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Germany March 2019: Audi soars 15.9% to first #2 finish since last August in market back in negative (-0.5%)

Audi Q3 sales shoot up 81.4% thanks to the new model.

This article has been updated with the Top 50 private sales models.

German new car sales tilt back into negative for the 6th time in the past 7 months in March at -0.5% to 345.523 units, yet thanks to a solid February result (+2.7%) the year-to-date tally remains in positive at +1.7% to 880.092 units, which is no less than the largest Q1 volume since 2000. The VW Group is now fully recovered at +3% to 37.1% share vs. 35.8% in March 2018 and now in positive YTD also at +0.9%. If Volkswagen (-2.9%) is back into negative, Audi surges 15.9% to #2 for the first time since pre-WLTP August, Seat (+8.4%) and Skoda (+4.1%) post solid gains as do Bentley (+35.7%) and Lamborghini (+22%) but Porsche (-9.5%) is stuck in negative for the 7th straight month albeit in the since digits for the first time. Opel (+6.4%) is the only additional Top 10 brand in positive just as Renault (-0.6%), BMW (-3%), Hyundai (-4.4%), Ford (-4.7%) and Mercedes (-5.2%) all skid down. Tesla (+453%), Volvo (+39.4%), Chevrolet (+27.8%) Smart (+12.6%) and Suzuki (+11.6%) also impress.

Model-wise, the VW Golf (-8.5%) endures a 7th straight year-on-year decline but first single-digit one, distancing the VW Tiguan (+7.5%) now in positive YTD. The Ford Focus (-5.3%) edges up one spot on February to climb back on the podium for only the third time in almost 15 years alongside September 2004 (#2) and March 2018 (#3). Volkswagen places no less than five nameplates in the Top 6 with the Passat (-3.8%), Polo (-5%) in difficulty but the T-Roc (+85.9%) in great shape and scoring a third consecutive #6 finish. The Audi A3 (+9.1%) and A4 (+4.6%) post the last positive results in the Top 10.

Below, notice the Opel Adam (+165.8%), Audi Q3 (+81.4%), Audi A1 (+70.5%), Skoda Karoq (+51.9%), Audi Q2 (+59.8%), Seat Ateca (+44.5%), Ford Ecosport (+44.4%), Opel Corsa (+40.7%) and Mercedes A-Class (+32.4%) post some of the largest gains in the Top 50. The Tesla Model 3 is up 41 spots on February to break into the German Top 50 for the first time at #48, cementing its status of best-selling new launch (<12 months) well ahead of the Peugeot Rifter (#124), Audi Q8 (#132), Seat Tarraco (#145) and Audi e-Tron (#149).

Looking at private sales only, over Q1 they are down 6% year-on-year to just 308.032 units or 35% share vs. 37.3% over the same period in 2018. Volkswagen manages to monopolise the Top 4 with the Golf (-37%), Polo (+16.6%), T-Roc (+175.2%) and Tiguan (-33.1%), with the Polo (56.1%) and T-Roc (54.9%) posting by far the highest private sales ratios (psr) vs. just 26.9% for the Golf. The Dacia Sandero (-2.4%) remains at a brilliant #5 with 86.4% psr above the Mini lineup (+8.9%) and Dacia Duster (+26.2%) at 83.1 psr. The Mitsubishi Space Star (77.1%), Fiat Ducato (70.9%), Seat Arona (67.6%), Mazda CX-3 (64.9%), Smart Forfour (63.2%), Smart Fortwo (62%), Ford Ecosport (58.1%), Skoda Karoq (57%) and Seat Ateca (56.1%) also shine with strong psr in the Top 30.

Previous month: Germany February 2019: VW Group (+3.3%) leads market to first year-on-year gain in 6 months (+2.7%)

One year ago: Germany March 2018: VW T-Roc takes off, Ford Focus at highest in almost 14 years

Full March 2019 Top 50 brands, Top 320 All-models and Q1 2019 Top 50 private sales models below.

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