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2016 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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Volkswagen remained Europe’s largest carmaker and best-selling brand despite loosing market share in a expanding market at the start of 2016. The European new car market grew by 8.1% to just below 4 million cars during the first three months of 2016. Almost all car manufacturers and marques increased sales but market leader Volkswagen had weaker sales. Ford remained Europe’s second strongest car brand while Opel / Vauxhall recovered third place from Renault. Jaguar was the most-improved brand with sales more than doubling from a year ago. The VW Golf remained Europe’s favorite car model.

BMW Geneva 2016

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

New passenger vehicle registration figures released by the ACEA showed the following car manufacturers and marques as the best-sellers in the European Union (EU) and EFTA during the first quarter of 2016:

Q1/2016

Q1/2015

% Change

% Share Q1/2016

% Share Q1/2015

Total EU + EFTA

3,913,903

3,638,574

8.1

 100

 100

VW Group

919,413

887,958

3.5

23.4

24.4

– VOLKSWAGEN

434,867

436,979

-0.5

11.1

12

– AUDI

215,243

192,326

11.9

5.5

5.3

– SKODA

165,014

151,360

9

4.2

4.2

– SEAT

86,378

89,453

-3.4

2.2

2.5

– PORSCHE

16,938

16,982

-0.3

0.4

0.5

PSA Group

405,991

386,416

5.1

10.3

10.6

– PEUGEOT

235,406

222,650

5.7

6

6.1

– CITROEN

150,364

143,631

4.7

3.8

3.9

– DS

20,221

20,135

0.4

0.5

0.6

RENAULT Group

364,032

340,083

7

9.3

9.3

– RENAULT

262,949

243,314

8.1

6.7

6.7

– DACIA

101,083

96,769

4.5

2.6

2.7

FORD Group

286,961

266,372

7.7

7.3

7.3

OPEL Group

269,317

243,316

10.7

6.8

6.7

– OPEL/VAUXHALL

268,782

242,291

10.9

6.8

6.7

FCA Group

264,262

227,212

16.3

6.7

6.2

– FIAT

200,324

171,299

16.9

5.1

4.7

– JEEP

26,406

21,562

22.5

0.7

0.6

– LANCIA

19,907

17,785

11.9

0.5

0.5

– ALFA ROMEO

15,993

14,983

6.7

0.4

0.4

BMW Group

254,041

227,327

11.8

6.5

6.2

– BMW

205,696

182,868

12.5

5.2

5

– MINI

48,345

44,459

8.7

1.2

1.2

DAIMLER Group

229,380

202,972

13

5.8

5.6

– MERCEDES

202,238

179,553

12.6

5.1

4.9

– SMART

27,142

23,419

15.9

0.7

0.6

TOYOTA Group

173,269

166,213

4.2

4.4

4.6

– TOYOTA

161,183

156,210

3.2

4.1

4.3

– LEXUS

12,086

10,003

20.8

0.3

0.3

NISSAN Group

160,801

164,893

-2.5

4.1

4.5

HYUNDAI

126,519

119,902

5.5

3.2

3.3

KIA

110,600

96,092

15.1

2.8

2.6

VOLVO

70,758

63,087

12.2

1.8

1.7

MAZDA

68,787

53,511

28.5

1.7

1.5

JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group

65,727

46,957

40

1.7

1.3

– LAND ROVER

50,394

39,426

27.8

1.3

1.1

– JAGUAR

15,333

7,531

103.6

0.4

0.2

SUZUKI

50,461

46,309

9

1.3

1.3

HONDA

49,836

38,903

28.1

1.3

1.1

MITSUBISHI

32,616

34,937

-6.6

0.8

1

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Exclude “others” and marques selling fewer than 10,000 cars

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

During the first three months of 2016, all the top car manufacturing groups with the exception of Nissan and Mitsubishi increased car sales in the European Union and EFTA compared to a year ago. However, all the top carmakers underperformed the broader market and thus lost market share in a strongly expanding market.

The Volkswagen Group easily remained Europe’s largest carmaker but sales increased by only 3.5% compared to 8.1% for the market as a whole. As a result, the VW Group lost a full percentage market share compared to a year ago – down to 23.4%. The main culprit was Europe’s largest car brand – Volkswagen sales were down by 0.5%, which reduced the marque’s share by 0.9% to 11.1% of the total EU and EFTA market. Audi and Skoda enjoyed strong sales but Seat and Porsche sales were down – the only other brands with weaker sales apart from Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The PSA Group similarly underperformed the broader market with all three brands – Peugeot, Citroen and DS – registering weak growth. The Renault Group performed better with Renault sales growing in line with the general market. Ford sales improved just below market average.

