2012 (Q3) Switzerland: Best-Selling Car Models

The Volkswagen Golf was again the top-selling car model in Switzerland during the first nine months of 2012. The Skoda Octavia and VW Polo also remain Swiss favorites.

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
VW Golf – Switzerland’s Favorite Car © Volkswagen Media Service

The Volkswagen Golf remained Switzerland’s favorite car model during the first three quarters of 2012. The Golf outsold the Skoda Octavia with a smaller margin than last year. The VW Polo was again the third most popular car model in Switzerland. Half the top-ten best-selling car models in Switzerland thus far in 2012 was Volkswagen vehicles with VW subsidiaries taking a further two spots.

The Swiss car market remained buoyant during the first nine months of 2012 although the weakness apparent in most of Europe also started to creep into the Swiss car market during the third quarter of 2012. Total new passenger vehicle registrations in Switzerland from January to September 2012 totaled 245,526 (+5.5%) cars with Volkswagen the best-selling car brand.

Top 20 Best-Selling Car Models in Switzerland in 2012 (Q3)

The most popular car models during the first nine months of 2012 in Switzerland were according to car sales statistics released by Auto-Schweiz:

  January to September
Pos 2012MakeModel20122011Pos 2011
Source: ASTRA/MOFIS/auto-schweiz

Switzerland’s Favorite Car Models in 2012 (Q3)

The Volkswagen Golf was again the best-selling car model in Switzerland during the first three quarters of 2012. However, during the third quarter, the Golf’s top position seemed less certain than it has been for a long time. The Golf is due for replacement in November and was outsold in August by the Subaru XV and the Skoda Octavia and again in September by the Octavia.

Switzerland has one of the widest and most competitive car markets in the world with well over 400 car models available in a relatively small market. The VW Golf’s share of the total Swiss new car market is less than 4% compared to the Golf’s almost 8% of the huge German market or the 7% of the French car market for the Renault Megane.

Relative small numbers can thus make a large difference: the Subaru XV sold 722 cars in August compared to 661 Octavias and 625 Golfs. In September, Skoda shifted 725 Octavia’s vs. 565 Golfs, However, the Golf is expected to make a strong comeback once the new model is available.

Sales of the aging VW Polo were also lower while the VW Tiguan small SUV improved from 24th place in 2011 to fourth for the first three quarters of 2012. The Mercedes C-Class, helped by heavy discounting, improved from 21st to fifth.

A notable newcomer in the top ten list of best-selling car models in Switzerland in 2012 is the Toyota Yaris, which improved from 32nd place last year. In contrast, the Renault Clio and Peugeot 207 slipped out of the top-ten list – only two French cars made it into the top twenty most popular cars in Switzerland.

SUVs are increasingly popular in Switzerland, especially more compact models, although some sales may have been brought forward due to emission tax changes introduced from July 2012. The VW Tiguan was the fourth most popular car model overall, while the new Subaru XV moved up to 15th place year to date (up from 45th mid-year). The Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai increased sales while the BMW X3 improved from 35thlast year to twentieth position, outselling both the BMW 3 and 1 Series models.

See also 2012 (Q3) Best-Selling Car Brands in Switzerland.

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.