2018 (Half Year) Europe: Best-Selling Carmakers, Brands and Models

During the first half of 2018, the Volkswagen Group was the biggest car manufacturer in Europe, VW the best-selling brand and the Golf the top-selling model.

VW e-Golf Geneva 2018

During the first semester of 2018, the Volkswagen Group strengthened its position as Europe’s largest carmaker by again approaching a quarter share of the total new car market. The PSA Group, aided by Opel, moved ahead of the Renault Group. Volkswagen, Renault and Ford were again the three best-selling car brands in Europe during the first half of 2018. The VW Golf remained Europe’s favorite car model followed by the Renault Clio, VW Polo and Ford Fiesta.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturing Groups in Europe in 2018 (Half Year)

The top-selling carmakers and brands in the European Union and EFTA Countries during the first half of 2018 according to the ACEA were:

HY2018 HY2017 % Change % Share 2018
VW Group 2,064,338 1,912,304 +8.0 24.4
– VOLKSWAGEN 965,471 882,380 +9.4 11.4
– AUDI 421,179 427,837 -1.6 5.0
– SKODA 387,100 355,048 +9.0 4.6
– SEAT 246,656 206,499 +19.4 2.9
– PORSCHE 41,581 38,054 +9.3 0.5
– OTHERS 2,351 2,486 -5.4 0.0
PSA Group 1,378,246 834,573 +65.1 16.3
– PEUGEOT 535,478 491,584 +8.9 6.3
– OPEL/VAUXHALL4 486,822 5.8
– CITROEN 329,775 318,333 +3.6 3.9
– DS 26,171 24,656 +6.1 0.3
RENAULT Group 906,925 863,855 +5.0 10.7
– RENAULT 621,357 618,469 +0.47 7.4
– DACIA 282,233 242,890 +16.2 3.3
– LADA 2,766 2,496 +10.8 0.0
– ALPINE 569 0 0.0
FCA Group 586,723 599,751 -2.2 6.9
– FIAT 418,950 460,352 -9.0 5.0
– JEEP 87,792 52,232 +68.1 1.0
– ALFA ROMEO 48,079 44,481 +8.1 0.6
– LANCIA/CHRYSLER 27,244 37,503 -27.4 0.3
– OTHERS 4,658 5,183 -10.1 0.1
FORD 540,010 562,878 -4.1 6.4
BMW Group 520,594 522,123 -0.3 6.2
– BMW 410,295 414,950 -1.1 4.9
– MINI 110,299 107,173 +2.9 1.3
DAIMLER 489,703 498,395 -1.7 5.8
– MERCEDES 438,670 447,143 -1.9 5.2
– SMART 51,033 51,252 -0.4 0.6
TOYOTA Group 400,536 375,589 +6.6 4.7
– TOYOTA 376,198 353,521 +6.4 4.5
– LEXUS 24,338 22,068 +10.3 0.3
HYUNDAI 283,879 263,271 +7.8 3.4
NISSAN 276,224 308,614 -10.5 3.3
KIA 258,933 245,841 +5.3 3.1
VOLVO CAR CORP. 160,959 150,741 +6.8 1.9
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 109,910 120,842 -9.0 1.3
– LAND ROVER 69,434 81,494 -14.8 0.8
– JAGUAR 40,476 39,348 +2.9 0.5
HONDA 75,861 73,802 +2.8 0.9
GM 1,450 519,640 -99.7 0.0
Source: ACEA

Europe’s Top-Selling Carmakers in 2018 (First Semester)

The Volkswagen Group remained Europe’s largest carmaker during the first half of 2018 and once again approached a full quarter of the new car market. The VW Group was particularly helped by a strong recovery in sales of Volkswagen branded cars that added more than 80,000 units. Skoda and Seat also performed well while high-profit-margin Audi had weaker sales.

The PSA Group, aided by the addition of Opel sales, moved ahead of the Renault Group. Although Opel sales were down, Peugeot performed strongly and both Citroen and DS expanded sales. Renault brand sales were flat while Dacia sales were stronger.

Sales of the FCA Group were down with Fiat struggling with overreliance on the aging 500 model. Jeep sales were up by two thirds.

Ford sales were weaker and somewhat hindered by the replacement of the popular Fiesta model during the year. Sales of the aging Focus were also weaker with the model due for replacement later this year.

BMW Group sales were flat with BMW branded sales down and Mini sales slightly higher. The Daimler Group similarly had a weak performance with both Mercedes-Benz and Smart sales slightly weaker.

The Toyota Group saw stronger sales for both Toyota and Lexus brands while competitor Nissan was the worst performing manufacturer in Europe and slipped behind Hyundai for the first time. Kia and Volvo both had stronger sales .

Jaguar Land Rover had weaker sales in part due to the weak British market but also due to a reliance on diesel engines that are currently very much out of favor on the European new car market.

