Blog: Glenn BrooksEurope: Nissan overtakes Fiat

Glenn Brooks | 17 April 2012

The combination of the ongoing economic downturn and a crippling truckers' strike in its home market saw Fiat outsold across Europe last month by Nissan.

The numbers, which were issued by ACEA earlier on 17th April, list combined sales for 25 EU and three EFTA markets. In a market down 6.6% year on year, Volkswagen Group saw its share rise by 1.7%, meaning that it finished the month with 23.7% of all passenger vehicle sales in Europe. That's more than double what the traditional number two, PSA, managed (11.9%, down 19.2%).

Volkswagen was of course greatly helped by the ongoing expansion of the German market. The BMW (73,899) and Mercedes-Benz (65,814) brands also saw their sales up last month at a regional level, to such an extent that they also surpassed the total for Fiat-badged vehicles (58,480). In March 2011, Fiat's total was 80,174, putting it 10,000 and 20,000 units ahead of BMW and Benz respectively. This time last year, Fiat was also some 20,000 units ahead of Nissan. But last month, Nissan's 62,860 registrations placed it ahead of its Italian rival.

To give those totals some perspective, Nissan sales in March were behind, in this order: VW, Ford, Opel-Vauxhall, Renault, Peugeot, Hyundai-Kia, Audi, Citroen, BMW, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.

The misery for Fiat might be painful but there is one other major manufacturer doing worse. Believe it or not, Honda Europe found itself outsold last month by Jaguar Land Rover. Honda's 23% YoY drop to only 19,924 registrations in March versus a 27% surge to 21,321 sales for JLR was enough to push the Japanese manufacturer's yearly total (a mere 36,797) behind that for Jaguar Land Rover (38,285). Consider also that Mazda, with no production base in the region, is some 2,000 units ahead of Honda. Let's hope for the future of workers at its plants in Turkey and England that the new Civic can begin to turn things around for Honda.

Dave Leggett also has some thoughts on the ACEA numbers, so do have a look at his words too. You'll find them here.


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