Best-Selling Cars

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2016 (Full Year) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands

by Henk Bekker

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Mercedes Geneva Auto Salon

In 2016, Volkswagen remained Europe’s largest car manufacturing group but the best-selling VW brand lost market share with weaker sales. The Renault Group surpassed the PSA Group as the second largest carmaker in Europe in 2016 while the Renault brand moved into second place at the expense of Ford. Mercedes Benz, Fiat and Renault were the most improved of the top car brands in Europe in 2016.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2016 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA showed the following carmakers and marques as the top sellers in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries in 2016

Carmaker

Sales 2016

Sales 2015

% Change 16/15

% MS 2016

EU & EFTA

15,131,719

14,202,273

6.5

100

VW Group

3,641,012

3,524,271

3.3

24.1

– VOLKSWAGEN

1,720,829

1,728,388

-0.4

11.4

– AUDI

830,956

768,629

8.1

5.5

– SKODA

663,230

617,616

7.4

4.4

– SEAT

350,287

338,075

3.6

2.3

– PORSCHE

71,149

68,332

4.1

0.5

RENAULT Group

1,522,629

1,358,379

12.1

10.1

– RENAULT

1,100,880

975,453

12.9

7.3

– DACIA

421,749

382,926

10.1

2.8

PSA Group

1,472,927

1,480,879

-0.5

9.7

– PEUGEOT

865,374

856,194

1.1

5.7

– CITROEN

541,896

549,456

-1.4

3.6

– DS

65,657

75,229

-12.7

0.4

FORD

1,043,295

1,013,894

2.9

6.9

BMW Group

1,030,734

936,470

10.1

6.8

– BMW

821,525

748,525

9.8

5.4

– MINI

209,209

187,945

11.3

1.4

OPEL Group

996,895

946,383

5.3

6.6

– OPEL/VAUXHALL

993,494

942,148

5.4

6.6

FCA Group

992,712

869,824

14.1

6.6

– FIAT

746,126

656,638

13.6

4.9

– JEEP

104,978

88,226

19

0.7

– LANCIA/CHRYSLER

67,225

61,671

9

0.4

– ALFA ROMEO

66,172

56,802

16.5

0.4

DAIMLER

945,074

833,146

13.4

6.2

– MERCEDES

839,779

737,278

13.9

5.5

– SMART

105,295

95,868

9.8

0.7

TOYOTA Group

651,199

605,477

7.6

4.3

– TOYOTA

606,301

565,906

7.1

4

– LEXUS

44,898

39,571

13.5

0.3

NISSAN

550,412

556,914

-1.2

3.6

HYUNDAI

505,396

470,021

7.5

3.3

KIA

435,316

384,790

13.1

2.9

VOLVO CAR CORP.

290,227

285,410

1.7

1.9

MAZDA

237,202

211,557

12.1

1.6

JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group

221,758

180,828

22.6

1.5

– LAND ROVER

153,071

140,560

8.9

1

– JAGUAR

68,687

40,268

70.6

0.5

SUZUKI

202,785

180,761

12.2

1.3

HONDA

159,126

131,704

20.8

1.1

MITSUBISHI

117,216

133,870

-12.4

0.8

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Exclude “others” and brands selling fewer than 40,000 cars in Europe in 2016.

Top-Selling Carmakers in Europe in 2016

The VW Group easily remained Europe’s largest car manufacturing group in 2016 despite a difficult year. The group as a whole underperformed the broader market with the Volkswagen brand the only top brand with weaker sales in Europe in 2016. While the VW Group sold around 115,000 more cars in Europe in 2016 compared to 2015, Volkswagen brand sold 7,500 fewer cars than a year ago. The group lost 0.7% market share but still controls nearly a quarter of the European new car market.

The Renault Group had strong sales for both the Renault and Dacia brand, allowing the group to replace the PSA Group as the second largest carmaker in Europe. The PSA Group was the only major car manufacturer with weaker sales in Europe in 2016 – Peugeot sales were flat while Citroen and DS had weaker sales. DS was the worst-performing car marque in Europe in 2016.

Ford sales in Europe in 2016 increased below the market average but Ford managed to stay ahead of BMW by only 13,000 cars. The BMW Group increased sales by 10% with both BMW and Mini brands growing strongly.

The BMW Group moved ahead of Opel, which had stronger sales just below market average.

The FCA Group saw sales for all major brands – even Lancia and Alfa Romeo – increase well above market average.

The Daimler Group similarly had both Mercedes Benz and Smart performing strongly, with Mercedes Benz outselling both BMW and Audi in 2016.

The Toyota Group remained the top Japanese carmaker in Europe in 2016 with stronger sales while Nissan sales were moderately weaker but loosing market share in an expanding market.

The smaller manufacturers mostly had stronger sales in Europe in 2016. The Jaguar Land Rover Group and Honda increased sales by more than a fifth. The Jaguar brand increased sales by 70%

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Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2016

The top-selling car marques in Europe in 2016 were as follows:

Car Brand

Sales 2016

Sales 2015

% Change 16/15

EU & EFTA

15,131,719

14,202,273

6.5

1

VOLKSWAGEN

1,720,829

1,728,388

-0.4

2

RENAULT

1,100,880

975,453

12.9

3

FORD

1,043,295

1,013,894

2.9

4

OPEL/VAUXHALL

993,494

942,148

5.4

5

PEUGEOT

865,374

856,194

1.1

6

MERCEDES

839,779

737,278

13.9

7

AUDI

830,956

768,629

8.1

8

BMW

821,525

748,525

9.8

9

FIAT

746,126

656,638

13.6

10

SKODA

663,230

617,616

7.4

11

TOYOTA

606,301

565,906

7.1

12

NISSAN

550,412

556,914

-1.2

13

CITROEN

541,896

549,456

-1.4

14

HYUNDAI

505,396

470,021

7.5

15

KIA

435,316

384,790

13.1

16

DACIA

421,749

382,926

10.1

17

SEAT

350,287

338,075

3.6

18

VOLVO CAR CORP.

290,227

285,410

1.7

19

MAZDA

237,202

211,557

12.1

20

MINI

209,209

187,945

11.3

Top 20 Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2016

The top 20 best-selling car marques in Europe in 2016 remained the same as a year ago with only two rank position changes. Volkswagen easily remained the strongest-selling car brand in Europe in 2016 despite being to the only marque with weaker sales. Volkswagen’s share of the European Union and EFTA new car market slipped from 12.2& to 11.4%.

Renault had a strong performance in Europe in 2016 – sales increased by 13%, around 125,000 cars, allowing the French brand to replace Ford as the second largest car brand. Ford under performed the broader market but still added 30,000 cars.

Opel / Vauxhall slightly underperformed the market but added around 50,000 cars. Peugeot increased sales in Europe only moderately in 2016.

Mercedes Benz was the most-improved top 20 car brand in Europe in 2016. Mercedes sales increased by 13.9% or nearly 100,000 cars. Mercedes thus overtook both Audi and BMW in the sales tables for Europe in 2016.

Audi sales in Europe in 2016 increased above the market average but BMW narrowed the gap.

The rest of the top 20 ranking remained unaltered from a year ago. Nissan and Citroën were the only brands with weaker sales while Seat and Volvo were the only other brands underperforming the broader market.

The Volkswagen Golf remained Europe’s favorite car in 2016.

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