German brands triumph in downbeat market
That's the finding of JATO in its analysis of the new car sales figures for April.
The European new car market declined by 3.1% in April, and by 2.1% year-to-date.
Sales across the region remain disparate – Greece down 50.4% year-to-date, Netherlands up 25.2% year-to-date.
Of the big five European markets, only Germany saw an increase in sales in April, up 2.6%, while France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain all experienced decreases, down 11.1%, 7.4%, 2.3% and 23.6% respectively.
Volkswagen has consolidated its position as the Continent's leading car brand.
The preference for German brands continues with BMW, Audi and Volkswagen all recording positive growth in sales year-to-date, up 3.6%, 3.7%, and 5.1% respectively.
The only top 10 models to record increased sales in April or the year-to-date were the Volkswagen Polo and Passat, consolidating the brand's position as Europe's leading car brand. Despite slightly lower sales compared to this time last year, the Volkswagen Golf remained Europe's best-selling car.
Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, vice president, research, said: 'Despite sales in the majority of the big five markets being down for April, it is clear that Volkswagen's products and brand image are appealing to cautious consumer attitudes in many European countries.'