* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and Top 325 models by clicking on the title *
The German new car market balances out its robust 8% gain in April with a disappointing 6% drop in May to 305.057 registrations, yet the year-to-date volume remains in positive at +2.6% to 1.497.723 units, at its highest at this stage of the year since 2000. Undisputed brand leader Volkswagen reverses the market decline to post a 6% gain to 20.9% share, its highest since February 2016 and over one percentage point above its YTD level of 19.7%. The news are not so great at Mercedes skidding 13% to 8.9% while Audi (-0.4%) manages to remain stable in 3rd place. Ford (-6%) follows the market but BMW (-16%) and Opel (-15%) are in great difficulty this month.
Skoda (-3%), Renault (-1%) and Seat (+10%) all outpace the overall decline and complete a Top 9 brands identical to the YTD order. Further down, Alpina (+50%), DS (+45%), Ferrari (+32%), Jeep (+29%), Morgan (+23%), Rolls Royce (+20%), Subaru (+13%) and Dacia (+11%) are the only manufacturers managing a double-digit year-on-year gain in May whereas the list of imploding brands is long, led by Aston Martin (-60%), Bentley (-54%), Land Rover (-50%), Nissan (-43%), Cadillac (-39%), Tesla (-38%), Maserati (-35%), Jaguar (-33%), Mazda (-22%), Ssangyong (-22%), Lexus (-21%) and Mitsubishi (-19%). Reborn Alpine is up one spot on April to #47 but down 14% to 18 sales.
Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf posts a third consecutive 4% drop but remains ultra-dominant at 6.4% share, 2.5 times the amount of the #2, the VW Tiguan in excellent shape at +20% to 2.6%. It is the fourth #2 finish of 2018 for the Tiguan, reflected in a 2nd spot YTD which would be an all-time record if sustained until the end of 2018. The VW Polo (-13%) and Passat (-19%) disappoint while the VW Transporter (+57%) continues to catch up on a bottleneck of sales due to a stop-sale order on it diesel variants which affected an estimated 10.000 to 15.000 vehicles in January and February. You have read this right: the Top 5 best-sellers are 100% Volkswagen in Germany for the first time in its 80 year-history. The brand’s previous best was 4 models in the Top 4, a performance it managed 6 times in the past: in January 2014, February 2014, May 2015, October 2015, October 2016 and January 2017. VW missed out on monopolising the FY2017 Top 4 because of the Polo (#5) but is on track to do so in 2018 (Golf/Tiguan/Passat/Polo).
But the Volkswagen Group does even better, monopolising the Top 8 for the first time in history according to BSCB files with the Audi A4 (+3%) at #6, the Audi A3 (+7%) at #7 and the Skoda Octavia at #8 (+8%). The Group’s most recent best performance was a much less impressive 5 nameplates in the Top 5 in November 2015, February 2016, April 2016, May 2016 and July 2016. The Mercedes C-Class (-22%) and Ford Focus (+17%) are the only non-VAG nameplates in the May Top 10. Only a dozen models manage double-digit gains in the remainder of the Top 50: the Opel Insignia (+93%), Audi Q5 (+63%), Dacia Duster (+31%), Skoda Kodiaq (+28%), Ford Kuga (+26%), Ford C-Max (+22%), Renault Clio (+21%), Fiat 500 family (+18%), Toyota Yaris (+12%), Audi Q2 (+17%) and Audi A5 (+10%). The VW T-Roc remains the most popular recent launch but is still relatively shy at #22, distancing the Seat Arona at #54 (+9), Skoda Karoq at #55 (+11), Hyundai Kona at #87 (+23) and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #106 (+12).
One year ago: Germany May 2017: YTD Top 4 now 100% Volkswagen
Full May 2018 Top 50 brands and Top 325 models below.