2015 (Q3) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

Jeep at Geneva Auto Show 2015Volkswagen was Europe鈥檚 largest car manufacturer in the first three quarters of 2015 with VW the top-selling brand and the Golf Europe鈥檚 favorite model. Only four car brands sold fewer cars in Europe thus far this year compared to a year ago. Jeep and Smart were the fastest-growing car brands in Europe thus far in 2015.聽New passenger vehicle registration in the EU and EFTA countries increased by 8.8% to 10,776,666 cars sold during the first nine months of 2015.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2015 (Q3)

The top-selling carmakers and brand in the Europe Union and EFTA during the first nine months of 2015 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA were:

Manufacturers2015 (Q1-3)2014 (Q1-3)% Share 2015% Share 2014% Change
VW Group2,696,4472,509,7812525.37.4
– VOLKSWAGEN1,313,3101,218,32412.212.37.8
– AUDI590,719558,1585.55.65.8
– SKODA472,648443,8154.44.56.5
– SEAT263,307246,9052.42.56.6
– PORSCHE53,84940,2200.50.433.9
PSA Group1,121,8811,069,96210.410.84.9
– PEUGEOT642,212599,255667.2
– CITROEN422,591401,4433.94.15.3
– DS57,07869,2640.50.7-17.6
RENAULT Group1,009,047934,7839.49.47.9
– RENAULT720,197657,1326.76.69.6
– DACIA288,850277,6512.72.84
FORD Group784,252733,0957.37.47
OPEL Group729,829721,1736.87.31.2
– OPEL/VAUXHALL726,675683,6106.76.96.3
BMW Group696,355620,1676.56.312.3
– BMW554,822509,1485.15.19
– MINI141,533111,0191.31.127.5
FCA Group667,898588,5516.25.913.5
– FIAT503,101454,7814.74.610.6
– JEEP65,69525,3900.60.3158.7
– LANCIA/CHRYSLER48,32655,8730.40.6-13.5
– ALFA ROMEO43,49545,5640.40.5-4.5
DAIMLER Group626,233534,4335.85.417.2
– MERCEDES554,354492,8915.1512.5
– SMART71,87941,5420.70.473
TOYOTA Group458,560426,0234.34.37.6
– TOYOTA429,286404,51244.16.1
– LEXUS29,27421,5110.30.236.1
VOLVO CAR CORP.198,390183,2741.81.98.2
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group132,313111,7301.21.118.4
– LAND ROVER103,23989,19210.915.7
– JAGUAR29,07422,5380.30.229

Statistics exclude manufacturers selling fewer than 29,000 cars during the first nine months of 2015.

Top Carmakers in Europe in 2015 (Q3)

There were no changed in the relative rank positions of Europe鈥檚 largest car manufacturers during the first three quarters of 2015. With the European car market growing by 8.8%, only four car brands registered lower sales than a year ago.

The Volkswagen Group continued to be Europe鈥檚 top carmaker with a quarter of the total new car market during the first three quarters of 2015. With the notable exception of Porsche, which increased sales by over a third, all marques in the Volkswagen Group underperformed the broader market. The VW brand underperformed the broader market by 2% in September 2015 with the full effect of the emission scandal that broke only at the end of the month still to come.

The PSA Group underperformed the general market with its new DS brand the worst performing car marque in Europe thus far this year. DS sales were down 17.6%. The Renault Group narrowly underperformed the market with Renault sales stronger and Dacia weaker than market average.

The Ford and Open groups maintained their relative positions. The Opel/Vauxhall group is now without Chevrolet but sales were up but slightly below market average.

The BMW Group outperformed with BMW sales up 9% and Mini sales up a more impressive 27.5%

THE FCA Group also outperformed the market with Fiat sales up 10.6% and Jeep sales up 160% – by far the biggest increase by any manufacturer. The FCA Group also had half of the four brands selling fewer cars in 2015 than in 2014: Lancia sales were down 13.5% and Alfa Romero sales were down 4.5% – not particularly bad by recent standards.

Sales of the Daimler Group improved by nearly twice the European market average. Mercedes-Benz sales were up 12.5% while Smart sales ballooned by 73% – only Jeep grew faster.

Toyota sales were up by just less than the market average but Lexus sales increased by a third. Nissan was the fastest growing of the top-ten carmakers in Europe with sales up by a fifth. Only Mitsubishi did better with sales up by a third. Honda was the fourth brand with weaker sales in Europe thus far this year.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2015 (Q3)

The list of the top 20 best-selling car marques in Europe during the first three quarters of 2015 according to car sales data released by the ACEA were:

Car Brand2015 (Q1-3)2014 (Q1-3)% Share 2015% Share 2014% Change
18VOLVO CAR CORP.198,390183,2741.81.98.2

There were no changes in the relative rank positions of the top ten best-selling car brands in Europe during the first nine months of 2015. Volkswagen remained easily the top-selling car marque in Europe and extended its lead over Ford to over half a million cars.

Renault was the only of the top six brands to have outperformed the market and ended the third quarter of 2015 only 6,500 cars behind Opel.

Audi lost market share to both BMW and Mercedes while the strong performance by Mercedes-Benz had it only around 500 cars behind BMW.

A strong performance moved Nissan ahead of both Toyota and Citroen while Kia overtook Dacia. Mini moved into the top 20 at the expense of Suzuki.

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2015 (Q3)

The list of the top five best-selling car models in Europe during the first nine months of 2015 according to Jato:

Brand & ModelQ1-3/2015% Change
Volkswagen Golf408,9703.1
Ford Fiesta248,5561.9
Renault Clio231,3211.7
VW Polo230,78411.3
Opel / Vauxhall Corsa210,3748

There were no changes in the list of Europe’s favorite car models during the first three quarter of 2015 compared to the same months in 2014. However, with the exception of the VW Polo, the top models all underperformed the broader market.

The VW Golf remained Europe鈥檚 favorite car model and despite sales increasing only 3% (compared to 15% last year), the Golf pulled even further ahead of the direct competition selling over 400,000 cars and 160,000 more than the second placed Ford Fiesta. Fiesta and Renault Clio sales increased only modestly given the expansion of the European car market thus far this year but sufficiently to stay ahead of the Polo.

VW Polo sales increased by a strong 11% but the diesel emission scandal may hurt Polo (and Golf) sales in the final months of the year. The Opel / Vauxhall Corsa sales improved in line with the broader market – probably less than Opel was hoping after launching the model at the end of 2014. However, sales of the outgoing model were strong in the final months of 2014 due to incentives with sales up 20,000 cars over the 2013 figures – only the Polo did better.

See also: 2015 (Q3) Europe: Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Countries

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.