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Europe First Quarter 2019: Citroen (+5.9%), Dacia (+15.8%), Tesla (+263.6%) show off in market down -3.2%

Citroen is the only Top 12 brand in positive over Q1 in Europe.

New car sales in Europe ex-Russia and Turkey drop -3.2% over the First Quarter of 2019 to 4.13 million units. Germany (+0.2%) is the only Top 5 market to register a (very meagre) uptick, with France (-1.1%) and, unexpectedly, the UK (-2.2%) faring better than average but Italy (-6.3%) and Spain (-6.4%) straggling. Romania (+25%), Denmark (+16.4%) and Norway (+13.5%) are the only market posting a double-digit gain over the period, the latter two thanks to strong eco-friendly sales. At the other end of the scale, Lithuania (-16.2%), Finland (-15.5%), Sweden (-15.5%), Croatia (-12.3%), Czech Republic (-12.2%), Austria (-10.6%) and Ireland (-10.6%) all endure double-digit drops.

Strikingly, none of the Top 10 brands manages to gain volume year-on-year over Q1 2019. Skoda (-0.7%) posts the slimmest drop and breaks into the Top 10 as a result, knocking Fiat (-17.1%) out. Volkswagen (-1.2%) holds up very well to cement its leadership at over 456.000 units vs. just 272.00 for #2 Renault (-4.7%) overtaking Opel/Vauxhall (-9.9%) enduring the largest fall in the Top 10. Peugeot (-1.2%) and Mercedes (-1.4%) also improve their share whereas Audi (-5.7%), Toyota (-4.4%) and BMW (-4%) underperform. Just outside the Top 10 we have the gainer: Citroen (+5.9%) while Dacia (+15.8%) scores the largest uptick in the Top 20 with Volvo (+8.7%), Suzuki (+2.4%) and Seat (+1.7%) also up. Nissan (-26.3%) implodes down to #17, passed by Hyundai, Kia, Dacia and Seat. Below, Tesla (+263.6%) is the star of the show and broke into the European Top 25 for the first time in March. Alpine (+3117.9%), DR Motor (+272.4%), Mahindra (+240%), MG (+70%), Lamborghini (+66.6%), Aston Martin (+39%), Lancia (+35.1%), Rolls Royce (+35.1%), Mitsubishi (+17.5%) and Jaguar (+12.4%) also make themselves noticed.

If the VW Golf (-15.5%) comfortably remains atop the European models ranking, it is one of only two nameplates in negative in the Top 6 and the only one enduring a double-digit decline. In contrast, the Renault Clio (+3.6%) despite a new generation about to go on sale, and the VW Polo (+8.2%) surfing on the new model’s success, both improve their volume in the remainder of the podium. At #4, the VW Tiguan (-2%) cements its position of best-selling SUV on the continent it snapped at the end of last year, just as its main competitor the Nissan Qashqai (-16.5%) drops 6 spots to #10 and is now threatened by the VW T-Roc (+112.7%) up 36 ranks on the same period in 2018 to #12. The Opel Corsa (+13.1%) and Ford Focus (+10.7%) post the only double-digit gains in the Top 10, finishing Q1 at #6 and #5 respectively, while the Citroen C3 (+5.3%) breaks into the Top 10 at #9, knocking out the Toyota Yaris (+3.3%): if held until the end of the year this would be a first for the French small car.

Other solid performers in the Top 50 include the Dacia Duster (+22.3%) at #16, the Fiat Panda (+13.1%) at #18, Mercedes A-Class (+37.1%) at #19, Toyota C-HR (+26.7%) at #26, Citroen C3 Aircross (+25.9%) at #31, Ford Ecosport (+34.9%) at #34, Opel Crossland X (+25.3%) at #35, Hyundai Kona (+80.5%) at #46, Seat Arona (+48.6%) at #47 and Skoda Karoq (+64.3%) at #48. The Tesla Model 3 is the most popular new launch (<12 months) at #73 thanks to an exceptional month of March where it ranked #1 outright in Norwaythe Netherlands and Switzerland and #27 Europe-wide. The Citroen C5 Aircross (#108) follows breaking into the Top 100 in March, ahead of the Peugeot Rifter (#122), Audi Q8 (#167), Seat Tarraco (#183) and Jaguar i-Pace (#194).

Previous post: Europe March 2019: Tesla smashes volume record in market down -3.6%

One year ago: Europe March 2018: Sales pulled down 5.2% by UK, best Q1 volume in 18 years

Full Q1 2019 Top 54 brands and Top 395 models below.

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