GM sales are basically down to a few Corvettes and other imports – Opel sales are part of the PSA Group since August 2017.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2018 (Half Year)

The following were the top-selling car brands in Europe during the first half of 2018 according to the ACEA:

HY2018 HY2017 % Change
1 VOLKSWAGEN 965,471 882,380 +9.4
2 RENAULT 621,357 618,469 +0.47
3 FORD 540,010 562,878 -4.1
4 PEUGEOT 535,478 491,584 +8.9
5 OPEL/VAUXHALL4 486,822 527,787 -7.8
6 MERCEDES 438,670 447,143 -1.9
7 AUDI 421,179 427,837 -1.6
8 FIAT 418,950 460,352 -9.0
9 BMW 410,295 414,950 -1.1
10 SKODA 387,100 355,048 +9.0
11 TOYOTA 376,198 353,521 +6.4
12 CITROEN 329,775 318,333 +3.6
13 HYUNDAI 283,879 263,271 +7.8
14 DACIA 282,233 242,890 +16.2
15 NISSAN 276,224 308,614 -10.5
16 KIA 258,933 245,841 +5.3
17 SEAT 246,656 206,499 +19.4
18 VOLVO 160,959 150,741 +6.8
19 MINI 110,299 107,173 +2.9
20 JEEP 87,792 52,232 +68.1
21 HONDA 75,861 73,802 +2.8
22 LAND ROVER 69,434 81,494 -14.8
23 SMART 51,033 51,252 -0.4
24 ALFA ROMEO 48,079 44,481 +8.1
25 PORSCHE 41,581 38,054 +9.3
26 JAGUAR 40,476 39,348 +2.9
27 LANCIA/CHRYSLER 27,244 37,503 -27.4
28 DS 26,171 24,656 +6.1
29 LEXUS 24,338 22,068 +10.3
30 LADA 2,766 2,496 +10.8
31 ALPINE 569 0

Top-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2018 (First Semester)

Volkswagen was again the top-selling car brand in Europe during the first six months of 2018. VW was helped by its enormous range of cars and having a model available for almost every niche. According to JATO, Volkswagen is now the largest manufacturer of SUVs and crossover models in Europe with further model launches in this sector due later this year.

Renault maintained second place despite flat sales and Ford third despite weaker sales. Ford is hampered by a lack of suitable SUVs and a decline in the popularity of its MPVs.

Peugeot moved ahead of Opel with stronger sales. Like VW, Peugeot is well positioned to cover a change in buyer tastes with a large range including several SUV models. Opel sales were down by 8%.

Despite weaker sales, Mercedes-Benz and Audi moved ahead of Fiat. Fiat is struggling with a too small range. Although the aging 500 remained popular, Fiat has few other models of interest to the car buying public.

BMW had sales slightly weaker while Skoda sales increased by 9%.

The top-performing brands in Europe during the first half of 2018 were Jeep (+68%), Seat (+19%) and Dacia (+16%).

The worst performing brands (excluding GM) in Europe during the first half of 2018 were Lancia (-27%), Land Rover (-15%) and Nissan (-11%).

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2018 (First Half)

According to JATO the following were the top 25 best-selling car models in Europe in 2018 (first six months):

Model HY2018 % Change 17/18
1 VW Golf 257,550 8
2 Renault Clio 185,234 1
3 VW Polo 163,924 -4
4 Ford Fiesta 157,286 1
5 Nissan Qashqai 134,547 -1
6 Peugeot 208 132,764 1
7 VW Tiguan 129,237 1
8 Skoda Octavia 123,710 3
9 Renault Captur 121,235 8
10 Opel / Vauxhall Corsa 117,981 -15
11 Ford Focus 117,692 -1
12 Citroen C3 116,513 0
13 Dacia Sandero 115,276 10
14 Toyota Yaris 115,262 13
15 Peugeot 3008 111,990 43
16 Fiat 500 110,585 2
17 Peugeot 2008 100,602 -4
18 Dacia Duster 97,286 31
19 Skoda Fabia 96,356 0
20 VW Passat 93,252 -2
21 Fiat Panda 91,592 -17
22 Opel / Vauxhall Astra 89,938 -33
23 Peugeot 308 89,025 -4
24 Ford Kuga 86,794 11
25 Audi A3 84,171 -7

Europe’s Favorite Car Models in 2018 (Half Year)

The VW Golf easily maintained its position as Europe’s favorite car model with sales up 8% during the first half of 2018. The Renault Clio maintained its second place with flat sales – a new model is due next year.

Sales of the VW Polo that were replaced early this year in most markets were slightly down while sales of the Ford Fiesta that were replaced mid-year were slightly higher.

The Nissan Qashqai remained Europe’s best-selling SUV but sales were weaker largely due to increasing competition from new models by other brands.

Sales of the aging Peugeot 208 were flat – a new model is expected early in 2019.

The VW Tiguan was the second best-selling SUV in Europe during the first half of 2018. However, the Tiguan may expect stronger in-house competition for sales from the T-Roc and soon to be launched T-Cross. As is often the case with VW, the German manufacturer is slow to respond to new trends but when its does, it appears in force. According to JATO, VW has taken the lead as the top brand for SUVs in Europe with the larger group also having plenty of SUV models on sale.

The Skoda Octavia and Renault Captur both increased sales in Europe.

The big looser among the top models in Europe thus far in 2018 was the aging Opel Corsa. A new model based on the Peugeot 208 is expected early 2019. Sales of the Opel Astra were down by an even bigger percentage, although it still outsold the Peugeot 308 on which the next Astra is likely to be based.

SUVs generally performed well: Peugeot 3008 (+43%), Dacia Duster (+31%), Ford Kuga (+11%) and Renault Captur (+8%).

See also: 2018 (First Half) New Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Country