Nearly 8 million new cars were registered across the EU in the first half of 2016. That’s an increase of 9.4% compared to the year before – with all major markets reporting growth. These include Italy (+19.2%), Spain (+12.5%) and France (+8.3%). UK new car registrations were up 3.2% in the first half of this year.
So what cars are Europeans buying? These are the 20 most popular car manufacturers across the EU.
Percentage share: 1.3%
How glad is BMW that it retained the MINI brand when it sold Rover in 2000? With a MINI to suit all requirements, the firm accounted for 1.3% of all new car registrations across the EU in the first six months of 2016.
Percentage share: 1.5%
Europe seems to be a fairly patriotic continent, which might explain why Japanese car brands only just edge into the top 20. Mazda, maker of the 2016 World Car of the Year (the MX-5), accounted for 1.5% of new registrations across Europe in the first half of 2016. That’s the same as Jaguar and Land Rover combined.
Percentage share: 1.8%
The new XC90 is deservedly selling well for Volvo, meaning the manufacturer’s total sales were up 11.4% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2015. How will it fare when the S90 and V90 go on sale?
Percentage share: 2.3%
Accounting for 2.3% of new car registrations across Europe, SEAT is by far the least successful mainstream VW Group brand. Numbers dropped by 1.6% in the first half of this year.
Percentage share: 2.8%
Renault seems to have struck gold with its budget brand, Dacia. Affordable models such as the Sandero are popular in Europe, with the firm accounting for 2.8% of all new car registrations across the EU in the first half of 2016.
Percentage share: 2.9%
Kia’s recent boom in popularity is showing no sign of waning – with registrations across the EU up 14.7% in the first half of 2016.
Percentage share: 3.2%
It’s no surprise to see sister company Hyundai narrowly ahead of Kia. It’s growing, too, with new car sales up 10.2%.
Percentage share: 3.7%
Considering the amount of Nissan Qashqais on our roads, it’s perhaps surprising to see Nissan fall short of the top 10 across Europe. Registrations were down 1.2% in the first half of 2016.
Percentage share: 3.8%
Japanese rival Toyota sold around 10,000 more cars than Nissan across the EU in the first half of 2016, giving it an extra 0.1% share of new car registrations. Premium brand Lexus accounts for a further 0.3%.
Percentage share: 3.9%
Considering it’s given away the popular DS3 to new upmarket offshoot DS, Citroen is continuing to do well in Europe – accounting for 3.9% of all registrations so far in 2016. DS accounts for 0.5%.
Percentage share: 4.3%
We’re into the top 10 now, and the second VW Group brand to feature in the top 20. Modern Skodas are generally so good they act as competition to mainstream Volkswagen.
Percentage share: 5.2%
Considering the popularity of so-called premium brands, it’s no surprise to see Mercedes-Benz take eighth place across Europe. But it’s a shared eighth place…
Percentage share: 5.2%
…with equally popular BMW. The rival German companies each accounted for 5.2% of new car sales across the EU in the first half of 2016. Mercedes sold 409,463 cars – 1,394 more than BMW.
Percentage share: 5.3%
Fiats aren’t particularly popular in the UK, but they sell in huge numbers in their native Italy – no doubt contributing to a seventh-place finish here.
Percentage share: 5.5%
Audi was quite a niche premium brand not that long ago, but it’s now massively successful – as anyone who’s travelled along European motorways will attest. It sold more cars than BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the first six months of 2016, even in the wake of Dieselgate.
Percentage share: 6.0%
Peugeot is another manufacturer that does particularly well in its home market, contributing to a fifth-place finish in the top-selling car brands across the EU.
Percentage share: 6.8%
The new Astra was named the 2016 European Car of the Year, so it’s no surprise that it (and other Opel/Vauxhall models) are selling well across the EU. Accounting for 6.8% of new car registrations, Opel/Vauxhall takes fourth place.
Percentage share: 7.5%
Renault’s range was culled in the UK in 2011, but it sells huge numbers elsewhere in Europe. Enough, in fact, to make it the third biggest car manufacturer across the EU.
Percentage share: 7.1%
Ford is the biggest selling manufacturer in the UK – with the Fiesta alone selling more than some brands in their entirety. No surprise to see it selling well across the EU… but it’s not number one.
Percentage share: 11.2%
Yes, even in the wake of the emissions scandal, Volkswagen is holding onto its title as Europe’s favourite car manufacturer. Its cars accounted for 11.2% for all registrations in the first half of 2016. It sold 875,380 cars in that time – 0.8% more than in the same period in 2015.