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Back to Germany. And in 2012 a few models broke their all-time annual volume records… Jump in to know more!
In a gloomy European context, German new car sales have remained very solid in 2012, down just 3% year-on-year to 3,082,504 registrations.
In the brands ranking, all 3 premium German carmakers now belong in the Top 4 for the first time in history: below Volkswagen solid at 21.8% share, Mercedes improves to 9.2% thanks to 283,006 sales while Audi gains 6% to land at #3 with 266,582 units and 8.6% share. BMW rounds up the Top 4, down 3% on 2011. The two other ‘German’ (although US-owned) mainstream brands fall heavily: Opel is down 16% to #5 and Ford down 11% at #6, even passed by Skoda and threatened by Hyundai in December…
Korean brands lodge the best performances in the Top 20: Hyundai is up 16% to #9 and Kia up 30% to #16, with Seat (+15%) and Dacia (+9%) also performing very well. Further down, Land Rover is up 67% to #27 thanks to the Evoque and Subaru is up 52% to #28. Notice also Ferrari up 12%, Bentley up 40% and Lamborghini up 23%.
In the models ranking, the VW Golf is unsurprisingly the most popular model in the country for the 32nd consecutive year (no interruption since 1981!) and for the 37th time in the last 38 years, with only the Mercedes W123 interrupting its reign in 1980. It sells 240,702 units for a 7.8% market share, down 7% on 2011 but the arrival of the 7th generation late this year should give it a kick in 2013.
In fact the podium is unchanged on 2011 with the VW Passat (-14%) and Polo (-16%) following in the ranking, making it the 2nd year in a row (and ever) that Volkswagen monopolises the year-end German podium.
The Mercedes C-Class (-13%) and Opel Astra (-23%) exchange positions, while the BMW 3 Series is up one spot to #6. But the most impressive progression in the Top 10 is without a doubt delivered by the Mercedes B-Class, boosted by the arrival of the new model. It simply doubles its sales vs. last year and gains 21 spots to reach a record #7 at 59,420 units, even breaking into the monthly podium for the very first time in September at #3. The BMW 1 Series, also supported by a new generation, is up 7 ranks and 12% to #8 with 59,241 sales and hits a record #2 in December.
The other model hitting a significant milestone this year is the VW Tiguan, up 8 spots and 22% to a best-ever #11 at 55,615 units. While it had only broken into the monthly Top 10 twice before 2012, it repeats this feat no less than 7 times this year, peaking at #7. The Audi A6/A7 is also up 8 ranks to #13, the Skoda Octavia is stable at its highest ever year-end ranking (#17) while the VW Up! manages to break into the German year-end Top 20 for its first full year of sales in the country at #20 with 42,842 units.
Given Skoda and Seat are 100% owned by the Volkswagen Group, the best-selling ‘true’ foreign model in Germany this year and for the first time ever is the Nissan Qashqai in spite of sales down 11% to #29. It only just passes the Hyundai i30 at #30 (-12%) with the Renault Megane (#37), Toyota Yaris (#38) and Renault Clio (#40) the only other imports in the Top 40.
Other great performers include the Opel Zafira up 52% to #26, Audi Q3 up 778% to #34 for its first full year of sales, Hyundai ix35 up 44% to #48, Mercedes GLK up 34% to #51, Mercedes ML-Class up 117% to #58 and Hyundai i40 up 433% to #87. 4 all-new models appear in the Top 100: the Peugeot 208 lukewarm at #66, the Mazda CX-5 at #86, Skoda Citigo at #90 and Seat Mii at #97.
In the luxury segment, notice the Porsche Cayenne up 40% to #89, Range Rover Evoque up 377% #123, BMW 6 Series up 79% to #161, Mercedes SL-Class up 256% to #170, Bentley Continental up 54% to #257 and the Lamborghini Aventador up 633% to #303.
You can also check the previous year ranking: Germany Full Year 2011: VW Golf, Passat and Polo on podium
There you go.
You now know everything to know about what the Germans bought in 2012.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.