Fleet News

VW Group romps ahead in Eastern Europe

German-based Volkswagen Group, ranked the best-seller in central Europe since 1996, is enjoying the strongest sales among any manufacturer in the region since the end of communism.

The German company has the biggest share of the region's market in the second quarter of 2001, following by Fiat and Renault.

In the second-quarter of this year, the Volkswagen Group sold 147,504 units in central Europe and in the same period Fiat sold 71,204 and Renault 67,721 units.

PSA Peugeot/Citroen followed with sales of 51,004 units, then Daewoo (43,279), General Motors (36,279), Ford (19,072), Suzuki (16,572), Toyota (13,013) and Hyundai (11,304).

Historically, Fiat has been the major player in the old Eastern bloc, playing a pivotal role in establishing Poland's car industry. But now, Fiat risks falling into third place in regional sales, behind Renault, which has been boosted by its acquisition of Romania-based Dacia in September 1999.

Among central European countries, Poland remained the biggest market, despite a drop in volume of almost 25% this year.

It still accounted for a remarkable 40% of regional sales, and it was the ninth largest market for vehicles in all of Europe (behind Belgium). Croatia was next, followed by Slovakia and Romania.

Fiat has been hit by the rapid growth of Daewoo in the region — although it says it has plans to fight back. (October 2001)

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