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Europe January 2019: Citroen and Dacia shine, VW Group recovers in market down 4.6%

The C5 Aircross is already having an impact on Citroen European sales.

Update 3 (03/04): Now with the Top 55 brands and Top 350 All-models.

Update 2 (09/03): Now with the Top 100 models.

Update 1 (28/02): Now with actuals for the Top 25 brands and models.

The European new car market (27 markets) drops 4.6% year-on-year in January to 1.22m units, which is a much better  performance than the past couple of WLTP-impacted months, in fact the 2nd highest January volume since 2009 below just last year. Diesel sales continue to freefall at -18% to just 33% share vs. 39% a year ago in January 2018 partly due to a 30% drop in Italy whereas Germany (+8%) and Estonia are the only two markets were diesel sales are up this month. In contrast, petrol sales gain 2.1% to 58% share vs. 54% a year ago and alternative fuelled vehicles soar 22% to 7.1% vs. 5.5% thanks to EVs almost doubling volumes year-on-year from 10.200 to 19.600.

Volvo (+18.9%) posts the largest gain in the Top 25 brands.

All the main markets are down: France (-1.1%), Germany (-1.4%), the UK (-1.6%), Italy (-7.5%) and Spain (-8%) and only 7 markets out of 30 manage a year-on-year gain this month: Lithuania (+49%), Romania (+19.1%), Hungary (+9.2%), Portugal (+8.3%), Denmark (+7.1%), Greece (+3.6%) and Latvia (+0.7%). At the bottom of the ladder, Iceland (-47.8%), the Netherlands (-19.6%), Czech Republic (-17%), Cyprus (-14.9%), Finland (-13.6%), Estonia (-12.7%), Ireland (-12.7%), Slovakia (-11.8%), Austria (-11.6%), Sweden (-10.9%), Lithuania (-10.8%) and Belgium (-10.2%) all get hit with double-digit falls.

New record European ranking for the VW T-Roc at #14.

Based on ACEA figures, the Volkswagen Group (-6.4%) has now managed to limit its post-WLTP drop to 6.4% mainly due a still struggling Audi (-16.9%). It distances PSA (-2.3%) and Renault-Nissan (-6.5%) while Hyundai-Kia edges up 0.5% to #4 vs. #7 in FY2018, posting the only year-on-year gain among the Top 9 groups. Ford Motor (-6.6%), the BMW Group (-3.1%) and Daimler AG (-1.5%) follow while FCA (-14.9%) is the hardest hit and the Geely Group advances 21.4% at #10. None of the Top 10 brands manage a year-on-year gain in January.

The Mercedes A-Class (+43.7%) continues to enjoy the benefits of the new generation.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (-0.3%) outpaces the market as well as Peugeot (+0.1%) in 2nd place but Ford (-5.3%), Renault (-5.1%) and Opel (-5.2%) don’t. At #6, Mercedes (-1.7%) remains the most popular premium carmaker ahead of BMW at #9 (-3.2%) and Audi at #10 (-15.1%). As there are no Top 10 carmakers in positive, Citroen (+3.5%) is the highest-ranked gainer at #11, ahead of Dacia (+21.7%), Hyundai (+1.8%), Kia (+1.3%), Seat (+5.7%), Volvo (+18.9%), Suzuki (+4.1%), Mini (+4.2%) and Mitsubishi (+10.4%) at #24. On the other hand, Nissan (-23.4%), Fiat (-23%) and Honda (-10.3%) struggle mightily. Note Volkswagen, Volvo, Seat and DS are the only brands to see their diesel sales go up Europe-wide this month.

The Toyota C-HR is knocking at the European Top 20’s door for the first time.

Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf (-20.1%) falls hard but stays on top ahead of the VW Polo (+14.1%) hitting its highest ranking since last July and knocking the Renault Clio (-3.2%) to #3. The Tiguan (-10.3%) at its highest since last August at #4 makes it three VWs in the Top 4. In fact, the VW Group has 4 nameplates in the Top 5 with the Skoda Octavia (-5.4%) at #5, its highest European position in over a year, since November 2017. Haloed with its very first annual Top 10 finish last year, the Toyota Yaris (+1.8%) rallies back up 10 spots on December to #6, distancing the Ford Focus (+5%), Peugeot 208 (-13.8%), Citroen C3 (-2.3%) and Dacia Sandero (+9.2%), the largest gainer in the Top 10.

If the Mercedes A-Class (+42%), Fiat Panda (+21.8%) and Dacia Duster (+12.4%) all lodge excellent results, the two heroes of the month are small SUVs. The VW T-Roc (+165.4%) finally resumes its pre-WLTP progression at a new record #14, beating its previous high of #15 established last August and also scoring a new volume record, while the Toyota C-HR (+14.8%) also breaks its ranking record at #21, eclipsing its previous best of #24 last September and also nudging a new volume high. Further down, the Volvo XC40 (+1244.5%), Ford Ecosport (+1058%), BMW X3 (+160.1%), Skoda Karoq (+114.9%), Seat Arona (+70.8%) and Citroen C3 Aircross (+35.7%) also impress. The Citroen C5 Aircross is the best-selling new launch at #118 just above the Peugeot Rifter at #122. The Jaguar i-Pace (#219) and Audi Q8 (#224) follow.

Previous post: Europe Full Year 2018: WLTP transition freezes sales, VW, Peugeot, Dacia and Jeep shine, Golf #1 and Tiguan #5

One year ago: Europe January 2018: First podium in four years for Peugeot, sales up 7.1%

Full January 2019 Top 10 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 350 All-models below.

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