2016 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

BMW Geneva 2016Volkswagen remained Europe’s largest carmaker and best-selling brand despite loosing market share in a expanding market at the start of 2016. The European new car market grew by 8.1% to just below 4 million cars during the first three months of 2016. Almost all car manufacturers and marques increased sales but market leader Volkswagen had weaker sales. Ford remained Europe’s second strongest car brand while Opel / Vauxhall recovered third place from Renault. Jaguar was the most-improved brand with sales more than doubling from a year ago. The VW Golf remained Europe’s favorite car model.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

New passenger vehicle registration figures released by the ACEA showed the following car manufacturers and marques as the best-sellers in the European Union (EU) and EFTA during the first quarter of 2016:

Q1/2016 Q1/2015 % Change % Share Q1/2016 % Share Q1/2015
Total EU + EFTA 3,913,903 3,638,574 8.1  100  100
VW Group 919,413 887,958 3.5 23.4 24.4
– VOLKSWAGEN 434,867 436,979 -0.5 11.1 12
– AUDI 215,243 192,326 11.9 5.5 5.3
– SKODA 165,014 151,360 9 4.2 4.2
– SEAT 86,378 89,453 -3.4 2.2 2.5
– PORSCHE 16,938 16,982 -0.3 0.4 0.5
PSA Group 405,991 386,416 5.1 10.3 10.6
– PEUGEOT 235,406 222,650 5.7 6 6.1
– CITROEN 150,364 143,631 4.7 3.8 3.9
– DS 20,221 20,135 0.4 0.5 0.6
RENAULT Group 364,032 340,083 7 9.3 9.3
– RENAULT 262,949 243,314 8.1 6.7 6.7
– DACIA 101,083 96,769 4.5 2.6 2.7
FORD Group 286,961 266,372 7.7 7.3 7.3
OPEL Group 269,317 243,316 10.7 6.8 6.7
– OPEL/VAUXHALL 268,782 242,291 10.9 6.8 6.7
FCA Group 264,262 227,212 16.3 6.7 6.2
– FIAT 200,324 171,299 16.9 5.1 4.7
– JEEP 26,406 21,562 22.5 0.7 0.6
– LANCIA 19,907 17,785 11.9 0.5 0.5
– ALFA ROMEO 15,993 14,983 6.7 0.4 0.4
BMW Group 254,041 227,327 11.8 6.5 6.2
– BMW 205,696 182,868 12.5 5.2 5
– MINI 48,345 44,459 8.7 1.2 1.2
DAIMLER Group 229,380 202,972 13 5.8 5.6
– MERCEDES 202,238 179,553 12.6 5.1 4.9
– SMART 27,142 23,419 15.9 0.7 0.6
TOYOTA Group 173,269 166,213 4.2 4.4 4.6
– TOYOTA 161,183 156,210 3.2 4.1 4.3
– LEXUS 12,086 10,003 20.8 0.3 0.3
NISSAN Group 160,801 164,893 -2.5 4.1 4.5
HYUNDAI 126,519 119,902 5.5 3.2 3.3
KIA 110,600 96,092 15.1 2.8 2.6
VOLVO 70,758 63,087 12.2 1.8 1.7
MAZDA 68,787 53,511 28.5 1.7 1.5
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 65,727 46,957 40 1.7 1.3
– LAND ROVER 50,394 39,426 27.8 1.3 1.1
– JAGUAR 15,333 7,531 103.6 0.4 0.2
SUZUKI 50,461 46,309 9 1.3 1.3
HONDA 49,836 38,903 28.1 1.3 1.1
MITSUBISHI 32,616 34,937 -6.6 0.8 1

Exclude “others” and marques selling fewer than 10,000 cars

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

During the first three months of 2016, all the top car manufacturing groups with the exception of Nissan and Mitsubishi increased car sales in the European Union and EFTA compared to a year ago. However, all the top carmakers underperformed the broader market and thus lost market share in a strongly expanding market.

The Volkswagen Group easily remained Europe’s largest carmaker but sales increased by only 3.5% compared to 8.1% for the market as a whole. As a result, the VW Group lost a full percentage market share compared to a year ago – down to 23.4%. The main culprit was Europe’s largest car brand – Volkswagen sales were down by 0.5%, which reduced the marque’s share by 0.9% to 11.1% of the total EU and EFTA market. Audi and Skoda enjoyed strong sales but Seat and Porsche sales were down – the only other brands with weaker sales apart from Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The PSA Group similarly underperformed the broader market with all three brands – Peugeot, Citroen and DS – registering weak growth. The Renault Group performed better with Renault sales growing in line with the general market. Ford sales improved just below market average.

