* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian *
To counter the financial crisis, a cash-for-clunkers scheme was put in place in Germany this year, benefitting mainly small and affordable cars. As a result, the market is up 23% to reach 3,807,175 units, the 2nd best year ever in the country after 1991, and things happened to the models ranking that no one in their right mind would have predicted, and that will probably never happen again.
Example 1: The Skoda Fabia (previous best: #10) ranks #2 twice this year and peaks at 15,453 sales and 3.9% share in March. It finishes the year at #5 with 103,645 sales, the first time a half-German model (Skoda being owned by VW) sells over 100,000 units here in a single year.
Example 2: Fiat has a surreal year. The Panda, down to 5,990€, ranks 4th in March with 12,457 sales and 3.1% share. This is the best position and monthly volume ever for a (true) foreign model, beating the #6 and 12,385 sales delivered by the Renault 19 in March 1993 – still holding the record share at 3.4% that month. It is #15 over the full year at 59,114 units, up 298% on 2008. The Grande Punto is #7 in March at 9,764 units and 2.4% and #21 in 2009 at 53,111 units, up 157% year-on-year.
Example 3: The Dacia Sandero is #7 in May with 9,189 sales and 2.4%, the best-ever figures for a Romanian model in Germany. It is #22 in 2009 with 51,292 units, up 705% year-on-year. The Dacia Logan also reaches its best in May at #26 with 4,382 sales and 1.1%.
More examples: The Peugeot 207 reaches a best-ever 8th place with 8,853 sales and 2.3% in April – albeit not the best-ever French performance: the Renault 19 was #6 in March 1993. However the Japanese, Korean and Spanish records are all broken this year, respectively with the Nissan Micra at #12 in December, the Hyundai i30 at #13 and the Seat Ibiza at #16, both in February.
Back to the general ranking. At least there are no surprises at the very top: the VW Golf is the best-selling model in Germany for the 29th year in a row. The 6th generation is much more loved than its predecessor, even staying above 11% market share for 4 consecutive months and peaking at 12% in September and a whopping 44,280 sales in just one month, June (these shares include the Golf Plus and Jetta). Its year-end 287,984 sales figure, up 66% on 2008, is the best since 2000 for the Golf nameplate.
The VW Polo was relaunched in June and reaches a best-ever year-end 2nd spot with 109,005 sales, but the surprise is the extremely strong end-of-career of the previous generation: #2 at 17,577 units and 4.4% in March! The Opel Corsa takes the 3rd spot at 106,980 sales, peaking at #2, 14,486 units and 3.8% in April, and the Opel Astra is 4th and peaks at 14,284 sales and 3.7% in May.
Full Year Top 100 and every Monthly Top 30 Ranking Tables below.