Best-Selling Cars

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2016 (January to June) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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During the first half of 2016, Europe’s largest car manufacturer and brand remained Volkswagen, despite loosing market share with the VW Golf top model. New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA increased by 9.1% during the first half of 2016. The Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen brand lost a percentage market share while Renault replaced Ford, as the second largest car brand in Europe. Despite weaker sales, the VW Golf easily maintained its position as Europe’s favorite car model followed by the Renault Clio, VW Polo and Ford Fiesta.

Renault Megane at Geneva Auto Salon 2016

European Car Market in 2016 (First Half)

New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA increased by 9.1% to 8,090,870 cars during the first six months of 2016. This was the strongest first half of a calendar year in Europe since 2008.

In June 2016, the European new car market expanded for the 34th consecutive month.

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Best-Selling Car Manufacturer in Europe in 2016 (First Half)

Europe’s largest car manufacturing groups during the first six months of 2016 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA were:

1-6/2016

1-6/2015

% Change

% Share 2016

% Share 2015

VW Group

1,924,703

1,847,381

4.2

23.8

24.9

-VOLKSWAGEN

909,470

902,767

0.7

11.2

12.2

-AUDI

442,850

400,892

10.5

5.5

5.4

-SKODA

350,258

319,784

9.5

4.3

4.3

-SEAT

182,053

185,510

-1.9

2.3

2.5

-PORSCHE

37,826

36,660

3.2

0.5

0.5

PSA Group

830,848

784,786

5.9

10.3

10.6

-PEUGEOT

480,740

450,201

6.8

5.9

6.1

-CITROEN

310,262

294,191

5.5

3.8

4

-DS

39,846

40,394

-1.4

0.5

0.5

RENAULT Group

818,144

726,662

12.6

10.1

9.8

-RENAULT

595,316

518,365

14.8

7.4

7

-DACIA

222,828

208,297

7

2.8

2.8

FORD Group

565,879

537,275

5.3

7

7.2

FCA Group

550,851

471,674

16.8

6.8

6.4

-FIAT

418,929

356,305

17.6

5.2

4.8

-JEEP

55,171

44,954

22.7

0.7

0.6

-LANCIA/CHRYSLER

40,248

35,940

12

0.5

0.5

-ALFA ROMEO

33,044

30,943

6.8

0.4

0.4

OPEL Group

542,388

502,590

7.9

6.7

6.8

-OPEL/VAUXHALL

541,155

500,291

8.2

6.7

6.7

BMW Group

533,541

467,938

14

6.6

6.3

-BMW

426,300

373,236

14.2

5.3

5

-MINI

107,241

94,702

13.2

1.3

1.3

DAIMLER Group

483,162

419,570

15.2

6

5.7

-MERCEDES

425,675

369,022

15.4

5.3

5

-SMART

57,487

50,548

13.7

0.7

0.7

TOYOTA Group

340,006

314,067

8.3

4.2

4.2

-TOYOTA

317,132

294,728

7.6

3.9

4

-LEXUS

22,874

19,339

18.3

0.3

0.3

NISSAN

299,668

303,654

-1.3

3.7

4.1

HYUNDAI

261,586

237,340

10.2

3.2

3.2

KIA

229,585

200,038

14.8

2.8

2.7

VOLVO

149,727

135,239

10.7

1.9

1.8

MAZDA

128,069

100,327

27.7

1.6

1.4

JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group

118,124

90,943

29.9

1.5

1.2

-LAND ROVER

85,859

75,015

14.5

1.1

1

-JAGUAR

32,265

15,928

102.6

0.4

0.2

SUZUKI

103,226

91,287

13.1

1.3

1.2

HONDA

88,242

66,084

33.5

1.1

0.9

MITSUBISHI

63,711

70,303

-9.4

0.8

0.9

Note: “others” and brands selling fewer than 20,000 cars are not included.

Top-Selling Carmakers in Europe in 2016 (Half Year)

The Volkswagen Group easily maintained its position as Europe’s leading carmaker during the first six months of 2016. However, the group as a whole, and the Volkswagen brand in particular, strongly underperformed the broader market. Both the Volkswagen group and marque lost a full percentage market share compared to a year ago. Seat was one of only four major brands with weaker sales in Europe thus far in 2016 while Audi and Skoda performed slightly above market average.

The PSA Group remained the second largest carmaker in Europe but during the first half of 2016 also underperformed. Peugeot and Citroen had stronger sales but increases were below market average while DS sales were slightly down.

The Renault Group increased sales by 12.6% and only narrowly failed to overtake the PSA Group. Renault brand sales were up 15%, or around 90,000 more cars than a year ago.

