Continuous growth for European car market

The European new-car market recorded growth of 11.5%, the third time this year double-digit growth has been achieved.

Germany increased sales by over 13,000 units compared to August 2014, while Spain achieved over 11,000 more units registered. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Slovakia also recorded year-on-year growth for the month of more than 30%.

Brian Walters, vice president of Data at JATO Dynamics, commented, ‘Despite August traditionally being the slowest month of the year for car sales in Europe due to summer holidays, the market has achieved considerable growth compared to last year.’

European Monthly Sales Volumes Year-on-Year Comparison

Volkswagen maintained its position as Europe’s leading car brand despite losing some market share. Ford took second position in August, ahead of Opel/Vauxhall and Renault, while BMW achieved fifth place, just ahead of its premium competitors Mercedes-Benz and Audi. All of the top ten brands recorded increased sales in August and the year-to-date.

Top Ten Brands

Make Aug_15 Aug_14 % change Aug Aug YtD_15 Aug YtD_14 % change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN 101,694 98,479 +3.3% 1,154,214 1,063,444 +8.5%
FORD 55,737 50,051 +11.4% 688,569 644,202 +6.9%
OPEL/VAUXHALL 52,124 45,229 +15.2% 626,195 590,916 +6.0%
RENAULT 50,098 41,504 +20.7% 638,904 578,000 +10.5%
BMW 44,963 38,440 +17.0% 474,597 437,144 +8.6%
MERCEDES 44,344 38,415 +15.4% 479,423 427,992 +12.0%
AUDI 44,253 40,767 +8.6% 514,924 488,145 +5.5%
PEUGEOT 42,242 38,861 +8.7% 562,315 523,334 +7.4%
SKODA 40,660 36,494 +11.4% 413,914 385,968 +7.2%
TOYOTA 31,716 29,240 +8.5% 369,363 347,461 +6.3%

Outside the top ten, Nissan recorded the greatest rise in units sold compared to August 2014 due to the introduction of the Pulsar and the success of the new generations of the Qashqai and X-Trail, while Citroën also benefitted from stronger demand for the C3, C4 Cactus and C1 models.

Volkswagen’s Passat increased sales by 44.4% to take fourth place, leaving Volkswagen with three of the five top models in August. Renault’s Clio took second place while Skoda’s Octavia was fifth. Skoda’s new Fabia also had an impressive month, where it recorded 37.7% more sales than its predecessor a year ago to enter the top ten for August. With the Octavia holding fifth place, this is the first time that two Skoda models have appeared in the top ten.

Top Ten Models

Make & Model Aug_15 Aug_14 % change Aug Aug YtD_15 Aug YtD_14 % change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 33,672 32,052 +5.1% 354,745 342,974 +3.4%
RENAULT CLIO 18,017 14,328 +25.7% 207,326 200,965 +3.2%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO 16,817 16,066 +4.7% 202,263 179,287 +12.8%
VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 14,748 10,210 +44.4% 148,172 104,629 +41.6%
SKODA OCTAVIA 14,453 12,339 +17.1% 146,084 136,137 +7.3%
FORD FIESTA 13,123 13,402 -2.1% 210,446 205,135 +2.6%
PEUGEOT 208 11,906 10,975 +8.5% 150,568 147,032 +2.4%
OPEL/VAUXHALL ASTRA 11,681 9,235 +26.5% 130,904 123,217 +6.2%
FORD FOCUS 11,359 12,244 -7.2% 159,467 151,459 +5.3%
SKODA FABIA 11,279 8,192 +37.7% 104,359 78,299 +33.3%

Beyond the top ten, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka continues to be popular with consumers with August sales up 53.3% on last year, putting it just ahead of its closest small-crossover competitor, the Renault Captur. The new generations of Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Peugeot 308 and Ford Mondeo also continue to make sales gains.

Brian Walters concluded, ‘Last month the European car market achieved two years of continuous positive growth. This is likely to continue this month, as September is traditionally a strong month for sales, with the usual sales peak in the UK market and many new models unveiled at Frankfurt motor show, stimulating revitalised demand.’