A facelifted 3er was announced in May but will smaller, cheaper BMWs keep undermining it?

A facelifted 3er was announced in May but will smaller, cheaper BMWs keep undermining it?

The 12 percent YoY rise in the June German passenger cars market has seen some notable changes to the usual pecking order. Opel muscled past both Ford and BMW to take fourth position behind Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and third-placed Audi.

The KBA's data show the addition of the Karl has helped Opel, with brand sales of 24,241 and market share of 7.7%, compared to Volkswagen's 63,606 (20.3%), Mercedes-Benz's 28,208 (9.0%) and Audi's 27,479 (8.8%).

The BMW brand had sales of only 23,526 (7.5%) units in June, with Ford taking sixth position (22,035 and 7.0%), followed by Skoda (18,458 and 5.9%), SEAT (10,448 and 3.3%) and Hyundai (10,075 and 3.2%). Then came Renault in tenth place. It had the same market share as Hyundai but with sales of 9,926. This was more than 2,000 units ahead of next placed Fiat.

Other stand-out facts:

  • Tesla (224 registrations) was just eight sales behind Alfa Romeo
  • Mini sales surged by 43% to 4,736
  • Mitsubishi was up by 116% to 4,003 (Space Star sales up by 352% to 1,744)
  • smart's comeback is gathering strength, with sales of 3,595 (+74%)
  • Land Rover enjoyed a 60% gain to 1,946 (Evoque: 563, RR Sport: 550)
  • SsangYong's 215 registrations is a 215% YoY gain
  • Lotus sold 25 cars (+108%)
  • Rolls-Royce registrations reached 16 units for the month (+129%)
  • Cadillac sales surged by 100%. To 12 cars
  • Toyota, with 6,427 sales, could manage only 12th place, behind Fiat
  • Nissan registrations were 5,992 (13th position) ahead of Citroen (5,604)
  • Mazda is the quiet one to watch in all European markets (5,550 sales in June)
  • Kia (5,465) was outsold by the Hiroshima-based brand in June
  • Only 540 Jaguars sold last month (+12%) so for once, it's not going backwards
  • Infiniti (133) ahead of Lexus (106) last month (and Lada: 95 cars sold, +25%)
  • FCA sold 5,638 Lancia  Ypsilons in Italy. In Germany, it sold 4 (and 301 YtD)
  • FCA sold 12 Maserati Quattroportes. Lexus sold 10 units of the CT 200h
  • Ferrari California: 20 sold; Lexus IS: 19 sold; Jaguar XJ: 15 sold; Lexus GS: 9
  • The Qashqai was way down in position 40th, with just 2,289 sold in June
  • Nissan's crossover was outsold by the VW Caddy, Fiat Ducato & Benz V-Class
  • the Porsche 911 (728) outsold the Toyota Avensis (719) and Nissan Juke (712)

Among the best performing models were the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (7,468, +79%) which was the market's number three model behind the Golf (23,742) and Passat (9,416), BMW 2 Series (+766% YoY comparison is irrelevant but the sales tally was 4,202), Opel Mokka (+63% to 3,524), and BMW X1 (+85% to 3,465).

The rise of the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer is not the good news for BMW Group that it would at first appear to be. Here is the best example yet of how buyer preferences in Europe's largest market are changing: 3 Series registrations have collapsed by 43% YoY to just 3,240 units. Some of that is of course due to the two-door cars being a separate model series now, plus a fresh Passat estate means VW is stealing a lot of 3 Series Touring buyers, as is the C-Class. Yet, seeing numbers such as Hyundai's ix35 rising by 65% to be just 300 cars behind the 3er, or Audi's Q3 sales surging by 45% underline how things have changed - Germans are as keen to ditch D segment wagons (and sedans) as other Europeans for crossovers and SUVs.

BMW also saw sales of the 5 Series plunge by 45% to 1,939 units in June. This gave the 5er a shocking 45th place in the overall rankings behind the Opel Insignia (1,942 registrations). Finally, X3 sales fell by 31% to 1,504, and the i3 has collapsed by 43% to just 120 cars, though i8 registrations are up by 57% to 36 units.