%) and Mini (+20%) posting dynamic improvements, while Land Rover (+24%), Lexus (+27%), Mitsubishi (+43%), Jeep (+44%), Smart (+69%) take off. One step further, Tesla (+94%) and SsangYong (+129%) double their sales year-on-year. A testimony to the great health of the German market, only four carmakers lose ground in the Top 30: Toyota (-6%), Honda (-6%), Dacia (-7%) and DS (-29%).

The Mercedes W123: the last model to outsell the VW Golf in Germany (in 1980).

This year the VW Golf celebrates 40 years spent atop the German sales charts thanks to sales up 6% to 270.952 units including the Sportsvan variant. That’s 2.8 times the volume of the 2nd best-seller vs. 3.5 in 2014, 3.4 in 2013 and 2.7 in 2012. This is the Golf’s strongest annual volume since 2009, to be compared with an all-time record of 414,132 units in 1992 and an all-time low of 148,879 in 2006. The Golf has now been the best-seller in Germany for 35 consecutive years (no interruption since 1981) and a grand total of 40 years: almost continuously since 1975 with the Mercedes W123 the only model to break its rule in 1980. A little-known fact is that the Golf reign in Germany is already a lot longer than that of the VW Beetle, #1 for ‘only’ 29 consecutive years from 1946 to 1973.

VW Passat Germany 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comThe new generation boosts VW Passat sales up 35%.

The Golf distances the VW Passat boosted up 35% by the new model to 97.586 sales, the VW Polo (+3%) and the Mercedes C-Class also lifted by its new generation up 12% to 4th place. The VW Tiguan (-5%), Skoda Octavia up 10% to a record-breaking 6th place, and Audi A3 (-11%) make it six VAG models in the Top 7 best-sellers. The Opel Astra (+21%) returns to being the brand’s best-seller at #8 and should finish 2016 much higher thanks to the new model. The best performer in the Top 50 is without contest the BMW 2 Series whose MPV variants lift up 5-fold to #17 overall, even hitting an incredible third place overall in August.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Germany July 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deHero of the year: the BMW 2 Series Tourer. 

Previous post: Germany December 2015: Audi down 6% to #6 in market up 8%

Previous year: Germany Full Year 2014: Audi A3, VW Tiguan & Skoda Octavia at all-time high

Two years ago: Germany Full Year 2013: VW Golf marks 38 years in pole position

Full Year 2015 Top 50 brands and Top 375 models vs. Full Year 2014 figures below.

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