German new car sales still haven’t returned to normalcy after a stormy last few months connected to the new WLTP emissions standards put in place across the European Union on September 1. After spending summer under an artificial sun (July up 12.3%, August up 25%) and paying the price with sales crashing down post-WLTP (September down 30.5%, October down 7.4%). November is going the wrong way again, with a surprisingly – and worryingly steeper fall than October at -9.9% to 272.674 units, sending the year-to-date volume dangerously close to the abyss at just +0.4% and 3.198.720.
The main culprit of pre-WLTP artificial sales due to a non-compliant lineup, the Volkswagen Group is logically having a particularly difficult time since sales of non-WLTP aren’t allowed anymore: down 61% to 20.1% share in September, down another 28% to 28.4% share in October and although November is slightly better again, the company still suffers a 20% freefall to 33.4% share vs 36.6% so far this year and a YTD volume now up just 3%. Volkswagen drops 15% to 18.1%, now less than a percentage point below its YTD level of 18.8%, Skoda (-3%) is almost fully recovered at #6 overall, Seat (-18%) freefalls again but scores a higher share than YTD at 3.8% vs. 3.6%, Bentley (-15%) evolves a lot better than its YTD volume (-37%) and Lamborghini (+150%) is unfazed but Porsche (-55%) and Audi (-43%) remain firmly in hell.
Taking advantage of Volkswagen and Audi’s troubles, Mercedes (+6%) has been evolving at 40-year high shares over the past couple of months (11.2% in September and 12.6% in October) and November returns similar results at 11.2% vs. 9.3% YTD. BMW (+12%) is the only carmaker in the Top 15 able to align a double-digit gain in November leading to a 9% share vs. 7.5% so far this year. Ford (+4%) and Hyundai (+3%) progress, Opel (-4%) limits its fall but Renault (-28%) tumbles down and tilts into negative YTD. Chevrolet (+71%), Mitsubishi (+31%), Volvo (+30%), Mini (+28%), Jeep (+10%), Maserati (+10%) and Suzuki (+5%) are the only other Top 40 marques in positive. In contrast, Tesla (-53%), Alfa Romeo (-49%), Infiniti (-49%), Nissan (-47%), Ssangyong (-47%), Peugeot (-43%), DS (-39%), Honda (-29%), Land Rover (-28%), Dacia (-23%) and Citroen (-19%) all implode.
Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf (-22%) is still limping but the VW Polo (+67%) is up 6 spots on October to #2, helped by a new generation while the VW Passat (-13%) is up 10 ranks to make the podium 100% VW for the first time since last August. Below the Mercedes C-Class (-3%), the Mini lineup (KBA still doesn’t splits sales) soars 28% to #5, simply a new all-time record ranking. The new model enables the Mercedes A-Class (+117%) to more than double its sales year-on-year. All remaining Top 10 nameplates register double-digit losses (Tiguan, E-Class, Octavia and Focus). Further down, the Ford Ecosport (+368%), Seat Arona (+310%), Skoda Karoq (+98%), VW T-Roc (+98%), BMW X3 (+97%), Volvo XC60 (+56%), Hyundai i10 (+30%), Renault Twingo (+26%) and Skoda Kodiaq (+25%) impress in the Top 50. The VW Touareg (+73%) and BMW Z4 (#229) are revived by new generations and the Alpine A110 has its best month yet at 57 sales.
One year ago: Germany November 2017: VW Golf up 24% in market up 9.4%
Full November 2018 Top 50 brands and Top 315 models below.