Comparing half-year sales with the same period in the previous year is a good measure of a car’s increasing appeal. Using data sourced from the Focus2Move Global Mobility Database, we can reveal the cars that have recorded the biggest increase in sales over the past six months, compared with the same period in 2015. We’ll present the list in reverse order.
20. Opel/Vauxhall Astra: sales up 20.1%
Opel unveiled the current Astra at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show and it went on to scoop the 2016 European Car of the Year award, beating the Volvo XC90 and Mazda MX-5 into second and third place respectively. For the first time in a while, this is an Astra that shouldn’t lead to a sigh of disappointment if you’re handed a set of Vauxhall keys at the rental desk. Sales up from 109,588 in the first half of 2015 to 131,657 in the same period this year.
19. Fiat Panda: sales up 20.4%
This time last year, the Fiat Panda was languishing in 119th position with 92,212 sales. Fast forward 12 months and the uniquely Italian city car has hauled itself up to 90th place with 110,998 sales. It’s the only city car to offer Squircles. Many, many Squircles.
=17. Nissan Qashqai: sales up 20.5%
Not only is the Nissan Qashqai the most popular crossover in the UK, it’s doing a mighty fine job of conquering the world. Sales are up from 182,509 in the first half of 2015 to 219,950 in the first six months of 2016. Last year, Renault launched the Kadjar, which shares the same Qashqai platform.
=17. Kia Sportage: sales up 20.5%
What a difference a new model makes. The fourth generation Kia Sportage was launched at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show and you just knew it would sell like very hot cakes. Sales are up from 220,441 in the first half of 2015 to 265,663 in 2016. Looks like the model is simply carrying on where the old model left off.
16. Toyota Highlander: sales up 20.7%
The third generation Toyota Highlander offers enough space to seat eight people and is built in the United States and China. At the 2016 New York Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the new 2017 Highlander (pictured), which offers a new eight-speed transmission, a subtle new look and a host of safety features. Christopher Lambert is said to be a fan. Probably.
15. Volkswagen Lavida: sales up 23.2%
The Chinese market Volkswagen Lavida is one of the most popular cars in China, where some 287,354 units were sold in the first half of 2016. That, in itself, shows the size of the Chinese market. The Lavida is the 15th most popular car in the world and is so good, Ricky Martin wrote a song about it. Almost.
14. Honda Vezel: sales up 25.4%
You’ll know the Honda Vezel as the HR-V, but the sales figures are split, putting the Vezel 14th on our list of rising stars. A jump from 93,571 in the first half of 2015 to 117,381 in 2016 equates to a 25.4% increase in sales
13. Volkswagen Sagitar: sales up 26.7%
Yes, what you’re looking at is a Chinese market Volkswagen Jetta, known as the Sagitar. The compact saloon is another popular car in China, with half-year sales totalling 170,426, an increase of 26.7% compared with the same period last year.
12. Jeep Cherokee: sales up 30.2%
Some felt the the styling of the Jeep Cherokee KL would be too ‘adventurous’ for some, but half-year sales of 182,866 suggests it’s finding its feet. Sales have been rising, year-on-year, since it was launched in 2013. The way things are going, the Cherokee will blitz the 220,260 units sold in 2015.
11. Dongfeng Fengguang 330/370: sales up 30.4%
This isn’t a big seller, with half-year sales of 99,443, but it does represent a 30.4% increase compared with the same period last year. The Dongfeng rockets from 162nd to 99th place overall. Not ‘arf, pop-pickers.
10. Toyota Prius: sales up 36.6%
The arrival of the all-new, fourth generation Toyota Prius is having a positive impact on sales, which are up 36.6% compared with the same period last year. The new car arrived at the end of 2015, which suggests buyers were waiting for the new and improved version. Total half-year sales: 208,477.
9. Haval H6: sales up 39.7%
Haval claims to be the number one SUV brand in China, so it’s arguably the biggest name you’ve never heard of. It’s part of Great Wall Motors and the H6 is a compact SUV introduced in 2011. With half-year sales totalling 240,253, this is the best-selling SUV in China.
8. Ford Edge: sales up 56.4%
There are a number of reasons why the Ford Edge could continue to rise up the charts. Firstly, there’s the growth of the crossover-SUV market to consider. Secondly, the Edge is now available in Europe for the first time. Total sales of 144,150 might seem relatively modest, but the second half of 2016 could prove to be quite lucrative for the Edge.
7. Buick Excelle GT: sales up 60.2%
This is Shanghai GM’s entry for the compact saloon segment. The Buick Excelle GT was introduced in 2015 and it offers a choice of two petrol engines – a 1.8-litre and a 1.5-litre. Buick just happens to be Shanghai GM’s most popular brand.
6. Dodge Grand Caravan: sales up 69.6%
The Dodge Grand Caravan is billed as “Canada’s best-selling minivan”, while it’s also pretty popular in the United States. Like for like sales are up from 58,449 to 99,151 – an increase of 69.6%.
5. Buick Envision: sales up 76.1%
The Buick Envision is the first Chinese-made car to be sold in the US, so it’s quite a big deal. North American sales should add to the 115,937 units sold in the first half of 2016.
4. Honda HR-V: sales up 88.9%
Here’s that Honda again, this time with its more familiar name. This is proof that statistics will only tell you half the story, because the HR-V only went on sale in the US in May 2015, although it was already on sale in Thailand. It arrived in the UK in the summer of 2015.
3. Jeep Renegade: sales up 154.1%
Like the Cherokee, the Jeep Renegade appears to be finding its feet. Half-year sales are up 154.1%, meaning the Fiat 500X-based SUV has moved from 267th place to 77th overall. Total sales for the first half of 2016: 127,211.
2. Hyundai Tucson: sales up 202.4%
The Tucson has benefited from a name change, which accounts for the dramatic 202.4% increase in sales. The second generation Hyundai ix35 was known as the Tucson in South Korea and Columbia, before the ix35 name was ditched for the arrival of the third generation car. It deserves its 285,060 sales, but don’t read too much into that percentage increase.
1. GAC Trumpchi GS4: sales up 809.4%
It’s a similar story for the GAC Trumpchi GS4, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2015. Second half-year sales will be more telling for the Chinese-built SUV.