The Opel Group was the largest European carmaker to have added market share during the first quarter of 2016 with sales up 10.7%. The FCA Group improved even more with sales increasing by 16.3%. In terms of volume, the FCA Group added the largest number of cars with Fiat sales up nearly 30,000 cars. Even Lancia and Alfa Romeo grew during the first quarter of 2016.

The BMW and Daimler Groups also outperformed the broader market. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all improved sales by around 12%.

The Toyota Group increased sales by only half the market average, although Lexus increased sales by a fifth. However, with the Nissan Group having weaker sales, Toyota moved ahead of its competitor during the first quarter of 2016.

The Jaguar Land Rover Group was the most improved with sales up by 40% – largely due to Jaguar more than doubling sales from a year ago.

Ten Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

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The following were the ten top-selling car marques in the European Union and EFTA during the first three months of 2016 according to ACEA statistics:

Q1/2016

Q1/2015

% Change

1

VOLKSWAGEN

434,867

436,979

-0.5

2

FORD

286,961

266,372

7.7

3

OPEL/VAUXHALL

268,782

242,291

10.9

4

RENAULT

262,949

243,314

8.1

5

PEUGEOT

235,406

222,650

5.7

6

AUDI

215,243

192,326

11.9

7

BMW

205,696

182,868

12.5

8

MERCEDES

202,238

179,553

12.6

9

FIAT

200,324

171,299

16.9

10

SKODA

165,014

151,360

9

Ten Top-Selling Car Marques in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

Volkswagen remained Europe’s top-selling car brand during the first quarter of 2016 but it was the only of the top-ten brands to have had weaker sales. VW sales were down 0.5% for a loss of almost a percentage point in market share. However, VW remained well ahead of second placed Ford that had sales almost inline with the broader market.

Opel / Vauxhall outperformed the market and regained third place from Renault that increased sales at the market average. Peugeot sales increased but below market average.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes all increased sales by around 12% but Fiat was the most-improved top-ten brand with sales up by nearly 17%.

VW-owned Skoda entered the top-ten list by swapping places with Nissan, which is now 12th with Toyota still at eleventh.

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

The twenty most-popular car models in Europe during the first quarter of 2016 according to JATO were:

Q1/2016

Model

Q1/2016

% Change

1

VW Golf

130,367

-2

2

Ford Fiesta

84,150

-4

3

VW Polo

81,054

3

4

Renault Clio

77,762

-3

5

Opel / Vauxhall Corsa

74,049

-6

6

Peugeot 208

68,900

13

7

Nissan Qashqai

66,238

1

8

Opel / Vauxhall Astra

61,478

30

9

Ford Focus

60,348

-1

10

Skoda Octavia

58,609

7

11

Fiat Panda

56,824

22

12

Peugeot 308

55,318

13

13

Renault Captur

54,208

4

14

Audi A3

53,931

-1

15

VW Passat

53,651

4

16

Toyota Yaris

53,024

4

17

Fiat 500

52,885

5

18

Peugeot 2008

45,747

10

19

Opel / Vauxhall Mokka

44,125

3

20

Skoda Fabia

42,927

34

Ten Top-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

The VW Golf and Ford Fiesta remained the two most-popular car models in Europe during the first quarter of 2016. However, both models had weaker sales and lost market share in an expanding market.

The only top-five car to have increased unit sales was the Volkswagen Polo that swapped rank places with the Renault Clio. The Opel / Vauxhall Corsa maintained its fifth place despite weaker sales.

Peugeot 208 sales were much stronger allowing it to move up two places on the list. The Nissan Qashqai remained Europe’s favorite SUV but slipped one rank position despite stronger sales.

The Opel / Vauxhall Astra increased two rank position with sales up by nearly a third. The new Astra was a hit in especially Germany.

The Ford Focus slipped from seventh to ninth while the Skoda Octavia replaced the Audi A3 as the tenth most-popular car model in Europe during the first quarter of 2016.

See Also:

2016 (Q1) Europe: Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Country

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