Peugeot’s relatively new 207 has topped the European individual model sales charts for the second consecutive month though Volkswagen remained top selling brand in a market that fell 3.1% in May.

With new engine variants and a station wagon version just going on sale now, the popular new B-segment Peugeot – successor to the strong-selling 206 – seems set for dominance for a while yet.

Data from UK-based auto data and intelligence provider Jato Dynamics showed that the European new car sales fell 3.1% (or 44,178 units) year on year in May 2007, to 1,402,757 units. Year-to-date sales also were down, by 1.2% (or 83,234 units) to 6,834,243 units.

The 207 was again Europe’s best selling car in May with 40,446 units registered. Jato noted that Peugeot has a history of European sales success with its small cars and the 207 certainly appears to be continuing that trend.

The Ford Focus – the current European model now in its third model year – jumped three places into the second slot with 39,996 units registered and the Golf remained third position with 36,471 units registered. The Punto, Astra, Fiesta, Corsa, 3-Series, Clio and Passat took the remaining top 10 places.

While the 207 and Focus held on to the two top spots year-to-date, the picture was a little different further down the rankings with Punto, Corsa and Clio making up the top five.

Volkswagen nonetheless continued as Europe’s top-selling car brand in May, ahead of Ford, and Opel/Vauxhall, Renault and Peugeot (up 2.4% due to those strong 207 sales). Year-to-date the top five brands were Volkswagen, Opel/Vauxhall, Ford (up 1.2%), Renault and Peugeot.

“Today’s European car market is a challenging environment”, said Jato’s international sales and marketing director Nasir Shah. “We continue to see the importance of new products in the fight for market share. The product lifecycles for cars are getting progressively shorter as manufacturers clamour to win the attention of consumers with new models, and those manufacturers with aggressive product development strategies continue to reap the rewards.

“In recent months, the strong sales performances posted by the new Peugeot 207 and Fiat Grande Punto are testament to this.”