Europe: after six years the market exceeds 14 million units
From the 29 markets that we analyse on a monthly basis, European new car sales continued to grow in 2015 with a total volume of 14.2 million units, the highest result since 2009. After its small gain in 2014, the total was up by 9.3% driven by positive changes in most of the countries analysed. A big part of the growth came from two of the big 5 markets, Italy and Spain, but also from those countries that posted the biggest falls during the economic downturn. Hence Ireland and Portugal ranked first in terms of percentage positive change, while others like the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania posted more than 15% increases.
Volkswagen led the European market with 1.72 million units and 12.11% market share, but its sales only increased by 7% compared to 2014. However, despite recent challenges in reality it only lost 0.28 percentage points of market share. Ford was second, exceeding the million units mark but also lost market share. Renault outsold Opel/Vauxhall to take third place in the rankings during 2015 thanks to its double-digit growth. The GM brands and Peugeot complete the top 5. The rest of the top 10 was made up of the three German premium brands, with Audi leading the annual total but posting the lowest growth among them. Fiat and Skoda completed the top 10 – the Italian brand moving further ahead of Skoda.
The big winners of the year were the all-new models and the updated existing ones. That’s the case of the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade, with the former boosting FCA sales allowing it to increase its market share. Other important new-comers include the new Renault Kadjar which sits in the compact SUV segment and gave Renault a better position within the ranking. The new Volkswagen Passat was also a big winner posting the highest volume increase of all models.