Guess which car outsold all others in 2017?

Yes indeed, with 542,000 units, it is yet again the VW Golf – for the 43rd consecutive year. However, the gap with the runner-up, which goes by the name Renault Clio, is closing: the French city car found 369,000 buyers last year. If the new VW Polo keeps claiming market share the way it does (352,000 units), it will surely take second place from its French rival in 2018.

The first cross-over in the top 10 is yet another Renault-Nissan product: the Qashqai, of which the OEM dispatched 292,000 units. The Ford Fiesta seems ready to move up from its fifth place in 2017 (269,000) to fourth now that production is up to speed. Number 6 in the top 10 is the Skoda Octavia (267,000), which owes much of its success to the B2B market but needs a boost to maintain its position.

Winners and losers

The Tiguan jumped from 14th to 7th position last year, seducing nearly as much customers as the Octavia. Its French competitor, the Peugeot 3008, was sold 167,000 times – 100,000 less than the Tiguan – but posted a whopping 132-percent growth over 2016. The car that takes home the prize for best newcomer, however, is the B/C-segment cross-over Toyota C-HR: it went from 7,000 to 97,000 units in the span of one year.

Remarkably, the outgoing Ford Focus – the new model is to be revealed in April – went up from 10th to 8th position in 2017, just outselling the Peugeot 208, which hangs on to its 9th position. The car that underperformed most in 2017 was the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. In 2016 it ranked 5th, but 2017 was a tough year for the PSA-acquired OEM, costing the Astra 5 places. The same goes for its baby brother, the Corsa: it dropped from 6th to 11th position.

The best performing premium model in 2017 was the Mercedes C-Class, which remained static at number 18 (189,000). Audi’s best-selling model was the A3, which fell from 15th to 26th position (166,000) last year. The most popular BMW in Europe is still the 1 Series, of which 138,000 units were sold.


Source: Fleet Europe

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