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Europe First Half 2018: Tiguan & Captur up, largest market this century

The VW Tiguan is the best-selling SUV in Europe for the first time.

* Now updated with the Top 10 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 405 models *

Today we can share with you preliminary data for the First Half of 2018 in Europe 27 countries ex-Russia and Turkey thanks to our partnership with JATO Dynamics. New car sales growth in the region continues to slow down: from +9.1% over H1 2016 to +4.2% in H1 2017 and +2.7% this year, however at 8.66 million units (up 230.000 on the same period last year), this is the best H1 result this century. Europe’s gain in entirely sustained by the SUV segment up a staggering 24% year-on-year so far in 2018 (and 30% in June) to 2.92 million units, lifting its market share from 27.9% in H1 2017 to 33.7% now. It’s high time the SUV segment gets split by size like passenger cars, so here are a few results: small SUVs total 1.08 million units, compact SUVs are at 1.24 million and midsize SUVs at 455.400 – all three being new volume record for the sub-segments. Large SUVs drop 9% to 141.000. In contrast, small cars are down 2% to 1.77m units for a 20.4% market share vs. 21.5% a year ago, compact cars are down 5% to 1.55m and 18% share vs. 19.5% and the worst performing segment, MPVs, sinks 23% to 532.600 or 6.2% share vs. 8.2% in 2017.

The Renault Captur returns into the Top 10 at #9.

Only 7 of the 27 countries composing the region are down vs. 2017, with the UK (-6.3%) the worst performer followed by Ireland (-4.5%), Denmark (-2.3%), Norway (-1.4%) and Italy (-1.2%). Reversely, three of the Top Five markets all up: Spain (+9.4%), France (+4.6%) and Germany (+2.9%). Romania (+33.4%), Hungary (+29%), Lithuania (+24.6%), Greece (+23.8%) and Croatia (+19.3%) are the most dynamic. Diesel sales continue to freefall at -17% to 3.2m units and 37% share, a drop of 9 percentage points vs. the 46% it commended over H1 2017 and its lowest market share since 2001. According to JATO Dynamics, diesel sales largest drops were in Norway (-32%), the UK (-30%), Slovenia (-28%), Finland (-20%) and Belgium (-20%). Petrol sales recuperate most of the diesel losses, up 17% to 4.85m units and 56% share. Meanwhile, Alternative Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) continue to gain momentum at +31% to 450.200 registrations of electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, securing a 5.4% share of the European market vs. 4.3% a year ago. AFVs account for 56% of the total market in Norway, 13% in Finland and 11% in Sweden.

The second generation pushes the Dacia Duster up 34.2% all across Europe.

Boosted by very strong results towards the end of the Semester, the VW Group vastly outperforms the European market with a 7.5% uplift to just under 2.1m units. Note the VW Group is now also the European leader in the SUV segment for the first time thanks to sales up a stunning 42% (while their passenger cars only edge up 3%), toppling Renault-Nissan thanks to the strength of the Tiguan and the arrivals of the VW T-Roc, Skoda Kodiaq, Karoq and Seat Arona. The best-selling brands (not groups) in the SUV segment are Peugeot (257.200 units), Volkswagen (222.600), Nissan (201.200), Renault (191.700) and Opel/Vauxhall (165.100). The PSA Group edges up 1.8% to 1.39m units, keeping its distance over Renault-Nissan up just 0.9% to 1.26m. FCA (2.5%) and Ford Motor (-2.6%), both in difficulty, mean the Top 5 groups are in the same order as last year. Hyundai-Kia (+8.4%), the Geely Group (+7%) and Toyota Motor (+5.2%) are the best performing groups in the remainder of the Top 10.

The Peugeot 3008 is up another 31.9% two years after launch.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen surges 9.1% to just under 980.000 units, its highest European H1 score in 20 years. According to JATO Dynamics, Volkswagen is the most popular marque in 11 out of 27 European markets: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland. Its highest market share is logically in Germany at 19.7%, followed by Austria (18.2%), Slovenia (16.8%), Sweden (15.2%) and Latvia (14.5%). Portugal (6.0%) and France (6.1%) give VW its lowest market shares. Renault edges up 0.1% in remain in 2nd place overall ahead of Ford (-2.6%) meaning the European podium is unchanged on H1 and FY 2017. Stangely, only two other carmakers are in positive inside the Top 10: Peugeot soars 8.5% to step up to #4, bypassing fellow PSA member Opel (-6.4%) and Skoda gains 8.3% to return among Europe’s ten favourite brands, dislodging Toyota (+4.9%).

The VW Golf is headed towards an 11th consecutive year at #1 in Europe.

