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Germany First Half 2017: Mercedes up, VW down but trusts Top 4

The new E-Class (+32%) helps Mercedes up 7% to #2 brand at home so far this year. 

* See the Top 48 brands, Top 354 models and Top 30 private sales by clicking on the title *

Now updated with Private Sales data

The German new car market slows down its growth in 2017: after gaining 7% in the First Half 2016, it now improves by just 3.1% to 1.787.026. The market was down 3 out of 6 months: in February, April and June. No surprise atop the brands ranking: Volkswagen remains master in command however has seen its market share thaw drastically – more than 3 percentage points – over the past two years (i.e. since the start of the emissions scandal): from 21.7% in H1 2015 to 20% in H1 2016 to 18.6% halfway through 2017. This due to a 4% sales decline, which is four times the decline it posted a year ago (-1%). Paradoxically, the models ranking has never been so utterly dominated by VW as we’ll see further down. Mercedes has taken the advantage over Audi in the premium race thanks to a 7% improvement vs. -3% for the VW Group brand. BMW (-3%) remains in 4th place but is now threatened by Ford (+4%) which has just overtaken Opel (-1%). Skoda (+2%) remains at #7.

The Tiguan makes it four VWs in the Top 4. Picture 

It’s further down that we witness larger year-on-year gains. Renault soars 16% to 4% share and Seat is up 11% to 3%, both holding onto their rankings at #8 and #10 respectively. Just outside the Top 10, Fiat (+25%) and Toyota (+27%) excel, with Dacia (+27%) equalling Toyota for the biggest jump in the Top 25. Dacia’s performance is all the more remarkable that its range has only seen a few minor facelifts in the past year. Mitsubishi (+19%), Suzuki (+24%) and Jaguar (+24%) also make themselves noticed in the Top 30, but none can match Alfa Romeo (+66%) propped up by the Giulia and Stelvio. Below, Tesla (+144%), Lexus (+64%), Lada (+63%), Maserati (+52%), Bentley (+67%), Chevrolet (+67%) and Cadillac (+80%) are among the most dynamic.

Dacia German sales are up 27% year-on-year halfway through 2017. Picture 

Model-wise, the VW Golf loses one full percentage point of market share to just 6.4% due to sales down 12% to its lowest H1 volume this decade. Yet this is still almost three times the sales of the #2, the VW Polo up one spot on a year ago thanks to deliveries up 6%. The VW Tiguan is boosted up 37% by the new generation to snap the third spot overall, only one unit above the VW Passat down 15% and two ranks to #4. This means Volkswagen monopolises the Top 4 halfway through 2017 and were it to hold this order until the end of the year, it would be the first time in history it happens. The Mercedes C-Class (+8%), Opel Astra (-2%), Audi A4 (-2%) and Skoda Octavia (-3%) hold on their positions from a year ago, while the Mercedes E-Class shoots up 32% and 14 spots to break into the Top 10 at #9. The biggest decline near the top is the works of the Audi A3, down 22% and 8 ranks to #12.

The Audi Q2 is the most popular new nameplate in Germany over the period. 

Further down, notice the BMW X1 up 27% and 7 spots to #28, the Mercedes GLC up 23% and 8 ranks to #30 and the Dacia Sandero up 32% and 16 spots to #42. The Audi Q2 is the most popular recent launch (<12 months), directly inviting itself inside the German Top 50 at #45, and is followed by the Toyota C-HR at #84, the Skoda Kodiaq at #100 and the Suzuki Ignis at #119. Only ranked at #173 for now, the Opel Crossland X only has two months of sales under its sleeve and already shot up to #70 in June. To also be singled out among facelifts or slightly less recent launches are the Renault Megane up 51% to #46, the Seat Ateca up to #59, the Citroen C3 up 94% to #69 and the Fiat Tipo up 462% to #74.

The Mitsubishi Space Star misses out on a Private Sales Top 10 by just 118 units. It ranks #51 overall. Picture

Private sales:

Exclusive to BSCB, we can also share with you the best-selling cars with private buyers over H1 2017. This ranking is always very different to the overall one, as private sales (PS) only represent 34.6% of overall German sales over the period, or a meagre 618.311 units. Medium and large sedans such as the VW Passat (only 6.3% PS ratio) tend to primarily sell to businesses, notably as long-term leases. Some brands such as Opel have almost gone completely out of favour with private buyers: the Opel Astra, #6 overall, only ranks 33rd with private buyers halfway through 2017, down an abysmal 41%. If the VW Golf, Polo and Tiguan are the favourites with private buyers as they are overall, the Golf is down an even harsher 19%, with only 26% of its sales going to private buyers. Below, the ranking differs completely. The Mercedes C-Class is up 6 spots on last year to #4, the Dacia Sandero is up 10 to #8, the Ford Kuga up 11 to #9, the Mitsubishi Space Star up 8 to #11 and the Opel Mokka, going against the brand’s trend, is up 16 to #12. The Audi Q2 and Seat Ateca land directly inside the Top 30.

Previous post: Germany June 2017: Renault and Seat shine in market down 3.5%

One year ago: Germany First Half 2016: Volkswagen down 1% in market up 7%

Full H1 2017 Top 48 brands, Top 354 models and Top 30 private sales vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.

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