The VW Golf is Europe's favourite car, but for how long?
This Feb. 7, 2014 file photo shows the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI displayed during the media preview of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, file)
Published Monday, January 25, 2016 8:52AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 25, 2016 8:55AM EST
The final figures are in and across the five biggest EU countries, consumers bought more than 10 million cars in 2015, an 8.8 per cent jump on 2014's figures.
However, just like in 2014, those shopping for a new car were still more likely to go with Volkswagen's perennial favorite, the Golf than with any other model from any other company. Even the continuing fallout from the dieselgate scandal doesn't appear to have done enough to dent the car's popularity, so far.
With a 12.1 per cent market share across the continent's key regions, Volkswagen remains Europe's most popular brand and the Golf its most popular car. It is the biggest selling car in Germany, the third most popular in Spain, the fourth in the U.K., ninth in Italy and only in France is it out of the top 10 (11th place).
The Ford Fiesta is Europe's second most popular new car, followed by the VW Polo, Renault Clio and the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa in fifth place.
"Traditionally the five largest markets count for three quarters of total European volume and their positive results are an indicator of how well the car industry performed in 2015," said Felipe Munoz, Marketing analyst at JATO Dynamics, the company that has aggregated all of the data.
However, the data also shows that European tastes are changing and attention is shifting from compact and sub-compact hatchbacks and crossing over to something a little more rugged and individual. A number of brands saw their market share jump significantly in the EU over the past 12 months, and the biggest climbers were, according to Munoz, "[t]hose that added new SUVs to their product ranges as this was the segment to drive the biggest part of the growth."
Although just four crossovers -- the Nissan Qashqai (8), Renault Captur (10), Vauxhall/Opel Mokka (17) and Peugeot 2008 (18) -- made it into this year's top 20 list, SUVs make up 50 per cent of the biggest movers chart, i.e., the 20 cars that have grabbed the biggest increased market share over 2015. That list is topped by the Fiat 500X and the Renault Kadjar.
"As in the rest of the continent, the small and compact SUVs continued to grab a big part of the growth and these newer products were the big winners with consumers," said Munoz.