In 2012, Volkswagen remained Europe’s strongest carmaker and best-selling car brand. VW was followed by PSA as second strongest car manufacturer while Ford was the second best-selling car brand. The VW Golf was again Europe’s favorite car in 2012.
In 2012, the Volkswagen Group remains Europe’s strongest selling car manufacturing group with a market share of 25%. Despite much weaker sales, PSA was again the second strongest group followed by Renault. Volkswagen remains Europe’s strongest car brand or marque. VW was followed by Ford and Opel / Vauxhall. The only major brands to increase the number of cars sold in 2012 in Europe were Audi and the South Korean duo Kia and Hyundai. The VW Golf remains Europe’s favorite car model in 2012.
The European New Passenger Vehicle Market in 2012
Car sales in the European Union and EFTA contracted by 7.8% to 12,527,912 new passenger vehicle registrations in 2012 – over a million cars less than a year ago.
Germany remains the largest car market in Europe while Britain is now the second largest. The UK was the only major market to have shown an increase in car sales in 2012. Sales in France, Italy, and Spain were sharply down.
See: 2012 European Car Sales per Country for full car sales data.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2012
The best-selling carmakers in Europe (EU + EFTA, but excluding Malta) in 2012 according to new passenger vehicle registrations figures released by the ACEA were:
|2012||2011||% Chg||% 2012||%2011|
|VOLVO CAR CORP.||232,186||256,367||-9.4||1.9||1.9|
|JAGUAR LAND ROVER||124,383||97,975||+27.0||1.0||0.7|
The Top Ten Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2012
The Volkswagen Group easily remained Europe’s strongest car manufacturing conglomerate. Although the VW Groups sales were down 1.1%, it still outperformed the overall car market to increase market share to just less of a quarter of the European car market.
The rather stellar performance of “Other” in the VW Group is due to Porsche figures being added since August 2012. Porsche, which sold around 50,000 cars in Europe in 2012, will presumably be listed separately in future.
The PSA Group, Renault, GM, and Ford all maintained their relative positions despite double-digit losses. The BMW Group overtook Fiat, which had another weak year. The only other position change in 2012 was Mitsubishi slipping behind Jaguar Land Rover, which performed the best of all car-manufacturing groups in Europe in 2012.
The only other car manufacturers to have shown unit growth in Europe were the South Korean duo Hyundai and Kia. Combined – although Hyundai owns just less of half of Kia – Hyundai-Kia is stronger than Daimler and just behind Fiat and BMW.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2012
The best-selling car brands or marques in Europe in 2012 according to new passenger vehicle registrations figures released by the ACEA were:
|2012||2011||2012||2011||% Chg||% 2012||% 2011|
Changes in the Top 20 Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe 2012
Volkswagen easily maintained its lead as Europe’s top car brand in 2012 by gaining even further market share despite weaker sales. German luxury carmakers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all gained market share and higher relative positions by strongly outperforming the overall market. All three overtook Fiat in sales in Europe. Audi was the only top ten best-selling car brand to have increase volume in Europe in 2012.
The rest of the top ten carmakers in Europe in 2012 all suffered from double-digit losses. Renault and Citroen both slipped one rank position while Fiat slipped from seventh to tenth.
Lower down the list, Kia overtook Seat, while both Chevrolet and Mini moved up a place at the expense of Suzuki, which dropped off the list of top twenty best-selling car brands in Europe in 2012.
Top-Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2012
According to JATO, the top-ten best-selling cars in Europe in 2012 were:
|2012||2011||Brand and Model||2012||2011||% Change|
|4||4||Opel / Vauxhall Corsa||265,297||316,254||-16.1|
|7||6||Opel / Vauxhall Astra||232,645||291,218||-20.1|
In 2012, the Volkswagen Golf was Europe’s favorite car for the fourth consecutive year. All of the cars in the top-ten list, except new entrant Nissan Qashqai, saw a double-digit decline in sales numbers. The Ford Fiesta overtook the aging VW Polo for second place.
The Peugeot 207, which was replaced by the 208 early in 2012, dropped off the list. However, Peugeot can take heart that the 208 was only outsold by the Golf in December 2012 with the new Renault Clio third in the final month of 2012.
Apart from Hyundai and Kia, German luxury car producers performed best in the European car market in 2012. Although sales were flat in Europe, Germany’s five top carmakers had record sales worldwide in 2012.