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Germany August 2016: Mercedes > Audi but A4 beats Passat and C-Class

Mercedes C Class Audi A4 Germany August 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.deMercedes passes Audi to snap the YTD luxury crown in Germany. 

* See the Top 50 brands, Top 322 models and Top 10 private sales by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Germany are up by a robust 8% year-on-year in August to 245.076 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 5.7% to 2.257.781. For once market leader Volkswagen advances at double the pace of the market with deliveries gaining 16% to reach 48.851 and 19.9% share, just below the round 20% it holds year-to-date. Mercedes also shines with sales up 13% to 24.817 and crossing the symbolic 10% share mark at 10.1%. This score enables Mercedes to reclaim the #1 spot in the 2016 luxury race thanks to 207.128 units so far (+8%) vs. 205.125 (+11%) for Audi and 172.286 (+7%) for BMW. Ford (+8%) is back down to #5, followed by Opel (-3%) and Skoda (-7%), having now graduated into a mass market brand as we detail below. Just outside the brands Top 10, Fiat (+33%), Toyota (+27%) and Dacia (+29%) take off, while among smaller brands Land Rover (+27%), Jeep (+28%), Tesla (+32%), Alfa Romeo (+60%), Lexus (+60%), Ssangyong (+67%), Lada (+93%) and Maserati (+178%) step up on the gas.

Auto Bild Skoda OpelAuto Bild 19/08/2016. Top to bottom: Opel Monza, Skoda Kodiaq Coupé, Skoda Polar. 

Whereas only a decade ago the mass market race clearly opposed Volkswagen, Opel and Ford with the Golf always pitted against the Astra and Focus, the situation is a lot different now. Opel, a favourite of business fleets, has lost a lot of its shine with private customers. Meanwhile, Czech brand Skoda, once a mocked low-cost lilliputian, has spectacularly stepped up its game in recent years. To the point when #1 car mag Auto Bild regularly pits it against Opel, now its true enemy, as it was the case in the August 19 issue (see above). In the article, titled Fight for mass market, Auto Bild details the 10 models the two brands are launching by 2020, setting the next gen Skoda Octavia vs. the next Opel Insignia, the next Citigo vs. the next Adam, the Polar (Fabia-based crossover) vs. the Adam X crossover, the Kodiaq Coupé vs. the Monza and the Meriva-replecement Corsa X vs. the next Yeti… Check out the Auto Bild online video article here.

VW Tiguan Germany August 2016. Picture courtesy auto.ndtv.comThe new generation pushes VW Tiguan sales up 117% in August. 

Over in the models aisle the VW Golf continues to reign supreme at 18.665 sales, three times the level of its closest opponent which this month is a very impressive VW Tiguan boosted up 117% year-on-year to 6.135 units by its new generation and now back in positive year-to-date (+4%). The next three nameplates are all mid-size sedans fitting in all competing for bragging rights in the segment. The Audi A4 (+24%) manages to outsell the traditional segment leader, the VW Passat (-17%), for the first time since August 2013 but by just 10 units, with the Mercedes C-Class (-2%) only 17 units below that. The new generation is working well for the A4 which ranked #24 last December when the Passat was #2.

Bentley Bentayga Germany August 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.deBentley Bentayga 

Below the Skoda Octavia at #6 (+5 on July), the Opel Astra disappoints at -14% despite the new model, while the VW Touran is up 5-fold to #8 overall. The Opel Corsa (+23%), Ford Kuga (+87%), Fiat 500 family (+24%), VW Transporter (+99%), Hyundai i20 (+78%), Audi Q5 (+61%), BMW X1 (+392%), Mercedes GLC (+235% on the GLK) and Dacia Sandero (+40%) are among the best performers inside the Top 50. Beyond, notice the Mercedes GLE up 88% on the M-Class, the Toyota RAV4 up 118%, Ford Ecosport up 183% and BMW i3 up 273% thanks to new legislation in favour of green cars.

Toyota Proace Germany August 2016. Picture courtesy welt.deToyota Proace

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Hyundai Tucson is far ahead at #41 with 1.681 sales, distancing the Fiat Tipo at #94 with 722 , the Renault Talisman at #159 with 267 and the Jaguar F-Pace at #162 and 262 units. Both the Kia Niro (#170) and Seat Ateca (#172) break into the German Top 200 for the very first time, while the Fiat 124 Spider (#224) and Maserati Levante (#225) slowly creep up the charts. We welcome two new nameplates in Germany in August: the Bentley Bentayga at #253 with 30 deliveries and the Toyota Proace at #260 with 27.

Volkswagen Beetle DuneThe VW Beetle remains a favourite of German private buyers (#8).

German Private Sales

Only 35.3% of all new cars sold in Germany so far in 2016 were purchased by a private person, one of the lowest ratios in Europe. Although it went up to 38.1% in August, that’s still just 93.374 private sales and 796.997 year-to-date. The thing is, ‘real’ people tend to buy vastly different cars than businesses. If the VW Golf remains in the lead with 6.514 private sales followed by the Tiguan (3.227) and Polo (2.197), the Skoda Fabia manages a flamboyant 4th place and the Dacia Sandero an even more impressive 6th position. The Hyundai i20 and VW Beetle are also among the 10 vehicles favoured by German private buyers in August.

Previous month: Germany July 2016: Audi A4 and VW Tiguan step up

One year ago: Germany August 2015: BMW 2 Series shoots up to third place

Full August 2016 Top 50 brands, Top 322 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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