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Europe February 2019: First Top 10 finish for the VW T-Roc, Citroen C3 up to record #4 in market down just 1.3%

The T-Roc is helping Volkswagen’s return to shape in February.

Update 3 (03/04): Now with the Top 360 All-models and Top 55 brands.

Update 2 (03/04): The January 2019 article now has a Top 350 All-models and Top 55 brands.

Update 1 (27/03): Now with the Top 25 brands and models.

Preliminary figures by ACEA show the European new car market (EU+EFTA) edging down just 0.9% in February to 1.148.775 units, JATO Dynamics has this at -1.3%, in what is the slimmest year-on-year drop and the closest to a positive sales result we’ve seen since pre-WLTP-boosted August 2018. This is the 2nd-largest February volume in the past 11 years below just last year. The year-to-date volume is now down 2.9% to 2.374.963. 14 markets are up, 16 are down and among the largest ones Germany (+2.7%), France (+2.1%) and the UK (+1.4%) are in positive but Spain (-8.8%) and Italy (-2.4%) in difficulty. Lithuania (+94.5%), Romania (+35.7%), Hungary (+12.6%), Greece (+12.1%) and Luxembourg (+10.4%) post the only double-digit gains this month whereas Iceland (-30.9%), Cyprus (-17.7%), Sweden (-14.9%), the Netherlands (-14.6%), Estonia (-11.9%), Finland (-11.2%), Ireland (-11.1%) and Austria (10.8%) are the hardest hit. SUV sales continue to roll on at +10% to 421.500 units or 37% share spurred by small SUVs up 13% to 167.000.

The Citroen C3 is up to a record #4 across Europe this month.

The Volkswagen Group reduces its drop to a minimalistic -0.5%, distancing PSA (+0.8%) with Renault-Nissan (-5.9%) and FCA (-5.2%) struggling. Hyundai-Kia (+0.2%) edges up to round out the Top 5 while the Geely Group (+5.1%) and Daimler (+4.7%) are the only gainers in the remainder of the Top 10, Ford Motor (-5.4%) suffering the largest drop while the BMW Group (-3.5%) and Toyota Motor (-2%) also fall. Brand-wise, Volkswagen (+3.8%) is back in great shape, even signing the largest gain in the Top 5 and distancing Peugeot (+0.8%) shy but in positive, Renault (-1.8%), Ford (-5.4%) and Opel/Vauxhall (-3.9%). Citroen (+5.8%) is up one spot on January to break into the Top 10 where it posts the largest gain, with Mercedes (+4.8%) and Skoda (+1.9%) also improving. Audi (-7.4%) is up two spots on last month to #8 and back above BMW (-4.7%) but still drops heavily while Fiat (-15.4%) is up 2 to #11 but records the only double-digit decline in the Top 15. Further down, Jeep (+31.2%), Mitsubishi (+29.9%), Suzuki (+6.2%), Dacia (+5.2%) and Volvo (+5.1%) stand out but Nissan (-23.6%) remains in hell. Among smaller carmakers, Tesla (+371.5%), DR Motor (+344.4%), Mahindra (+318.5%), MG (+140.9%), Aston Martin (+75.4%), Lamborghini (+69.5%), Lancia (+39.1%), Rolls Royce (+39.1%) and Jaguar (+31.1%) excel. 

Ford Focus sales are up 24.5% year-on-year in February.

Model-wise, the VW Golf (-13.1%) remains the best-seller over the continent but endures the most painful fall in the Top 12. The Renault Clio (+6.3%) is back above the VW Polo (+17.6%) both in February and YTD, but it’s below that records falls. The Citroen C3 (+5.6%) stuns with a very first incursion into the European Top 5 at #4, smashing the nameplate’s previous best of #7 established in March and September 2018. Below, the VW Tiguan (+2.5%) and Ford Focus (+24.5%) both buck the negative trend while the Peugeot 208 (-2%) resists well given the new generation has now been unveiled. Below, the VW T-Roc (+141.7%) positively annihilates its ranking record, lifting it from #14 last month to #8 and scoring its very first European Top 10. There are therefore four VWs in the Top 8 this month, including the 2 best-selling SUVs on the continent.

At launch, the Tesla Model 3 instantly becomes the best-selling EV in Europe.

If the Ford Fiesta (-12.9%) freefalls, the Opel Corsa (+13.6%) impresses and regains 5 spots on January to return inside the Top 10. The Dacia Duster (+8%) is also up 5 ranks on last month to #12, its highest European ranking since last August (#7), and placing #3 best-selling SUV for the month ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (-16.5%), Renault Captur (+10.5%) and Peugeot 3008 (-5.9%). Notice also the Mercedes A-Class (+30.2%), Toyota C-HR (+23.9%) and Fiat Panda (+20.9%) posting double-digit gains in the remainder of the Top 25. February is also the month when the Tesla Model 3 hit European shores, with instant success: 3.657 sales and already the best-selling EV in Europe above the Renault Zoe (3.054), Nissan Leaf (2.456), BMW i3 (2.191) and Hyundai Kona (1.754). It’s also the 2nd best-selling new launch below the Citroen C5 Aircross (3.810) but above the Peugeot Rifter (3.190), DS 7 Crossback (2.110), Audi Q8 (1.458), Seat Tarraco (1.368) and Jaguar i-Pace (891)

Previous month: Europe January 2019: Citroen and Dacia shine, VW Group recovers in market down 4.6%

One year ago (1): Europe February 2018: Peugeot 3008 cracks Top 10, Citroen C3 up to #7

One year ago (2): Europe February 2018: Discover the Top 364 models and Top 54 brands

Full February 2019 Top 10 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 360 All-models below.

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