2012 First Quarter Top Selling Car Manufacturers & Brands in Switzerland

The Swiss motorcar market remained buoyant during the first quarter of 2012 seeing an increase of almost 9% in new passenger vehicle registrations.

Volkswagen Beetle Diesel Engine
Volkswagen & Diesel Engines Remain Popular in Switzerland 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽漏 Volkswagen Media Services

The Swiss new passenger vehicle market continued its strong performance during the first three months of 2012. Almost 9% more cars were sold in Switzerland during the first quarter of 2012 with the total new car market expanding to close to 80,000 vehicles. Volkswagen easily maintained its position as the best-selling car brand in Switzerland. VW was followed by Skoda, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The Volkswagen Golf remained Switzerland’s favorite car model.

The Swiss Car Market in First Quarter 2012

The Swiss car market grew by 8.6% to 79,130 new passenger vehicle registrations during January, February, and March 2012. The Volkswagen Group maintained its dominance of the list of best-selling car brands in Switzerland with Volkswagen (VW) in top position followed by Skoda and Audi.

The Swiss car market was helped by the continued strength of the Swiss franc, especially compared to the euro. Swiss car importers dropped prices during the second half of 2011, which led to more certainty and stability in the new passenger vehicle market compared to the uncertainty that existed during the start of 2011.

Almost a third of new cars sold in Switzerland during the first three months of 2012 were four-wheel drive while diesel vehicles took more than 36% of the market. Alternative energy car sales declined by almost 6%

List of the Top 30 Best-Selling Car Brands in Switzerland (Q1/2012)

Car sales statistics released by Auto Schweiz showed the list of the top 30 best-selling car manufacturers and brands during the first three months of 2012 as follows:

ManufacturerJan – March 2012Jan -March 2011Market Share %
+/- %Q1 – 2012Q1 – 2011
Q1/2012 Swiss Total Car Market79,13072,8538.6100.0100.0
27Alfa Romeo7551,028-
4 x 4 Passenger Vehicles24,63621,32115.531.129.3
Alternative Energy1,5911,688-
Diesel Cars28,64423,59021.436.232.4

Source: auto-suisse / OFROU/MOFIS 3.04.12

Changes in the List of Top-Selling Car Brands in Switzerland, Q1 2012

Volkswagen improved its share of the Swiss new passenger vehicle market during the first quarter of 2012 to almost 15%. Volkswagen sales were nearly a third higher than in 2011. Skoda improved sales by a quarter to increase its rank from fifth to second.

Audi, last year’s second best-selling car brand in Switzerland, had a relatively weak start to 2012 and slipped to third place despite increasing sales by 5%. Audi’s direct German premium-brand competitors Mercedes-Benz increased sales by over 40% (and six positions on the top-sellers list) and BMW increased sales by almost a quarter (but remained seventh best-selling car brand in Switzerland).

Despite increases in sales, both Ford and Renault underperformed compared to the total market and lost both market share and rank with Renault slipping from third in 2011 to below Ford in 2012. Opel increased market share but slipped two positions on the top-sellers list.

Peugeot and Citroen had a weak start to the year and were the only two brands on the list of the top-ten best-selling car brands in Switzerland to have sold fewer cars during the first quarter of 2012 compared to 2011.

Land Rover (+170%), Jeep (+70%), and Seat (+42%) all had a very strong start to 2012 in Switzerland. In contrast, most Japanese manufacturers including Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki, saw a continued decline in sales. Nissan and Honda had stronger sales but underperformed the market.

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.