Volkswagen has pulled even further ahead in the European new car sales race, posting a huge nine per cent increase in sales during 2011.
The German giant shifted a total of 1,684,150 new cars in the 27 EU markets, up from 1,544,529 in 2011, according to figures just released by the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association. The Golf remained Europe’s best-selling model.
At the bottom of the European brand table was Jaguar, which saw sales slide an alarming 14.7 per cent to just 23,074. The biggest winners of 2011 were Jeep (up 61.8 per cent to 23,745 units) and Lexus (up 53 per cent to 27,016) the brand clearly benefitting from the introduction of the compact CT200 hybrid.
Ford came in as the second biggest brand, selling 1,077,759 cars, down 2.9 per cent on the year before in an EU market that was down 1.4 per cent to a total of 13,573,550 new car sales.
Renault (third, with 1,044,920 sales) was down nine per cent and Opel/Vauxhall (fourth with 989,261 sales) were down 1.8 per cent. The French PSA group had a bad year: Peugeot (fifth) fell 9.4 per cent to 911,703 and Citroen (sixth) fell eight per cent to 770,726 units.
Other big losers were seventh-place Fiat, which saw sales fall 71.2 per cent to 682,140 units, 22nd-place Honda (down 20 per cent to 149,684) and Suzuki down 8.6 per cent to 177,996 units.
Audi (8th) was up nine per cent to 680,262, BMW (9th) up five per cent to 641,737 and Mercedes (10th) up one per cent 591,750. Thanks to the Evoque Land Rover leapt 11.5 per cent to 74,706 units and Mini was up 19 per cent to 168,462 units on the introduction of the Countryman.