Mercedes (-2.8%), Audi (-1.8%) and BMW (-1.2%) all lose ground but the premium order is intact. Finally Fiat (-9.6%) posts the largest decline, handicapped by record low sales at home in Italy. If the top sellers are on average weak, the rest of the Top 25 is filled with great-performing brands. The most dynamic are Chinese MG (+114.9%) operating almost solely in the UK and boosted by the new ZS crossover, as well as Jeep, up a stunning 67.1% year-on-year to a record 89.500 units (vs. just 15.800 four years ago in 2014) thanks to the arrival of the Compass, now outselling the Renegade to become Jeep’s best-seller in Europe. Seat (+18.8%), Dacia (+16.3%), Mitsubishi (+12.3%), Kia (+9.7%), Suzuki (+7.3%), Hyundai (+7.2%) and Volvo (+7.1%) also post very strong results, while among smaller brands Dodge (+197.2%), Bugatti (+150%), DR Motor (+85.7%), Lamborghini (+66.5%), Mahindra (+34.1%), Tesla (+10.2%) and Subaru (+10%) shine, while Alpine (#46) revives.

The Renault Clio remains the 2nd best-selling vehicle in Europe.

Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf (+8.1%) benefits from last year’s facelift to stay well ahead of the competition just under 255.000 sales. Although its diesel sales drop 26%, they are offset by petrol sales up 29% and alternative fuel variants now representing 6% of its H1 volume. The Renault Clio (+1%), VW Polo (-4.8%) down despite a new generation and Ford Fiesta (+0.6%) complete a Top 4 unchanged on H1 and FY2017. In 5th place, the VW Tiguan soars 14.7% (the largest gain in the Top 14), outpacing the Nissan Qashqai (-1.8%) to become Europe’s best-selling SUV for the first time. This result is achieved thanks to the arrival of the All Space 7-seater variant representing 11.5% of its H1 sales. Note that by the same logic, adding sales of the Peugeot 3008 (5-seater) and 5008 (7-seater) leads to a higher volume than the Tiguan. The Peugeot 208 (+0.2%) and Skoda Octavia (+2.6%) benefit from the freefall of the Opel Corsa (-14.9%) and Astra (-33.3%) to advance to #7 and #8 respectively, while the Renault Captur (+7.5%) brilliantly breaks into the Top 10 at #9 – if held until the end of the year, this would be the Captur’s second annual Top 10 ranking after 2016 (#10).

The Nissan Leaf is the new best-selling EV in Europe.

The largest progression in the Top 25 is delivered by the Dacia Duster (+34.2%) boosted by the second generation which Renault says is the most successful model launch for the Group since the original Twingo of 1992! The Peugeot 3008 (+31.9%) continues to stun despite its launch now being two years ago. The Toyota Yaris (+13.3%), Ford Kuga (+10.3%) and Dacia Sandero (+9,3%) also push strong, the latter ending H1 just 563 sales off a historical Top 10 ranking. Looking at AFV sales by model, Toyota completely dominates the hybrid charts with the Yaris, C-HR, Auris and RAV4 in the lead above the Kia Niro, the Nissan Leaf edges past the Renault Zoe to become the best-selling EV on the continent thanks to the new model particularly successful in Norway while the VW Golf, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S complete the Top 5. The Mitsubishi Outlander holds onto the top spot of plug-in hybrid sales ahead of the VW Passat, Volvo XC60, VW Golf and BMW 5 Series.

The Lamborghini Urus has landed in Europe.

Further down the overall ranking, the Peugeot 5008 (+232.6%), Skoda Kodiaq (+97.2%), Ford Ecosport (+57.2%), Opel Insignia (+37.9%), Mazda CX-5 (+33.9%), Mercedes GLC (+28.8%), Audi Q5 (+25.1%), Renault Twingo (+14.5%), BMW 5 Series (+14.4%) and Toyota C-HR (+13.7%) also impress. Launched just over a year ago, the Opel Crossland X (#53), Jeep Compass (#68) and Opel Grandland X (#77) make themselves noticed but the most successful recent launch in Europe (<12 months) is the VW T-Roc at #33 overall with 70.000 sales, eclipsing the Citroen C3 Aircross (#48), Seat Arona (#61), Skoda Karoq (#70), Kia Stonic (#96) and Hyundai Kona (#101). Notice as the arrival of the Volvo XC40 (#147) European Car of the Year 2018, Jaguar E-Pace (#150), DS 7 Crossback (#197), Alpine A110 (#294), DR Motor DR4 (#312) and Lamborghini Urus (#345).

Previous post: Europe May 2018: Discover the Top 364 models and Top 54 brands

Previous month: Europe May 2018: SUVs soar 24.2%, Volkswagen, Jeep and Dacia strong

One year ago: Europe First Half 2017: Best result in a decade but growth slows to 4.2%

Full H1 2018 Top 10 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 405 models vs. Full H1 2017 figures below.

Full H1 2018 Top 5 hybrid, EV and PHEV models below.

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