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Europe April 2019: BMW (+12.5%), Citroen (+14.7%), Dacia (+13%) convince in market tilted down -0.5% by UK

BMW posts the only double-digit gain of any brand in the European Top 10.

UPDATE 3 (04/06): Now with Top 55 brands and Top 355 models.

UPDATE 2 (27/05): Now with Top 100 models.

UPDATE 1 (23/05): Now with final figures for the Top 25 brands and models.

Preliminary European new car sales figures published by ACEA show a market edging down -0.5% in April to 1.344.863 units, the best post-WLTP hold so far. This leads to a YTD tally down -2.5% to 5.491.050. Among the Top 5 markets, Spain (+2.6%) and Italy (+1.5%) lead the gains, going against the 2019 trend so far, while France (+0.4%) only edges up and Germany (-1.1%) and the UK (-4.1%) skid down. Lithuania (+42.2%), Cyprus (+39.4%), Croatia (+22.4%), Greece (+17.2%), Romania (+13.9%), Latvia (+12.2%) and Ireland (+10.7%) are the most dynamic while in contrast Iceland (-33.7%), Norway (-19.9%), Denmark (-13.5%), Finland (-11.8%) and Sweden (-11.6%) are hit the hardest.

Diesel registrations are down 12% year-on-year in April and in every European country bar Germany and Croatia, with year-to-date volumes down 15% to 32.5% share vs. 36% a year ago. Petrol sales are up from 56% to 59% share while electrified car sales amount to 91.200 units for a 6.9% share vs. 5.5% a year ago thanks to EVs up 71% to 22.900. SUVs gain a further 11% to 495.000 units, with the YTD volume eclipsing the 2 million mark at 2.02m so far, up 8% on the same period in 2018. According to JATO Dynamics, in April SUV’s growth is driven by the BMW Group (+29%), the VW Group (+23%), PSA (+14%) and Hyundai-Kia (+14%).

Citroen sales in Europe are up 14.7% in April.

The Volkswagen Group (-3.4%) and Ford (-5.1%) are the worst hit among the Top 10 groups this month, with FCA (-3%) falling not far behind and Renault (-1.3%) holding itself a little better but still underperforming. The PSA Group (+1.3%) remains #2 while Hyundai-Kia (+2.9%) steps up to #4. It’s a month of luxury: the BMW Group (+7.1%) and Daimler AG (+4.7%) post the largest gains among the Top 10 groups, with Volvo (Geely) also strong at +2.8%) and Toyota Motor (+1.8%) helped to a sturdy score by Lexus (+28.3%) and its new UX crossover.

Atop the brands ranking, both Volkswagen (-6.6%) and Renault (-5.5%) fall hard but Peugeot (+1.7%) climbs onto the podium and Mercedes (+3.2%) into the Top 5 just as Ford (-4.5%) also skid down. BMW (+12.5%) is the only double-digit gainer in the Top 10, joined in the Top 20 by Citroen (+14.7%) and Dacia (+13%) and beyond by Mitsubishi (+31.2%) and Smart (+23%). Land Rover (+6%), Hyundai (+5.6%), Volvo (+4.3%), Seat (+3.7%), Skoda (+2.8%) and Mazda (+2%) also manage a substantial uptick while Toyota (+0.5%) and Fiat (+0.1%) are almost immobile. Mahindra (+457.1%), Tesla (+233.2%), Alpine (+170.2%), Chevrolet (+60.7%), Bentley (+39.4%), Lancia (+30.8%), Lexus (+28.7%) and Lamborghini (+24.6%) stand out among smaller carmakers.

Dacia is up 13% thanks to the Duster (+29.8%) and Sandero (+6.1%).

The VW Golf (-7.6%) remains the most popular nameplate on the continent but drops heavily and sees its advantage on the Renault Clio (+9.8%) thaw to less than 5.500 units vs. over 12.000 a year ago in April 2018. Below, the VW Polo (-14.1%) and Tiguan (-1.9%) both decline but the Ford Focus (+11.6%) enjoys the benefits of its new generation, lodging the only Top 10 double-digit gain alongside the Citroen C3 (+11%), in total contrast with the Ford Fiesta (-18.6%) enduring by far the steepest drop in the Top 25. The Dacia Sandero (+6.1%) is up 12 spots on March to a splendid 6th place and the Skoda Octavia (+5,7%) is up 10 to #8. The Dacia Duster (+29.8%) misses out on a second ever Top 10 finish by just 323 units, while the Mercedes A-Class (+62.7%), Fiat Panda (+51.3%) and VW T-Roc (+33.5%) score the other stunning gains of the Top 25.

The Toyota Corolla (+615.3%) replaces the Auris and leaps up 36 spots on last month to #30, with the Volvo XC40 (+103.6%), Hyundai Kona (+94.1%), Volvo S/V60 (+91.3%), Audi Q3 (+70.5%) and Opel Grandland X (+44.3%) also very dynamic. The Citroen C5 Aircross is up 29 ranks to #67, becoming the best-selling recent launch (<12 months) across Europe just as the VW T-Cross breaks into the Top 100 at #87. Looking at green cars in detail, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling hybrid vehicle in Europe this month with 8.520 units, distancing the Toyota C-HR at 8.485, Yaris at 7.956 and RAV4 at 5.481 with the Kia Niro rounding up the Top 5 at 3.057. The Mitsubishi Outlander (2.338) is the most popular Plug-in hybrid followed by the Mini Countryman (1.173), BMW 5 series (1.105), Volvo XC60 (1.090) and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (1.081). Finally the Renault Zoe (4.117) reclaims the title of best-selling EV in Europe off the Tesla Model 3 (3.721) down from an exceptional burst of 15.755 in March due to the delivery of a years-long waiting list, with the BMW i3 (2.427), Nissan Leaf (2.178) and VW e-Golf (2.124) in tow.

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is the best-selling electrified vehicle in Europe in April.

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

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

One year ago: Europe April 2018: Volkswagen soars 21.4%, highest market this decade

Full April 2019 Top 10 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 355 models below.

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