* See the Top 53 best-selling brands and Top 350 models by clicking on the title *
After posting its first decline in almost three years in July, new car sales in Europe – 29 countries excluding Russia and Turkey – recover in August at +8.1% to 842.696 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.6% to 10.066.436 units. 16 of the 29 markets studied post double-digit year-on-year gains including Italy (+20%) and Spain (+14%). Germany (+8%) and France (+7%) are also strong. The fastest-growing market this month are Romania (+68%), Hungary (+44%), Croatia (+39%), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Belgoum and Poland. At the other end of the scale, for markets register August declines: Slovenia (-1%), Greece (-7%), Switzerland (-8%) and Netherlands (-13%). According to JATO Dynamics, SUVs are the main engine of European growth once again in August with double-digit increases in 28 of the 29 markets analysed and an overall uptick of 30%. This surge is particularly vibrant in Italy (+53%), Ireland (+48%), Belgium (+43%), Portugal (+41%) and Norway (+40%).
In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+4.6%) grows slightly slower than the market to 105.843 sales but places four nameplates inside the European Top 10 for the first time ever: the Golf (#1), Polo (#2), Tiguan (#6) and Passat (#10). Ford (+2%) and Opel (+5%) round up the podium, relegating Renault to 5th place but the hero of the month is Mercedes up 19% year-on-year to a stunning 4th place overall with 52.839 sales. It outsells Renault at 51.813 (+4%) and direct competitors Audi at 46.617 (+6%) and BMW at 45.473 (+1%). Year-to-date, Mercedes now stands at 544.901 sales after 8 months (+14%) vs. 555.008 for Audi (+8%) and 528.143 for BMW (+11.5%). Other great performers include Toyota (+15%), Fiat (+21%), Kia (+21%), Honda (+28%) and Jeep (+31%). One step further, Dacia (+36%) outsells Nissan (+0.5%) to snatch a 15th position overall and low-volume brands Jaguar (+38%), Land Rover (+46%), Ssangyong (+48%), MG (+130%), Maserati (+153%) and Infiniti (+310%) impress.
Model-wise, the VW Golf signs a 77th consecutive month in pole position despite a 11% year-on-year drop to 29.643. That’s more than double the sales of its follower, the VW Polo, also down 11% to 14.830 and now #2 year-to-date (206.512) above the Renault Clio (204.973). The Ford Fiesta rounds up the podium at +9% and the Opel Astra (+21%) confirms it is now evolving at its highest level since 2012 with a second consecutive month at #4, the first time it ranks that high since July 2012. The Skoda Octavia jumps back up 6 spots on July to a splendid 5th place in spite of sales down 2% but the event of the month is to be found just below.
The VW Tiguan, boosted by its much awaited new generation, surges 75% year-on-year and 10 spots on July to a record #6, the nameplate’s very first stint inside the European Top 10 and smashing its previous ranking record that stood at #12 (April 2014) before this month. It’s a great career start for the new gen Tiguan, but keep in mind August sales are traditionally very weak in Europe which often prompts unusual ranking shifts. It will be hard for the Tiguan to replicate this performance in a high-volume month.
The Fiat Tipo is the most popular new launch in Europe, lifted by a Top 3 ranking in Italy.
Other great gainers inside the Top 25 include the Opel Corsa at #8 (+20%), Audi A4 at #11 (+41%), Dacia Sandero at #14 (+45%), Seat Leon at #21 (+23%), Dacia Duster at #23 (+46%) and Peugeot 2008 at #24 (+42%). Further down, notice the Hyundai Tucson up 268% to #26, the VW Touran up 290% to #34, BMW X1 up 532% to #38, Toyota RAV4 up 97% to #44, VW Transporter up 81% to #59 and Skoda Superb up 87% to #60. The Fiat Tipo leads recent launches (<12 months) at #58, followed at a distance by the Renault Talisman (#120), Suzuki Baleno (#154), Jaguar F-Pace (#157), Kia Niro up 68 spots on July (#162), Seat Ateca (#174) and Alfa Romeo Giulia (#187).
Previous month (Top 10): Europe July 2016: VW, Skoda, Peugeot trigger first decline in 3 years
Previous month (Full data): Europe July 2016: Discover the Top 350 models and Top 50 brands
One year ago (Top 10): Europe July 2015: VW Passat breaks into Top 5 for first time in 4 years
One year ago (Full data): Europe July 2015: Now with Top 335 All-models and All-brands
Full August 2016 Top 53 brands and Top 350 models below.