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Europe July 2018: Pre-WLTP stock clearing boosts Seat (+36.9%), VW (+28.3%), Audi (+14.3%), models podium 100% VW for the first time

The Arona is instrumental to Seat’s progression in Europe in July. Picture

* Now updated with final data for the Top 10 groups, Top 72 All-brands and Top 425 All-models *

New car sales across the European continent (27 markets ex-Russia and Turkey) soar 10% year-on-year in July to post the largest result for the month this decade at 1.308.205 units, according to final and exclusive figures released by our European partner JATO Dynamics. The main reason behind this surge, apart from one extra selling day compared to July 2017, is artificial in the form of sharp discounts by the VW Group and Nissan notably in a move to clear stock of vehicles that don’t meet the new WLTP fuel emission standards that will enter into effect from September 1. The year-to-date volume is now up 3.6% or almost 350.000 units to 9.965.997.

Volkswagen soars 28.5% and monopolises the European models podium for the first time.

The best performing markets are Lithuania (+56.4%), Croatia (+43.7%), Romania (+34.2%), Hungary (+29.1%), Portugal (+26.1%) and Poland (+25.7%) with very strong showings by Spain (+19.1%) and France (+18.5%) helping the overall growth. Strong SUV sales continue to be the European engine of growth with volumes up a staggering 34% to 461.90 units or a record 35.3% share. Small SUVs advance the fastest at +50% to 169.800, with Renault-Nissan leading the segment at 25% share above PSA (23%) and the VW Group (19%). Compact SUVS are up 34% to 198.300 led by the VW Group (22%) ahead of Renault-Nissan (17%) and Hyundai-Kia (15%). The midsize SUVs are up just 15% to 73.000 whereas large SUVs are stable at 20.900.

Audi (+14.5%) scores its very first European podium finish.

The VW Group posts a stunning albeit artificial 23.1% year-on-year gain to end the month just over 358.000 sales, distancing the PSA Group more modest at +6.1% to 199.200 while both Renault-Nissan (+14.5%) and FCA (+15.9%) gallop faster than the market. Among the Top 10 groups, only Daimler AG (-9.9%) and the BMW Group (-3.4%) post a decline. Predictably given very aggressive Europe-wide stock-clearing programs, Volkswagen is up 28.3% atop the brands ranking whereas premium stablemate Audi is up 14.3% to #3 to sign its very first European podium finish. Renault (+19%) remains in 2nd place, but the rest of the Top 10 underperforms: only Skoda (+11.8%) and Peugeot (+10.1%) beat the overall growth while Mercedes (-13.1%) and Opel (-2.9%) are in negative and BMW (-2.4%) slips out of the Top 10 for the first time in at least 5 years. Further down, MG (+166.6%), Jeep (+87.4%), Subaru (+37.2%), Seat (+36.9% – also boosted by stock-clearing rebates), Bentley (+35.8%), Porsche (+30.8%), Alfa Romeo (+27.3%), Mitsubishi (+26.3%), Smart (+22.2%), Jaguar (+19.8%) lodge strong results.

The Toyota Yaris breaks its all-time ranking record at #7.

Model-wise, the VW Golf (+7.4%) returns into positive territory with the next 7 best-sellers all posting double digit gains! The VW Polo (+18.7%) overtakes the Renault Clio (+15.8%) to snap the #2 spot for the first time in one year (since July 2017), also scoring the #3 YTD ranking, dislodging the Ford Fiesta (+61.1%). But the (mainly artificial) event is in third place: the VW Tiguan (+68.7%) climbs onto the European podium for the first time in history after ranking #4 in April 2017, August 2017, January 2018, May 2018 and June 2018, thanks to the addition of the All Space 7-seater (4.461 sales this month). This is the first time in history Volkswagen (or any carmaker) monopolises the European podium. Below the Renault Clio (+24%), the Nissan Qashqai (+23.9%) climbs back inside the Top 5 for the first time since last March, while the Toyota Yaris (+10.6%) breaks its all-time ranking record at #7 (previous best #8 in July and October 2017).

The Peugeot 3008 becomes the brand’s European best-seller for the first time.

The Peugeot 3008 (+16.4%) cracks the European Top 10 for the second time in history after last February at #10 and becomes Peugeot’s European best-seller for the first time ever (the 208 is #13). Notice also the Ford Ecosport (+113.3%), Fiat 500X (+48.9%), Renault Megane (+39.3%), Renault Kadjar (+34.9%), Audi A1 (+29.1%), Dacia Duster (+26.8%), Fiat Tipo (+25.5%), Renault Captur (+21.8%) and Toyota C-HR (+21.1%) outperforming the market inside the Top 50. The VW T-Roc breaks into the Top 20 for the first time at #18 to remain the most popular recent launch (<12 months), followed by the Seat Arona (#37) and Citroen C3 Aircross (#40) both posting their first Top 40 finish, Skoda Karoq (#53), Volvo XC40 (#80) for the first time in the Top 100, Hyundai Kona (#85) and Kia Stonic (#98). Newcomers in the charts include the Audi Q8 (#276), Mahindra KUV100 (#287), BMW 8 Series (#331), while the Lamborghini Urus lurks at #321.

Previous post:  Europe First Half 2018: Tiguan and Captur up, largest market this century

Previous month: Europe June 2018: Volkswagen, BMW lift market up 4.8%

One year ago: Europe July 2017: Octavia, Sandero and Yaris break ranking records

Full July 2018 Top 10 groups, Top 72 All-brands and Top 425 All-models below.

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