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SUVs account for a quarter of all cars sold in Europe

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The European car industry boomed in 2016 with SUV sales accounting for one in every four cars sold.

New car registrations for the year totalled 15.14 million units; a 6.5% increase when compared to 2015.

“2016 was a great year for the industry, with the second highest volume of registrations since 2007. European car registrations have shown good momentum, with 27 out of 29 markets in Europe recording positive growth last year, and 14 of those markets posting double-digit increases. I believe car makers are now better prepared to face the challenging times ahead,” said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global automotive analyst.

The results show the continuing SUV boom was the overwhelming trend of the year, with registrations growing by 21.4% - increasing from 3.2 million units registered in 2015 to 3.9 million last year. In contrast, the traditional segments grew by just 2.2%.

Volkswagen Group maintained its lead of the market despite 2016 being one of its most challenging years ever due to the emissions scandal. But its market share fell from 24.8% in 2015 to 24.0% last year. This was the highest market share decrease of all car groups.

In contrast, FCA, Daimler, Renault-Nissan and Tata Group all increased their market share, thanks to their wider SUV ranges and the increase in sales seen in Southern European markets.


Top 10 best-selling models in Europe;


2016 registrations

Var 15-16

Volkswagen Golf



Renault Clio



Volkswagen Polo



Ford Fiesta



Vauxhall Corsa



Vauxhall Astra



Peugeot 208



Nissan Qashqai



Skoda Octavia



Renault Captur



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