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Europe April 2017: VW Tiguan up to record 4th place, 3 VWs in Top 4

vw-tiguan-europe-august-2016The VW Tiguan breaks its European ranking record at #4 this month.

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Today we can share with you complete and final figures for Europe 28 countries excluding Turkey and Russia, based on data released by JATO Dynamics. 1.215.412 vehicles found a buyer in April, resulting in the largest year-on-year drop since March 2013 at -7% as the UK (-20%), Germany (-8%), France (-6%) and Italy (-5%) all decline with Spain the only Big Four country to show a modest increase at +0.8%. This doesn’t mean we should worry about the health of the European market, as the UK suffers a temporary pull-forward effect due to changes in Vehicle Excise Duty and most markets had less opening days than in April 2016. We forecast the market to rebound back into positive territory in May. The year-to-date tally is still significantly ahead of its level of the same period a year ago at 5.438.822 units, up 4% or roughly 210.000 units.

Structurally, the European market is drifting away from diesel engines which freefall 15% this month to 46% share overall vs. 50% a year ago. Diesel ban plans in some European cities have certainly cooled private demand for such motorisations. In terms of car segments, compact cars are down 12%, subcompact cars down 9% and MPVs down 21% but SUVs continue to progress at +7%. The Top 3 groups in Europe all lose market share year-on-year: the VW Group leads at 24.89% share, down 9%, followed by PSA at 16.14% (including Opel/Vauxhall) down 10% and Renault-Nissan (including Mitsubishi) at 14.19%, down 7.4%. FCA on the other hand is the largest market share gainer in 4th place at 7.23%. Daimler (6.63%), Ford (6.52%), BMW Group (6.5%), Hyundai-Kia (6.13%) and Toyota (4.33%) follow with Geely (1.99%) rounding up the Top 10 thanks to Volvo sales.

The new gen Citroen C3 breaks the nameplate’s European ranking record at #9. Picture

Brand-wise, Volkswagen remains by far in the lead despite a 15.4% drop, while Renault (-4.6%) bypasses Ford (-12.3%) to claim the 2nd spot overall. Peugeot (-4.3%) is up two spots on last month to #4, outselling its now stablemate Opel/Vauxhall (-14%) at #6 with Mercedes (stable) taking a strong 5th place overall and #1 premium brand on the continent. Below, Audi (-9.1%), Fiat (-2.6%), BMW (-5.6%) and Skoda (-4.7%) all lose ground in the remainder of the Top 10 but for the latter three the drop is lower than the market, resulting in higher market shares. Toyota actually gains ground (+2.7%) but remains outside the Top 10 at #11 whereas it ranks #10 so far in 2017 with a 15.9% improvement, the largest in the Top 15. Seat (+15.4%), Suzuki (+9.2%) and Mini (+11.1%) are the only other gainers in the Top 20 while below, Alfa Romeo (+54.2%), Tesla (+33.5%), Maserati (+46.6%) and Lada (+40.6%) post solid improvements albeit with much smaller volumes for the latter three.

First European Top 100 ranking for the Skoda Kodiaq. Picture

In the models ranking, after losing the pole position to the Ford Fiesta for the first time in seven years last month, the VW Golf reclaims the European leadership in April albeit with a 28.3% drop as dealers eagerly await the facelifted model. As we described last month, the Ford Fiesta’s win was a freak event that had almost everything to do with a record UK month, and logically it now falls down 20.2% to #7 just as the UK weakens this month. The result is the Renault Clio (-7.7%) jumping to 2nd place both in April and year-to-date. Paradoxically, just as its total sales fall heavily, Volkswagen actually places three nameplates inside the Top 4 for only the second time in history, the first time being in August 2015 (Golf, Polo, Passat). This time it achieves this performance thanks to the Tiguan. After breaking into the European Top 10 for the first time last August (#6) and the Top 5 last January, the Tiguan improves its ranking record further to a stunning 4th place thanks to sales up 70.6% on April 2016.

Another record-breaker is the Citroen C3 up 48.9% to 9th place overall beating its ranking record as we predicted a few months ago. Its previous European best was #10 in June, November and December 2010 as well as March 2011. The C3 now ranks #12 year-to-date with sales up 57.2%, overstepping the Fiat Panda. Another gigantic gainer is the Peugeot 3008 with the new model propelling its sales up 157.7% to #22 overall. The Renault Megane (+33.1%), Fiat Tipo (+134.1%) also post spectacular gains. Now onto recent launches (<12 months), led once again by the Toyota C-HR at #43, followed by the Audi Q2 at #51, its best ranking so far. The Seat Ateca is below at #64, ahead of the Volvo S90/V90 at #90 and the Skoda Kodiaq breaking into the European Top 100 for the first time at #96.

Previous month: Europe March 2017: Ford Fiesta ends VW Golf reign

One year ago (1): Europe April 2016: Volkswagen (+2%) lags in market up 9%

One year ago (2): Europe April 2016: Discover the Top 335 models and All-brands

Full April 2017 Top 53 brands and Top 340 models below.

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