Data released by automotive data firm JATO shows that B-Segment models occupied four of the top five spaces in Europe's car market last month as the overall market continued to decline.

JATO's data is consistent with that released earlier in the month by LMC Automotive and shows that Europe's new car market in January was down 9.6% on a year earlier. 

The Volkswagen Golf continues to be Europe’s best-selling car, despite a fall of 17.8% in January sales compared to 2012. Four B-Segment cars, the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 complete the top five. The battle among the leading B-Segment cars for second place in the market is very close, only a few hundred units separating the Fiesta, Polo and Clio, with the 208 not far behind.

Opel/Vauxhall, BMW and Mercedes were the only brands in the Top Ten to record increased sales compared to January 2012, up 2.2%, 5.5% and 1.9% respectively

Out of the ‘Big Five’ European markets, only Great Britain saw any growth in January. Germany, France, Italy and Spain all experienced continued falls in vehicle registrations against a backdrop of econommic recession and austerity budgets across the continent.

Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, Vice President, Research at JATO said: “The new year has not seen any renewed demand for new cars in much of Europe. The market remains challenging and highly competitive.”

Outside the Top 10, Mazda, with sales up 25.0% thanks to the CX-5 crossover SUV, and Dacia, with sales up by 6.0% thanks to the introduction of the second generation Sandero hatchback and the new Lodgy MPV, were described by JATO as the 'rising stars of the market in January'.

Hession added: “The B-Segment is one of the most competitive in the European market. Recent product actions such as facelift Fiesta and the introduction of the Clio 4 and the 208 have added to the strength of this segment. With the Fiesta, Polo, Clio and 208 all selling such similar volumes, we anticipate the lead of this segment will change regularly during 2013.”

Sales by Market
Country Jan_13 Jan_12 % Change Jan Jan YtD_13 Jan YtD_12 % Change YtD
Austria 27761 26826 +3.5% 27761 26826 +3.5%
Belgium* 40606 44732 -9.2% 40606 44732 -9.2%
Croatia 1853 3498 -47% 1853 3498 -47%
Cyprus* 854 980 -12.9% 854 980 -12.9%
Czech Republic 12071 12900 -6.4% 12071 12900 -6.4%
Denmark 14744 12870 +14.6% 14744 12870 +14.6%
Estonia 1713 1671 +2.5% 1713 1671 +2.5%
Finland 10246 14232 -28% 10246 14232 -28%
France 124798 147057 -15.1% 124798 147057 -15.1%
Germany 192090 210195 -8.6% 192090 210195 -8.6%
Great Britain 143643 128853 +11.5% 143643 128853 +11.5%
Greece 5527 8405 -34.2% 5527 8405 -34.2%
Hungary 3685 4980 -26% 3685 4980 -26%
Iceland 460 320 +43.8% 460 320 +43.8%
Ireland 17292 21302 -18.8% 17292 21302 -18.8%
Italy 114327 138726 -17.6% 114327 138726 -17.6%
Latvia 776 882 -12% 776 882 -12%
Lithuania 1001 1008 -0.7% 1001 1008 -0.7%
Luxembourg 3375 3649 -7.5% 3375 3649 -7.5%
Norway 11675 10860 +7.5% 11675 10860 +7.5%
Poland 26246 24198 +8.5% 26246 24198 +8.5%
Portugal* 7380 6960 +6.0% 7380 6960 +6.0%
Romania 4436 4937 -10.1% 4436 4937 -10.1%
Serbia* 1250 1409 -11.3% 1250 1409 -11.3%
Slovakia 4308 4658 -7.5% 4308 4658 -7.5%
Slovenia 4383 5011 -12.5% 4383 5011 -12.5%
Spain 49933 54967 -9.2% 49933 54967 -9.2%
Sweden 15721 18686 -15.9% 15721 18686 -15.9%
Switzerland 20856 23645 -11.8% 20856 23645 -11.8%
The Netherlands 48849 70169 -30.4% 48849 70169 -30.4%
Grand Total 911859 1008586 -9.6% 911859 1008586 -9.6%

NOTE: * denotes estimated volumes for January 2013

Top 10 Brands
Make Jan_13 Jan_12 % Change Jan Jan YtD_13 Jan YtD_12 % Change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN 114026 129510 -12% 114026 129510 -12%
FORD 62345 84057 -25.8% 62345 84057 -25.8%
OPEL/VAUXHALL 59212 57925 +2.2% 59212 57925 +2.2%
RENAULT 56093 64055 -12.4% 56093 64055 -12.4%
PEUGEOT 55967 67631 -17.2% 55967 67631 -17.2%
AUDI 50091 51401 -2.5% 50091 51401 -2.5%
CITROEN 47426 57139 -17% 47426 57139 -17%
FIAT 46199 48918 -5.6% 46199 48918 -5.6%
BMW 46184 43787 +5.5% 46184 43787 +5.5%
MERCEDES 45148 44285 +1.9% 45148 44285 +1.9%
Top 10 Models
Make & Model Jan_13 Jan_12 % Change Jan Jan YtD_13 Jan YtD_12 % Change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 30338 36913 -17.8% 30338 36913 -17.8%
FORD FIESTA 20909 23894 -12.5% 20909 23894 -12.5%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO 20628 26004 -20.7% 20628 26004 -20.7%
RENAULT CLIO 20580 18492 +11.3% 20580 18492 +11.3%
PEUGEOT 208 19260 413 - 19260 413 -
FORD FOCUS 17596 22372 -21.3% 17596 22372 -21.3%
NISSAN QASHQAI 17047 17224 -1% 17047 17224 -1%
OPEL/VAUXHALL ASTRA 16898 16784 +0.7% 16898 16784 +0.7%
OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA 15923 15664 +1.7% 15923 15664 +1.7%
FIAT PANDA 14307 15145 -5.5% 14307 15145 -5.5%