The Opel Group was the largest European carmaker to have added market share during the first quarter of 2016 with sales up 10.7%. The FCA Group improved even more with sales increasing by 16.3%. In terms of volume, the FCA Group added the largest number of cars with Fiat sales up nearly 30,000 cars. Even Lancia and Alfa Romeo grew during the first quarter of 2016.

The BMW and Daimler Groups also outperformed the broader market. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all improved sales by around 12%.

The Toyota Group increased sales by only half the market average, although Lexus increased sales by a fifth. However, with the Nissan Group having weaker sales, Toyota moved ahead of its competitor during the first quarter of 2016.

The Jaguar Land Rover Group was the most improved with sales up by 40% – largely due to Jaguar more than doubling sales from a year ago.

Ten Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

The following were the ten top-selling car marques in the European Union and EFTA during the first three months of 2016 according to ACEA statistics:

Q1/2016 Q1/2015 % Change
1 VOLKSWAGEN 434,867 436,979 -0.5
2 FORD 286,961 266,372 7.7
3 OPEL/VAUXHALL 268,782 242,291 10.9
4 RENAULT 262,949 243,314 8.1
5 PEUGEOT 235,406 222,650 5.7
6 AUDI 215,243 192,326 11.9
7 BMW 205,696 182,868 12.5
8 MERCEDES 202,238 179,553 12.6
9 FIAT 200,324 171,299 16.9
10 SKODA 165,014 151,360 9

Ten Top-Selling Car Marques in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

Volkswagen remained Europe’s top-selling car brand during the first quarter of 2016 but it was the only of the top-ten brands to have had weaker sales. VW sales were down 0.5% for a loss of almost a percentage point in market share. However, VW remained well ahead of second placed Ford that had sales almost inline with the broader market.

Opel / Vauxhall outperformed the market and regained third place from Renault that increased sales at the market average. Peugeot sales increased but below market average.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes all increased sales by around 12% but Fiat was the most-improved top-ten brand with sales up by nearly 17%.

VW-owned Skoda entered the top-ten list by swapping places with Nissan, which is now 12th with Toyota still at eleventh.

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

The twenty most-popular car models in Europe during the first quarter of 2016 according to JATO were:

Q1/2016 Model Q1/2016 % Change
1 VW Golf 130,367 -2
2 Ford Fiesta 84,150 -4
3 VW Polo 81,054 3
4 Renault Clio 77,762 -3
5 Opel / Vauxhall Corsa 74,049 -6
6 Peugeot 208 68,900 13
7 Nissan Qashqai 66,238 1
8 Opel / Vauxhall Astra 61,478 30
9 Ford Focus 60,348 -1
10 Skoda Octavia 58,609 7
11 Fiat Panda 56,824 22
12 Peugeot 308 55,318 13
13 Renault Captur 54,208 4
14 Audi A3 53,931 -1
15 VW Passat 53,651 4
16 Toyota Yaris 53,024 4
17 Fiat 500 52,885 5
18 Peugeot 2008 45,747 10
19 Opel / Vauxhall Mokka 44,125 3
20 Skoda Fabia 42,927 34

Ten Top-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2016 (Q1)

The VW Golf and Ford Fiesta remained the two most-popular car models in Europe during the first quarter of 2016. However, both models had weaker sales and lost market share in an expanding market.

The only top-five car to have increased unit sales was the Volkswagen Polo that swapped rank places with the Renault Clio. The Opel / Vauxhall Corsa maintained its fifth place despite weaker sales.

Peugeot 208 sales were much stronger allowing it to move up two places on the list. The Nissan Qashqai remained Europe’s favorite SUV but slipped one rank position despite stronger sales.

The Opel / Vauxhall Astra increased two rank position with sales up by nearly a third. The new Astra was a hit in especially Germany.

The Ford Focus slipped from seventh to ninth while the Skoda Octavia replaced the Audi A3 as the tenth most-popular car model in Europe during the first quarter of 2016.

See Also:

2016 (Q1) Europe: Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Country