2015 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

Yellow Lamborghini Aventador at Geneva Auto Show 2015 The European car market (EU and EFTA) expanded by 8.5% during the first three months of 2015 – including the strongest March in five years – to 3,637,635 new passenger vehicle registrations. All major brands increased sales compared to a year ago with only very minor changes in the rank order of best-selling manufacturing groups and individual auto marques. The VW Golf was again Europe’s favorite car model.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2015 (Q1)

The top-selling car manufacturing groups in Europe (EU + EFTA) during the first quarter of 2015 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA were:

Q1/2015Q1/2014% ChangeShare (1)
EU + EFTA3,637,6353,353,5538.5
VW Group887,453811,1639.424.4
– VOLKSWAGEN436,398393,62610.912
– AUDI192,269184,87045.3
– SKODA151,488143,1675.84.2
– SEAT89,58877,36215.82.5
– PORSCHE16,94811,30449.90.5
– OTHERS (2)762834-8.60
PSA Group385,569372,7003.510.6
– PEUGEOT221,991208,5696.46.1
– CITROEN143,461140,0182.53.9
– DS20,11724,113-16.60.6
RENAULT Group339,901308,44710.29.3
– RENAULT243,167216,38412.46.7
– DACIA96,73492,0635.12.7
OPEL Group243,525252,557-3.66.7
– OPEL/VAUXHALL242,559226,0747.36.7
– CHEVROLET80926,370-96.90
– Other GM15711338.90
FCA Group227,639204,01111.66.3
– FIAT171,129158,0178.34.7
– LANCIA/CHRYSLER17,80020,311-12.40.5
– ALFA ROMEO14,96016,118-7.20.4
– JEEP21,5117,404190.50.6
– OTHERS (3)2,2392,1613.60.1
BMW Group227,157203,58611.66.2
– BMW182,704170,5877.15
– MINI44,45332,99934.71.2
DAIMLER Group202,972173,77016.85.6
– MERCEDES179,553157,76813.84.9
– SMART23,41916,00246.40.6
TOYOTA Group165,734150,49210.14.6
– TOYOTA155,785143,1718.84.3
– LEXUS9,9497,32135.90.3
VOLVO CAR CORP.63,56358,0299.51.7
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group46,95742,58310.31.3
– LAND ROVER39,42633,712171.1
– JAGUAR7,5318,871-15.10.2
OTHERS -JAPANESE (4)9,1729,245-0.80.3

  1. ACEA estimation based on total by market
  2. Includes Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti
  3. Includes Dodge, Ferrari and Maserat
  4. Includes Subaru and Daihatsu

Top-Selling European Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2015 (Q1)

The strong growth in the European new car market during the first three months of 2015 allowed almost all automobile-manufacturing groups to increase sales. There were only very minor changes in the rank order compared to the first quarter of 2014.

The Volkswagen Group outperformed the broader market and thus increased market share by 0.2% to edge ever closer to a quarter of the European new passenger car market. Both VW and Seat outperformed the market but Audi and Skoda sales increased slower than the general market. The star performer was Porsche, which saw sales increased by 49%, largely due to the new smaller Macan SUV winning new customers to the brand.

The PSA Group underperformed and lost half a percentage point market share. Both Peugeot and Citroen sales were below market average while the DS marque lost sales and seems to struggle in establishing itself as an independent brand.

The Renault Group in contrast enjoyed stronger sales with the Renault brand recovering after several unconvincing years. The Dacia brand’s performance was weaker – in part from a lack of new models.

Ford increased sales by just less than the market average but still overtook the Opel / GM Group. Opel / Vauxhall sales increased in line with Ford but Chevrolet’s withdrawal from the European market dragged the whole group down.

The FCA Group had a strong performance with Fiat increasing sales inline with the market while Jeep sales almost doubled. Lancia and Alfa Romeo continued to decline toward insignificance as mass-market brands.

The BMW Group improved inline with FCA leaving the gap of around 500 cars virtually unchanged from a year ago. BMW sales were below market average but Mini sales surged by more than a third. Mini launched a new model around a year ago that meant weak sales during the first quarter of 2014.

The Daimler Group was the most improved of the top manufacturers. The Mercedes-Benz marque was the best performer of the top ten brands while Smart sales were up by near 50% due to the launch of a new model at the end of 2014.

The Toyota Group also outperformed the market with Lexus gains particularly strong.

Nissan was the second most-improved manufacturing group – only Mitsubishi grew faster – and narrowly missed out on overtaking Toyota.

Ten Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2015 (Q1)

In the fast-growing European car market during the first quarter of 2015 only Suzuki and Honda had weaker sales among the top 25 brands. However, different performances allowed for five changes in the top-ten best-selling car brands in Europe.

Volkswagen easily remained the strongest car marque in Europe and increase market share. Ford also remained the second largest car brand in Europe despite underperforming the market.

Renault’s strong improvement allowed the French carmaker to claim third place from Opel / Vauxhall, which grew just below market average.

Peugeot, Audi and BMW all maintained their relative positions despite underperforming the market. Mercedes-Benz sales increase strongly allowing the German brand to claim 8th place from Fiat and to edge closer to BMW.

Nissan was the most improved of the top brands – only Volkswagen added more new cars to the market compared with a year ago. Nissan improved from 13th place a year ago to 10th. Toyota slipped out of the top ten to 11th.

The most-improved brands in Europe during the first quarter of 2015 were Jeep, Mitsubishi and Porsche.

The only brands selling fewer cars in Europe during the first three months of 2015 compared to a year ago were Chevrolet, DS, Jaguar, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Honda and Suzuki.

The Volkswagen Golf easily maintained its traditional position as Europe’s favorite car model during the first quarter of 2015.

See Also: 2015 (Q1) Car Sales per European Union & 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.