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Europe February 2017: Fiat Panda and Citroen C3 shine, market up 1.2%

The Fiat Panda is up to a best-ever European 5th place in February.

* See the Top 10 groups, Top 50 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

After a stunning 9.4% gain in January linked to extra selling days, new passenger car sales in Europe dramatically slow down their growth in February, edging up 1.2% to 1.105.435 units and bringing the year-to-date tally up 5.2% to 2.3 million units. This is the second highest February score since 2008. PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s takeover of Opel/Vauxhall makes the new entity the 2nd largest carmaker in Europe with 16.9% share below just the Volkswagen Group (23.2%) but above fellow Frenchman Renault-Nissan/Mitsubishi at 14.8% – see Top 5 ranking below and Top 10 ranking below the jump.

Europe February 2017 – Groups:

PosBrandFeb-17%
1Volkswagen Group255,99723.2%
2PSA-Opel186,28016.9%
3Renault-Nissan/Mitsubishi163,16414.8%
4FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles87,8227.9%
5Ford Motor71,0216.4%

Brand-wise, Volkswagen keeps the lead but drop 8.3% followed by Renault up 3.3% year-on-year and two spots on January to #2, Ford (-3.4%), Opel/Vauxhall (-1.9%) and Peugeot (-4.9%) all in decline. Fiat (+7%) traditionally benefits from a strong Italian market relative to the rest of Europe in the first two months of the year. Indeed Italy accounts for 16.6% of the 29-country European market in February vs, 12.2% over the Full Year 2016. Accordingly, Fiat ranks at a stellar 6th place. After ranking third in January, Audi (+0.4%) reclaims the luxury crown off Mercedes (+4.6%) and BMW (-0.4%) yet remains in second place year-to-date at 121.358 units (+0.9%) below Mercedes at 123.649 (+10.4) but above BMW at 116.070 (+5.2%). Further down, Toyota clings onto its Top 10 ranking thanks to deliveries up 17.1% to 52.062 helped by the new C-HR, while Seat (+13.7%), Alfa Romeo (+25.8%), Jaguar (+43.8%), Suzuki (+50%), Maserati (+89.8%) and Tesla (+100.5%) post some of the most spectacular year-on-year increases in the Top 50.

The Citroen C3 ends February just 224 units off a Top 10 ranking. 

Model-wise, despite losing a hefty 12% year-on-year, the VW Golf celebrates 83 consecutive months in pole position: the last time it did not rank #1 in Europe was in March 2010. If the Golf holds out onto next month – there are no reason why it wouldn’t – it will then be able to show off seven full years of domination.  The Renault Clio (+13.3%) outsells classmates the VW Polo (-13.4%) and Ford Fiesta (-4.8%) to claim the 2nd spot year-todate thanks to 49.310 units so far in 2017. Boosted by the increased relative weight of the Italian market, the Fiat Panda is up 6 spots on January to break into the Top 5 for the second since the Panda nameplate relaunched in 2003, the first one being exactly 8 years ago in February 2009. Better still: preliminary figures show the Panda only 525 sales below the third-placed VW Polo and just 96 units above the 6th-placed Nissan Qashqai, so a lot could still change by the time final figures are released in early April.

Mercedes remains the #1 luxury brand in Europe so far in 2017 YTD. 

Just like the Volkswagen Group (Golf, Polo, Octavia), the newly formed PSA-Opel group places three nameplates inside the Top 10: the Opel Corsa (#7), Peugeot 208 (#8) and Opel Astra (#9). Just outside the Top 10, we find two surging nameplates: the Citroen C3 boosted up 59% by the new generation to #11. As a reminder the C3 ranking record is #10 hit in June, November and December 2010 as well as March 2011. This record should be beaten shortly as the new gen C3 is only starting to gain momentum. Yet again the C3 stands just 224 units off the Top 10 so could be in it when final data comes in. The VW Tiguan for its part is up 59.8% year-on-year but drops 7 spots on January to #12 and #2 SUV below the Nissan Qashqai (#6) and above the Peugeot 2008 (#13) and Renault Captur (#14). Notice also the Renaulty Mégane up 48% to #24, the Toyota C-HR us three spots on last month to a record #31, the Fiat Tipo up 287.1% to generation best #32, the BMW X1 us 38.2% to #38 and the Mercedes E-Class up 45.1% to #46.

Previous post: Europe January 2017: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 57 brands

Previous month: Europe January 2017: First ever Top 5 ranking for the VW Tiguan

One year ago: Europe February 2016: 30th consecutive month of year-on-year gains

Full February 2017 Top 10 groups, Top 50 brands and Top 50 models below.

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