* See the Top 25 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *
According to JATO Dynamics, new car sales in Europe 28 markets excluding Russia and Turkey are up 4.2% year-on-year in February to 1.16 million units, the highest score for the month since 2008, leading to a year-to-date volume up 6.1% to 2.44 million sales. The market growth can solely be attributed to SUVs soaring 24.7% to 33.2% share while the rest of the segments combined are down 3.6%. The share of diesel sales is down to 39.5% vs. 52.3% a year ago whereas petrol sales gain 16%. Croatia (+47%), Greece (+30%), Hungary (+25%), Estonia (+19%), Spain (+16%) and Luxembourg (+13%) all post double-digit gains but the overall market is mainly pulled up by solid performances in Germany (+7%) and France (+5%). Signalling a weakening of the positive trend in Europe, no less than 13 markets (almost half) post a decline in February, the hardest hit being Norway (-13%), Slovakia (-8%), Lithuania (-3%), Belgium (-3%) and Switzerland (-3%) but volume-wise the UK (-2.8%) weighs heavy on the continent’s losses.
For once brand leader Volkswagen outpaces the market with a 9.9% gain to just under 126.000 sales, with Renault (+0.9%) returning to 2nd place ahead of Peugeot (+16.2%) posting the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 12. Note this is Peugeot’s 2nd consecutive podium ranking and only the 3rd in four years after February 2014. Ford (+9.6%) is down two ranks on January to #4 but beats the market also. Skoda (+14%) is the only other carmaker lodging a double-digit gain and outpacing the market in the Top 10, with Fiat (-10.6%), Opel (-5.3%), BMW (-0.3%), Audi (+1%) and Mercedes (+1.6%) all under-performing. Further down, Jeep (+50.3%), Seat (+20.7%), Dacia (+18.8%), Suzuki (+9.5%), Citroen (+8%) and Hyundai (+7.9%) all post solid gains. Year-to-date, Volkswagen (+6.8%) leads ahead of Ford (+6.4%), Peugeot (+15.3%) and Renault (+3.8%) with Jeep (+59.2%), Seat (+19.8%), Dacia (+17.5%), Skoda (+16.3%) and Suzuki (+14.7%) the most dynamic.
Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf post an 11th consecutive month in the lead with deliveries up a splendid 16.1% year-on-year above the Renault Clio (+3.5%) while the Peugeot 208 (+7.2%) signs a second podium ranking in the past 5 months after last October and only its 6th podium finish ever after December 2012 (#2), August 2012, October 2012 and May 2013 (#3). The Ford Fiesta (+1.8%) and VW Polo (-0.9%) both post timid scores but make it 4 superminis in the February Top 5, just as the Nissan Qashqai (+0.6%) snaps back the #1 SUV title for the first time since last September above the VW Tiguan (-5.2%).
The Citroen C3 soars 12.1% thanks to the new generation to hit a record 7th place, beating its previous best of #9 set in April 2017. Even more symbolic is the very first Top 10 finish of the Peugeot 3008 thanks to deliveries up 68.3% lifting it to #10. Its previous best was #12 hit last month and in November 2017. However its gap over the #11 is a minuscule 4 sales so we’ll have to wait for final figure to confirm this feat. The Dacia Duster (+31.3%), Ford Kuga (+28.9%), Fiat 500 (+16.4%) and Dacia Sandero (+14.5%) post the largest gains in the remainder of the Top 25 while the Opel Astra (-32.7%), Fiat Panda (-30.4%) and Opel Corsa (-18.7%) fare the worst.
Full February 2018 Top 25 brands and models below.