The Renault Clio “teases” the VW Golf for the European pole position in December.
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New car sales across Europe (29 countries, excluding Russia and Turkey) are up 3.2% in December to 1.193.286 units. Volkswagen dips 0.3% to an already weak December 2015 in the wake of the emissions scandal and its advantage over the #2 brand thaws to just over 20.000 sales as Renault shoots up 15.5% to 112.953, distancing Ford (-4.8%) and Opel (+1.9%). Mercedes (+15.7%) confirms it is the new European king of luxury, remaining at a stunning 5th place above BMW (-1.5%), Peugeot (-14.7%) and Audi (+19.7%). Fiat (+12%) and Skoda (+14.5%) both post double-digit gains to close out the Top 10. Further down, Kia (+10.4%), Suzuki (+22.5%), Smart (+25.2%), Alfa Romeo (+42.9%), Jaguar (+43.7%), Abarth (+50.5%), Porsche (+64.7%), Infiniti (+158%) and Maserati (+191.4%) post the largest year-on-year increases among the Top 40 brands.
First European Top 10 ranking in four years for the Renault Mégane.
The top of the models ranking is an illustration of Renault’s particularly strong show of force this month. The VW Golf remains in the lead of course but drops 6.4% to 37.488 sales, that’s less than 5.500 more than the Renault Clio up 11.6% to 32.018. In fact, the 10.000 unit-advantage the Clio has over both the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo this month enables the French small car to snap a last minute annual 2nd place (detailed in a separate update). The Opel Astra (+31.3%) holds onto the 5th spot for the third straight month, while the Renault Captur (+14.7%) and Mégane (+92.7%) make it three Renaults in the Top 7 for the first time ever in Europe. That’s one more than Volkswagen, as the Tiguan surges 55.9% to #8. This is the Mégane’s first European Top 10 ranking since December 2012 and its best monthly position since June 2012. Notice also the Citroen C3 up 30.8%, the Audi A4 up 50.7% and the Mercedes E-Class up 44.7%.
Previous month: Europe November 2016: Renault up 18%, Captur best-selling SUV
Full December 2016 Top 50 brands and models below.