Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Volvo Still King Of Swedish Roads, Saab Out Of Sight

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

Over the last couple of weeks we traveled in space through Colombia, China and South Korea, and in time through the USA in 1975. This week we are getting icy and hop onto Sweden.

If you are not in for a snowstorm, you are going to struggle through this article I’m afraid! But hey, I’ve also prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is super good, so click away!

Volvo is still the king of Swedish roads, placing 4 models in the Top 8 last month, while there was no Saab model in the Top 50…

The Swedish car market is in great shape this year, with 252,590 registrations over the first 10 months of 2011, up 8 percent on the same period in 2010. In October though, sales were down 5% at 25,052 units.

We may be on the cusp of a once-in-15-years event as far as the best selling models in Sweden are concerned…

Since 1996, the Volvo V70 has been the most popular car in the country. Yep, that’s nearly 16 years in a row, simply the longest-running #1 in the history of Swedish automobile. No less. For 2011, its title is safe: the V70 has accumulated 17,931 sales over the first 10 months of the year for a 7.1 percent market share… In October it is still Number 1 with 1,883 sales and 7.5 percent share. But 2012 might be a different story.

Launched exactly one year ago, the Volvo V60 – yes, another station wagon, I’ll come back to this – has been improving its scores all through 2011 to reach the 2nd place with 1,724 units sold and 6.9 percent share in October, its best performance so far. Slightly less expensive than the V60 and more modern, it has real chances to upset the cards and become Sweden’s best-selling car in 2012… so stay tuned for an update next year.

Like in Norway, Volkswagen is in a very strong position in Sweden: the Passat is #3 in October with 6.4 percent of the market, and #2 in 2011 year-to-date at 5 percent, while the Golf is #4 in October with 4.1 percent and #3 year-to-date at 4.2 percent.

Now. The 5th place in October goes to the Volvo V50. And that’s 3 Volvo station wagons in the Top 5! So yes, Swedish consumers are very fond of station wagons. They are even the world’s biggest fans of station wagons! So much so that Volvo can sustain 3 large wagons in their range.

The best-selling Volvo sedan in Sweden in October is only 24th and it’s the S60 at just 1 percent share…

…well below the best-selling Volvo 4WD, the XC60 at #8 and 2.1 percent share.

And far as Volvo’s only (kind of) hatchback, the C30, it stands well below the Top 50 with just 76 sales and 0.3 percent share in October, #54 with 1,295 sales and 0.5 percent share over 2011 year-to-date…

Other notable performers in Sweden include the Kia Cee’d at #6 with 2.4 percent share in October, the Audi A4 at #7 and th Renault Megane at #9 year-to-date.

Sweden, October Top 20

PosModelOct%1Volvo V701,8837.5%2Volvo V601,7246.9%3VW Passat1,6136.4%4VW Golf1,0304.1%5Volvo V507042.8%6Kia Cee’d6112.4%7Audi A45522.2%8Volvo XC605312.1%9VW Polo4791.9%10Skoda Octavia4381.7%11Ford Focus4301.7%12Renault Clio4201.7%13Skoda Fabia4181.7%14BMW 5-Serie4131.6%15VW Tiguan4101.6%16Renault Megane3851.5%17Toyota Auris3551.4%18Mercedes C Class3391.4%19Audi A33191.3%20Kia Sportage3051.2%

Sweden, 2011 Year-to-Date Top 20

PosModel2011%1Volvo V7017,9317.1%2VW Passat12,6775.0%3VW Golf10,6964.2%4Volvo V6010,1844.0%5Volvo V507,9293.1%6Kia Cee’d5,6612.2%7Audi A45,2832.1%8Volvo XC605,2072.1%9Renault Megane4,7001.9%10Ford Focus4,6281.8%11BMW 5-Serie4,5471.8%12Skoda Fabia4,0441.6%13Renault Clio3,9471.6%14BMW 3-Serie3,8711.5%15Skoda Octavia3,7681.5%16VW Polo3,7271.5%17Mercedes C Class3,5181.4%18Toyota Auris3,1751.3%19Nissan Qashqai3,1641.3%20Opel Astra3,0491.2%

And now for the golden nugget, let’s spare a few words for Saab.

The troubled manufacturer cannot even count on its home country to sustain a few sales: the Saab 9-3 only sold 36 units in October for a meager 0.1 percent market share, it is #24 year-to-date at 1.1 percent share, while the Saab 9-5 is at just 6 sales in October a 719 (0.3 percent share) over 2011…

That’s it!

You are now an expert on Swedish car sales – yes you are!

You can also check out the October and year-to-date 2011 Top 50 in Sweden here

You can check out Historical Data for Sweden up to 1957 here (click on ‘Older entries’ to see older data – doh!)

Sales figures sourced from BIL Sweden

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

Matt Gasnier
Matt Gasnier

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  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Nov 16, 2011

    The last time I was in Sweden, something like 5 years ago, I certainly didn't see Saabs "EVERYWHERE" at least not in Stockholm anyway. I certainly saw V70s (which was then the wagon version of the S60) everywhere, mixed with a few other cars. I remember seeing exactly one Saab 9-3, and zero Saab 9-5s. I also saw an old '70s muscle car, which was pretty interesting. I bet that guy gets a lot of strange looks over there. Stockholm is gorgeous. You can complain about the taxes all you want, but it makes NY and Chicago look like garbage.

    • See 2 previous
    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 16, 2011

      @geggamoya We can quibble over what is a car show and what is a meet, but the Woodward Dream Cruise has many times that number of special interest cars. Easily 40,000, way more than that if you count events, regional and national meets, and cruising that take place in the week or so before the WDC.

  • Cwp Cwp on Nov 16, 2011
    Elk test? They sure have some funny-looking elk in Sweden.
    • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Nov 18, 2011

      The moose there look like woolly mammoths!

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.
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