In a weak car market, Volkswagen remains the best-selling car manufacturer and brand in Western Europe during the first six months of 2012.
During the first half of 2012, the Volkswagen Group and VW brand increase their market share as the best selling car manufacturing group and marque in Western Europe. Volkswagen was followed by the weakening French manufacturers PSA and Renault. Of the top manufacturers, only Daimler, Hyundai, and Kia could increase its sales while many carmakers saw double-digit declines. Ford remains the second strongest car brand after VW.
The West European car market (EU plus EFTA) saw a total of 6,896,348 new passenger vehicle registrations during the first semester of 2012, a decline of 6.3% from the first six months of 2011.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands in Europe in 2012 (First Half)
The top-selling car manufacturers and brands in Europe during the first half of 2012 were:
|January to June|
|VOLVO CAR CORP.||1.8||1.9||126,826||137,853||-8.0|
|JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group||1.0||0.7||66,829||48,985||+36.4|
Best-Selling Car Manufacturing Groups in Europe in 2012 (First Half)
Despite slightly weaker unit sales, the Volkswagen Group outperformed the general market to increase its share of the West European car market to just over 24%. Audi sold well while only Seat – the Spanish wing of the VW Group – underperformed the market.
All other major manufacturers maintained their relative positions but weak sales saw them losing market share to VW, premium brands, and Asian competitors. French car manufacturers PSA and Renault Group lost a percentage market share each. Sales of cars of GM and Ford in Western Europe were around 10% lower during the first half of 2012. Fiat similarly underperformed.
BMW sales were slightly down but the Bavarian car manufacturer gained 0.4% market share. Daimler had similar gains and was the only top-ten car manufacturer in Europe to have increased car sales during the first half of 2012.
Toyota and Nissan outperformed the general market while other Japanese brands still mostly struggled. South Korean manufacturers Hyundai (+12.2%) and Kia (+25.1%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+36.4%) were the only carmakers apart from Daimler to have increased car sales in Europe during the first half of 2012.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Western Europe in 2012 (First Half)
The car brands represented in the list of top-ten best selling car makes in Europe for the first half of 2012 remained the same as in 2011 but there were some small changes in the order. In general, German premium makes outperformed the market and increased market share at the expense of cheaper mainstream brands.
Volkswagen easily maintained its traditional position as the best-selling car brand in Western Europe and increased market share despite slightly weaker sales. Ford remains Europe’s second strongest car brand. Ford underperformed the market but less so than most of its competitors.
Opel / Vauxhall’s weak performance was less disastrous than the collapse in car sales of French competitor Renault. Renault thus slipped from third to fourth allowing GM’s main European brand to move back to the third best-selling car brand in Europe for the first semester of 2012.
Despite weak sales, Peugeot and Citroen maintained their relative positions. Fiat slipped two positions to allow both Audi and BMW to improve one place each. Mercedes-Benz again was the tenth strongest car brand in Europe for the first half of 2012.
So-called premium and luxury car brands including Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, generally did well during the first half of 2012 in many European markets including Germany, the UK, and France despite a weak overall market.