* See the Top 46 All-brands and Top 254 All-models by clicking on the title *
Swedish new car sales post a 32nd consecutive month of year-on-year gains and the largest August result ever at +1.6% to 27.316 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 9% to a record-breaking 239.104 units. Diesel cars drop below 50% for the first time in years with deliveries down 12% to just 48.3% share vs. 53.5% so far in 2016, 55.8% in August 2015 and 58.6% over the first 8 months of 2015. As it has now become a tradition, local behemoth Volvo all but shuts down for Summer holidays in August, enabling Volkswagen to take the lead both in the brands ranking and the models charts with the Golf. This year the exchange of roles between the two brands is more marked: VW is up 11% to 5.198 sales and 19% share, almost double Volvo down 26% to 2.816 and 10.3%. It is the fourth time in the past five years that VW is the best-selling brand in Sweden in August after 2012, 2014 and 2015. Year-to-date through, Volvo remains firmly in control with 44.498 sales vs. 36.622 for VW and will return to #1 in September.
It would appear Volkswagen was particularly efficient in August at discounting slow-selling stock, distorting the models ranking even further than usual. In the lead despite sales down a harsh 26% to 1.557, the Golf signs its 5th ever Swedish monthly pole position after August 2010, 2014, 2015 and July 2016. It is the 6th month in the past decade that there isn’t a Volvo at #1 in Sweden (add the VW Passat in August 2013) but this time the podium is 100% VW, something that has never happened before in Sweden. The Passat is up 16% to 1.031 sales and 869 Up were passed on vs. just 623 over the first 7 months of the year, just before the facelifted variants hits dealerships in September. BSCB is investigating as we speak whether these Ups are self-registrations, demo cars, rental cars or – the least likely option – “true” sales to private buyers. The Polo (#5) even makes it 4 VWs in the Top 5…
Although it may look like Volkswagen has taken possession of the Swedish car market this month, this situation is solely due to Volvo’s dotted activity in August and does not by any means reflect any longer-term market shift towards VW and away from Volvo. In other brand news, BMW is up 10% to return to the third step of the podium it holds year-to-date, distancing Toyota (+32%) and Kia (+11%). Mercedes (+24%), Seat (+31%), Dacia (+22%), Honda (+19%), Mini (+43%), Lexus (+42%) and, at a smaller scale, Jaguar (+517%) all post robust year-on-year gains. Over in the models aisle, the Volvo V70/S90/V90 ranks 4th (-38%), the XC60 is #6 and the S/V60 #7. let’s single out the BMW 5 Series up 71% to #9, the Toyota Auris up 83% to #11, Toyota RAV4 up 168% to #12, Seat Leon up 50% to #25 and the Kia Rio up 69% to #27. We welcome the Ssangyong Tivoli at #183 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia at #253.
Previous month: Sweden July 2016: VW Golf jumps to #1 as Volvo V70 passes relay
Full August 2016 Top 46 All-brands and Top 254 All-models below.