Fiesta outpaces Golf in European sales figures
In total, 68,630 Fiestas were sold in March 2010, a 25.8% rise in sales compared to March 2009 and 11,785 more than Volkswagen's second-placed Golf.
Year-to-date, Fiesta is also ahead, selling 140,496 to Golf's 135,048, reversing the picture from Q1 2009, but continuing a pattern where Fiesta has closed the sales gap to Golf through 2010.
Ford has also secured the top spot in the March brand chart, on its Fiesta success – 1,818 sales ahead of Volkswagen in March, whilst also closing the year-to-date gap to its German rival.
March was a less successful month for Fiat and Toyota, as both slipped in sales, losing 4.3% and 12.4%, respectively.
Toyota's top three European selling models, the Yaris, Auris and Aygo, all dropped sales, compared to March 2009, most likely to be a consequence of the recent media coverage regarding the brand's recall activity and regardless of its strong CO2 performances. Toyota had also previously seen strong sales in Germany, so is affected by that market's poor performance.
The encouraging news for the wider industry was the net 9.8% uplift in March sales across Europe (+9.6% YtD), with Germany the only major market not posting a sales increase for the month.
Once again Spain, Great Britain, Italy and France all recorded double-digit sales growth, with Spain sales an impressive 44.8% up year-to-date and Great Britain taking the accolade of largest European market in March 2010.
However, JATO Dynamics warned that the growth may not continue.
David Di Girolamo, head of JATO Consult, said: 'There remains the shade of scrappage in these figures, so we need to remain cautious. Germany has lost almost 200,000 sales in the first three months of the year, without the incentives that are still helping other markets.'