2017 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands

In the first quarter of 2017, the VW and PSA groups remained Europe’s largest carmakers with Volkswagen, Ford and Renault the top-selling brands.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio at Geneva 2017

The VW Group and PSA Group were again the largest car manufacturers in the European Union and EFTA countries during the first three months of 2017. Volkswagen was still the clear market leader despite loosing half a percentage market share. Second-placed Ford and third-placed Renault both gained market share. Only one of the top 20 best-selling car marques in Europe thus far in 2017 failed to increase sales volume.

New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries increased during the first quarter of 2017 by 8.2% to 4,256,202 cars – see 2017 (Q1) Sales per European Union Country for more details.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2017 (Q1)

The largest carmakers in the European Union and EFTA countries during the first three months of 2017 were as follows according to car sales statistics released by the ACEA:

Q1/2017Q1/2016MS2017MS2016% Change
EU + EFTA4,256,2023,932,911+100.0100.0+8.2
VW Group935,054884,71322.623.2+5.7
– VOLKSWAGEN432,771418,85210.511.0+3.3
– AUDI213,863207,4925.25.4+3.1
– SKODA169,415157,4034.14.1+7.6
– SEAT99,84084,3142.42.2+18.4
– PORSCHE17,81615,7540.40.4+13.1
PSA Group414,316399,02710.010.4+3.8
– PEUGEOT242,697231,1335.96.1+5.0
– CITROEN158,429148,1153.83.9+7.0
– DS13,19019,7790.30.5-33.3
RENAULT Group399,275359,5289.69.4+11.1
– RENAULT289,075259,1537.06.8+11.5
– DACIA109,06099,6752.62.6+9.4
FCA Group298,605261,5257.26.8+14.2
– FIAT227,132198,6385.55.2+14.3
– JEEP26,36425,8070.60.7+2.2
– LANCIA/CHRYSLER21,52519,8800.50.5+8.3
– ALFA ROMEO20,77015,7640.50.4+31.8
OPEL Group271,798265,6686.67.0+2.3
– OPEL/VAUXHALL271,798264,6716.66.9+2.7
BMW Group260,539244,5696.36.4+6.5
– BMW209,962197,3515.15.2+6.4
– MINI50,57747,2181.21.2+7.1
– MERCEDES217,465194,6065.35.1+11.7
– SMART24,90526,2850.60.7-5.3
TOYOTA Group197,250164,4104.84.3+20.0
– TOYOTA185,360153,3204.54.0+20.9
– LEXUS11,89011,0900.30.3+7.2
VOLVO CAR CORP.75,16466,4171.81.7+13.2
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group73,44664,0271.81.7+14.7
– LAND ROVER49,24948,9691.21.3+0.6
– JAGUAR24,19715,0580.60.4+60.7

Notes: MS = % market share. Figures exclude “others” and brands selling fewer than 10,000 cars during the period.

Top-Selling Carmakers in Europe in 2017 (Q1)

The Volkswagen Group easily remained Europe’s largest carmaker despite underperforming the broader market and loosing just over half a percentage point in market share. The Volkswagen brand alone lost half a percentage point market share but was still larger than the total PSA Group (with Opel still calculated separately). Audi and Skoda also underperformed but Seat sales were up by nearly a fifth and Porsche also sold well.

The PSA Group also underperformed with all three brands performing below market average. The DS brand was the worst performer of the top 32 brands listed by the ACEA.

Renault, in contrast, had strong sales with Renault brand adding 30,000 cars during the first quarter of 2017. Ford and the FCA Group also had double-digit increases.

The Opel Group underperformed the market and slipped behind the FCA Group. Opel should help to increase PSA sales in future, although none of the brands performed strongly in Europe in recent months.

The BMW Group slightly underperformed the market but sales increase sufficiently to stay ahead of the Daimler group where Mercedes-Benz had very strong sales.

Toyota sales were up by a fifth while Nissan sales also increased by double digits. Suzuki sales were up by nearly a third while Mazda, Honda and Mitsubishi were the only three car manufacturing groups with weaker sales in Europe during the first quarter of 2017. Only two further brands – DS and Smart – had weaker sales.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2017 (Q1)

The top 20 best-selling car marques in Europe during the first quarter of 2017 according to the ACEA were:

Q1/2017Q1/2016MS2017MS2016% Changs
1– VOLKSWAGEN432,771418,85210.511.0+3.3
2– FORD308,452280,2827.47.3+10.1
3– RENAULT289,075259,1537.06.8+11.5
4– OPEL/VAUXHALL271,798264,6716.66.9+2.7
5– PEUGEOT242,697231,1335.96.1+5.0
6– FIAT227,132198,6385.55.2+14.3
7– MERCEDES217,465194,6065.35.1+11.7
8– AUDI213,863207,4925.25.4+3.1
9– BMW209,962197,3515.15.2+6.4
10– TOYOTA185,360153,3204.54.0+20.9
12– SKODA169,415157,4034.14.1+7.6
13– CITROEN158,429148,1153.83.9+7.0
14– HYUNDAI131,796123,3053.23.2+6.9
15– KIA122,891108,4353.02.8+13.3
16– DACIA109,06099,6752.62.6+9.4
17– SEAT99,84084,3142.42.2+18.4
18– VOLVO75,16466,4171.81.7+13.2
19– SUZUKI63,13548,1491.51.3+31.1
20– MAZDA61,99764,5511.51.7-4.0

Although Volkswagen remained by far the strongest car brand in Europe in the first quarter of 2017, Ford somewhat narrowed the gap with strong sales.

Renault performed strongly to take third place from Opel that underperformed the market. Peugeot increased sales by 5% to maintain fifth place.

Fiat increased sales by 14% to move up one position at the expense of Audi.

Mercedes-Benz had similar gains to move ahead of both Audi and BMW.

Toyota sales were up 20% to re-enter the top ten at the expense of Skoda that slipped to 12th.

The best-performing brands were Jaguar (+61%), Alfa Romeo (+32%) and Suzuki (+31%) – all three helped by the popularity of SUVs.

Only five brands had weaker sales: DS (-33%), Honda (-11%), Smart (-5%), Mazda (-4%) and Mitsubishi (-3%).

See also 2017 (Q1) Sales per European Union 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.