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2015 (Full Year) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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In 2015, the Volkswagen Group remained Europe’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen the best-selling brand and the VW Golf the top-selling model. New passenger vehicle registration in the European Union (EU) and EFTA increased by 9.2% to 14,202,024 cars in 2015. Almost all carmakers increased sales but the smaller manufacturers gained more than the larger brands that mostly underperformed the broader market.

VW Passat Alltrack

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2015 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA showed the following car sales for Europe’s largest car manufacturers:

Sales 2015

Sales 2014

% Change

EU & EFTA

14,202,024

13,006,885

9.2

VW Group

3,521,803

3,315,036

6.2

– VOLKSWAGEN

1,727,094

1,621,224

6.5

– AUDI

767,173

726,144

5.7

– SKODA

617,636

582,241

6.1

– SEAT

338,383

328,246

3.1

– PORSCHE

68,295

54,162

26.1

PSA Group3

1,481,008

1,396,541

6

– PEUGEOT

856,091

786,176

8.9

– CITROEN

549,684

525,151

4.7

– DS

75,233

85,214

-11.7

RENAULT Group

1,358,398

1,241,310

9.4

– RENAULT

975,450

877,091

11.2

– DACIA

382,948

364,219

5.1

FORD

1,020,875

940,242

8.6

OPEL Group

946,239

925,576

2.2

– OPEL/VAUXHALL

942,128

886,450

6.3

BMW Group

935,882

833,526

12.3

– BMW

748,176

676,618

10.6

– MINI

187,706

156,908

19.6

FCA Group

872,504

767,936

13.6

– FIAT

656,669

586,294

12

– JEEP

88,211

41,415

113

– LANCIA/CHRYSLER

61,670

72,173

-14.6

– ALFA ROMEO

56,796

59,190

-4

DAIMLER

833,146

708,002

17.7

– MERCEDES

737,278

652,373

13

– SMART

95,868

55,629

72.3

TOYOTA Group

604,915

565,827

6.9

– TOYOTA

565,317

534,232

5.8

– LEXUS

39,598

31,595

25.3

NISSAN

557,354

479,299

16.3

HYUNDAI

470,130

424,021

10.9

KIA

384,790

353,719

8.8

VOLVO CAR CORP.

285,861

255,880

11.7

MAZDA

211,391

174,628

21.1

SUZUKI

181,456

162,335

11.8

JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group

180,828

144,442

25.2

– LAND ROVER

140,560

115,826

21.4

– JAGUAR

40,268

28,616

40.7

MITSUBISHI

132,912

102,035

30.3

HONDA

131,629

133,453

-1.4

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Excludes smaller brands selling fewer than 39,000 cars in 2015.

Europe’s Top Carmakers in 2015

There were hardly any changes in the rank order of the best-selling carmakers in Europe in 2015 compared to a year ago. The Volkswagen Group easily remained Europe’s largest car manufacturer although all brands in the group, except Porsche, underperformed the broader market. Although sales increased by more than 200,000 cars, the Volkswagen Group’s market share shrunk from 25.5% to 24.8%. Volkswagen especially slipped behind the rest of the expanding market during the final quarter of 2015 with the uncertainty introduced by the emission scandal likely to continue into 2016.

The PSA Group also underperformed the broader market in Europe in 2015. Peugeot sales were near market average but Citroen sales remained weak with DS the worst performing brand except for Lancia/Chrysler.

The Renault Group outperformed the market with sales of Renault branded cars particularly strong. Ford sales increased inline with the market.

Opel Group sales were flat with the withdrawal of Chevrolet mainly causing the weak comparative statistics. Opel / Vauxhall sales increased inline with Volkswagen.

Sales of the BMW Group increased by 12%. BMW-branded cars sold 10% more and Mini sales increased by a fifth.

The FCA Group also had stronger sales with Fiat sales up 12% and Jeep sales more than doubled. Lancia / Chrysler and Alfa Romeo were two of only four brands with weaker sales in Europe in 2015.

Daimler was the most improved of the larger manufacturing groups. Mercedes Benz sales were up 13% – stronger growth than BMW and almost double the increase registered by Audi. Smart sales improved by nearly three quarters.

Toyota Group sales were below market average although Lexus sales were up by a quarter. Nissan had strong sales and narrowed the gap to Toyota to only 8,000 cars – the Nissan Qashqai was frequently in the top-ten list of most-popular car models in Europe in 2015.

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All the smaller car manufacturers had much stronger sales in Europe with the exception of Honda. Honda sales were down 1.4%, which allowed Mitsubishi to outsell Honda in Europe in 2015. This was the only rank change of carmakers in Europe in 2015.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2015

The 20 top-selling car marques in Europe in 2015 according to the ACEA were:

Sales 2015

Sales 2014

% Change

EU & EFTA

14,202,024

13,006,885

9.2

– VOLKSWAGEN

1,727,094

1,621,224

6.5

– FORD

1,020,875

940,242

8.6

– RENAULT

975,450

877,091

11.2

– OPEL/VAUXHALL

942,128

886,450

6.3

– PEUGEOT

856,091

786,176

8.9

– AUDI

767,173

726,144

5.7

– BMW

748,176

676,618

10.6

– MERCEDES

737,278

652,373

13

– FIAT

656,669

586,294

12

– SKODA

617,636

582,241

6.1

– TOYOTA

565,317

534,232

5.8

– NISSAN

557,354

479,299

16.3

– CITROEN

549,684

525,151

4.7

– HYUNDAI

470,130

424,021

10.9

– KIA

384,790

353,719

8.8

– DACIA

382,948

364,219

5.1

– SEAT

338,383

328,246

3.1

– MAZDA

211,391

174,628

21.1

– MINI

187,706

156,908

19.6

– SUZUKI

181,456

162,335

11.8

There were only minor changes in the rank order of the top-20 best-selling car brands in Europe in 2015. None of the top 20 brands had weaker sales.

Of the top six brands, only Renault outperformed the broader market resulting in Renault and Opel swapping rank positions from a year ago.

BMW and Mercedes had strong sales and narrowed the gap to Audi, which had the weakest sales increases of the top-10 brands.

Strong sales of Nissan cars allowed the Japanese brand to overtake Citroen and to move to within 8,000 cars of Toyota.

The only other rank order changes were Kia narrowly outselling Dacia in 2015 and a strong performance taking Mini ahead of Suzuki.

The Volkswagen Golf remained easily the most-popular car model in Europe in 2015 for the eighth consecutive year.

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