Fleet News

Premium lower-mediums prop up Euro car market

A STABLE new car market across Europe is being propped up by strong performances in the premium lower medium segment, a new study has found.

Year-to-date sales in the sector increased by more than 92,000 units or 45.8%, compared to the same period last year.

The sector’s sales were led by the Audi A3, followed by the BMW 1-series and Alfa Romeo 147. On year-to-date sales in specific countries, Iceland and Denmark recorded the biggest growth, at 40% and 25% respectively, according to business information company JATO Dynamics.

Ireland’s sales were up by 12% and Portugal’s rose by 10% while France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Sweden and Luxembourg also recorded higher new car sales.

Sales in Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, the UK and The Netherlands were significantly down and Belgium, Norway and Austria recorded smaller falls.

In other segments, an increase in SUV sales pushed its market share up to 7% while in contrast small car registrations were down by 5.2% year-to-date.

The sales performance of upper-medium models was mixed. Sales of volume models rose by 2.3% year-to-date while premium models saw sales fall by 11.5%.

The study said: ‘The Peugeot 407 headed the volume model registrations year-to-date and the new Volkswagen Passat led July sales. Audi’s A4 led the premium-model table year to date and the new BMW 3-series led in July.’

Sales in the executive segment were down by 2.7%, with the BMW 5-series as the top seller, followed by Mercedes-Benz E-class and Audi A6.

Sales in the mini-MPV segment remained static and are down by 1.9%.

The Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic led year-to-date sales, from the Volkswagen Touran and Opel/Vauxhall Zafira.

The study found that Renault was the best selling brand across Western Europe for the first seven months of the year.

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