The FCA Group was the most improved of the top brands with sales up 17% to overtake Opel. Fiat, Jeep and Lancia/Chrysler had sales increases well above market average. Even Alfa Romeo – a brand written off as going extinct more than once in recent years – saw sales increase by 7%.

The Opel/Vauxhall Group had sales increases just below market average but not sufficient to stay ahead of FCA.

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German “premium” car manufacturers BMW and Daimler both strongly outperformed the market with all brands – BMW, Mini, Mercedes Benz and Smart – having sales well above market average.

The Toyota Group and Nissan Group once again swapped rank order with Nissan sales slightly down and Toyota sales improving just below the overall market average.

With the exception of Mitsubishi, which was the worst-preforming car manufacturer in Europe during the first half of 2016, all the remaining brands selling over 20,000 cars outperformed the market. Jaguar Land Rover was the most-improved carmaker with Jaguar sales nearly doubling due to the good reception of new models.

Honda sales were up by a third reversing some of the negative numbers it experienced in Europe in recent years. Mazda sales were also strongly up.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2016 (Half Year)

The twenty best-selling car marques in Europe during the first half of 2016 according to the ACEA were:

Brand

Sales 2016

Sales 2015

% Change

1

VOLKSWAGEN

909,470

902,767

0.7

2

RENAULT

595,316

518,365

14.8

3

FORD

565,879

537,275

5.3

4

OPEL/VAUXHALL

541,155

500,291

8.2

5

PEUGEOT

480,740

450,201

6.8

6

AUDI

442,850

400,892

10.5

7

BMW

426,300

373,236

14.2

8

MERCEDES

425,675

369,022

15.4

9

FIAT

418,929

356,305

17.6

10

SKODA

350,258

319,784

9.5

11

TOYOTA

317,132

294,728

7.6

12

CITROEN

310,262

294,191

5.5

13

NISSAN

299,668

303,654

-1.3

14

HYUNDAI

261,586

237,340

10.2

15

KIA

229,585

200,038

14.8

16

DACIA

222,828

208,297

7

17

SEAT

182,053

185,510

-1.9

18

VOLVO

149,727

135,239

10.7

19

MAZDA

128,069

100,327

27.7

20

MINI

107,241

94,702

13.2

Although Volkswagen easily remained Europe’s best-selling car brand during the first six months of 2016, VW was the worst performer of the top-ten brands and lost a full percentage market share. Volkswagen sold less than 7,000 more cars than a year ago.

In contrast, Renault sold nearly 70,000 more cars than during the first half of last year and became the second largest car brand in Europe at the expense of Ford that lost market share despite stronger sales.

There were no further changes in the rank order of the top-ten best-selling car marques in Europe during the first six half of 2016. Toyota and Citroen each moved up a position from a year ago largely due to Nissan’s weak performance. Seat was the only other top-20 brand to have lost sales.

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Mazda was the most-improved brand with sales up by more than a quarter but no change in relative rank position.

Top 10 Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2016 (First Half)

The following were the ten most-popular car models in the European Union during the first half of 2016 according to JATO figures:

Model

HY 2016

% Change

1

VW Golf

269,430

-2

2

Renault Clio

173,462

4

3

VW Polo

166,894

5

4

Ford Fiesta

159,534

-9

5

Opel / Vauxhall Corsa

147,494

-2

6

Peugeot 208

138,368

14

7

Opel / Vauxhall Astra

129,691

26

8

Nissan Qashqai

126,113

1

9

Skoda Octavia

121,297

9

10

Ford Focus

120,534

-6

The VW Golf easily maintained its traditional position as Europe’s best-selling car model although sales were down 2% from a year ago despite an expanding market.

The Renault Clio moved up from third to second most popular car in Europe while the VW Polo improved from fourth to third. The aging Ford Fiesta saw sales slump by 9% and as a result was down to fourth from second a year ago.

The Opel / Vauxhall Corsa maintained fifth place despite weaker sales while the Peugeot 208 improved two places.

The Opel / Vauxhall Astra was the best performer of the top-ten models: sales increased by more than a quarter allowing the Astra to reenter the list from 14th a year ago.

The Nissan Qashqai slipped one position but remained Europe’s favorite SUV despite flat sales. The Skoda Octavia improved one rank place with a strong 9% increase in sales.

The Ford Focus slipped from 6th a year ago to tenth in 2016 with sales down 6% – of the top sellers only the Ford Fiesta did worse.

The only model dropping out of the top ten list from a year ago was the VW Passat – down from 9th to 13th with sales virtually unchanged from a year ago.

See also: 2016 (Half Year) Sales per European Union Country

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