2014 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands

Volkswagen, PSA and Renault were the strongest car manufacturers in Europe during the first quarter of 2014 with VW, Ford and Opel / Vauxhall the top-selling brands. The Golf remained Europe鈥檚 favorite car model.

Bentley Continental GT Speed at Geneva Auto Show 2014

2014 started of well for most European car manufacturers with car sales in the European Union and EFTA countries up 8.1% during the first three months of the year. The Volkswagen Group easily remained the strongest car-manufacturing conglomerate in Europe followed by the resurging French PSA and Renault Groups. Despite underperforming the broader European market, Volkswagen remained the top-selling marque in the EU followed by Ford and Opel / Vauxhall. The Golf and Ford Fiesta remained Europe鈥檚 favorite car models.

The European car market (EU and EFTA) expanded by 8.1% to 3,353,180 new passenger vehicle registrations during the first three months of 2014.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2014 (Q1)

The top-selling car manufacturers and marques during the first quarter of 2014 according to car sales statistics released by the聽ACEA聽were:

Q1/2014Q1/2013% Change% Share Q1/2014Share Q1/2013
ALL BRANDS3’353’1803’101’196+8.1
VW Group813’252752’141+8.124.324.3
PSA Group371’163345’205+7.511.111.1
RENAULT Group307’608258’508+
GM Group253’350242’222+
GM (US)118103+
FIAT Group203’824198’297+
ALFA ROMEO16’10817’581-
BMW Group203’594195’410+
TOYOTA Group149’112135’939+
VOLVO CAR CORP.59’40754’605+
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group42’58343’441-
LAND ROVER33’71234’842-

Source: ACEA. Data excludes Malta.

Top-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2014 (Q1)

There were only minor changes in the order of the best-selling car manufacturers in Europe during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first three months of 2013. The order of the top-ten marques remains unaltered from a year ago.

The Volkswagen Group performed in line with the market while top-selling brand Volkswagen underperformed but easily remained the most popular car marque in the European Union. Seat and Skoda both achieved double-digit growth.

The PSA Group narrowly underperformed the broader market but Peugeot did well and a restructuring of the company may see financial, if not necessarily sales, figures improve.

The Renault Group, which had been struggling in recent months, seems to have turned the corner with both Renault and budget-brand Dacia showing strong growth. The Renault Group gained nearly a percentage market share.

GM saw only modest sales growth mostly due to the weak performance of Chevrolet, which is withdrawing from the European market. Opel, in contrast, achieved above market average growth helped especially by the popularity of Vauxhall in the United Kingdom. However, worryingly for Opel / Vauxhall is the weak performance of the Astra, which is only due for a replacement in two years.

After years of loses, often double-digit declines, Ford finally had a strong first quarter with sales up by 12%. Despite its recent woes, Ford has remained the second strongest car brand in Europe. Ford cars are particularly popular in Britain, Europe鈥檚 second largest and strongest growing large car market.

Fiat, BMW and Daimler all achieved growth but underperformed the larger market. Model changes currently underway are hitting Mini sales while Smart is likely to continue to decline until the new model is launched later in the year.

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2014 (Q1)

The top five most popular car models in Europe during the first three months of 2014 according to JATO were:

Make & Model聽Q1/2014聽Q1/2013聽% Change
1Volkswagen Golf聽129’599聽112’423聽15.3
2Ford Fiesta聽85’639聽77’763聽10.1
3Renault Clio聽74’473聽75’349聽-1.2
4Volkswagen Polo聽73’576聽68’887聽6.8
5Opel / Vauxhall Corsa聽64’591聽63’554聽1.6

The Volkswagen Golf easily remained the most popular car model in Europe during the first quarter of 2014. Sales of the evergreen Golf increased by a further 15% compared to a year ago.

The Ford Fiesta was again the second best-selling car model in Europe, helped especially by its popularity in the UK, Europe鈥檚 fastest growing big market.

Sales of the Renault Clio slipped but the most popular car in France maintained its third place. The VW Polo, which just had a minor model update, increased sales.

The Vauxhall Corsa, which had a good run in Britain, achieved minor growth but sufficient to take fifth place from the Peugeot 208, which slipped to sixth place with sales down by 7%. The Corsa is due for a model change in a year鈥檚 time. The Opel Astra slipped out of the top 10.

See Also:

2014 (Q1) Europe: Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.