European car sales down 9.6% Jan 2013. VW Golf sales down 17.8%

Car sales in Europe continue to decline with sales down 9.6% in January 2013 and the top-selling VW Golf down by 17.8%.

Photo 2013 VW Golf

We’ve seen plenty of evidence that the UK is bucking the trend in car sales in Europe, with the UK recording sales increases in January 2013 of 11.5 per cent whilst the rest of Europe saw sales decline by 9.6 per cent compared to 2012.

In fact, the UK was the only top five market to increase sales, with Germany down 8.6 per cent, France down 15.1 per cent, Italy down 17.6 per cent and Spain 9.2 per cent. Other notable drops included the Netherlands which saw a huge drop of 30.4 per cent, partly driven by tighter emission boundaries on company car taxation.

The VW Golf managed to keep its title of ‘Best Selling Car in Europe’ despite a drop in sales of 17.8 per cent (which could be down to availability of the new Golf Mk 7) and the only top 10 car makers to record an increase in sales were Opel/Vauxhall, BMW and Mercedes (although Jaguar Land Rover saw a big rise in car sales in January too – they’re just not in the European top ten).

These figures come from JATO, and JATO’s Gareth Hession said:

The new year has not seen any renewed demand for new cars in much of Europe. The market remains challenging and highly competitive.

He went on to comment on the B Segment cars in the top sales chart (the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 took the next four places behind the VW Golf ):

The B-segment is one of the most competitive in the European market. Recent product actions such as facelift Fiesta and the introduction of the Clio 4 and the 208 have added to the strength of this segment. With the Fiesta, Polo, Clio and 208 all selling such similar volumes, we anticipate the lead of this segment will change regularly during 2013.

But it’s all pretty much doom and gloom for car sales across mainland Europe.

Cars UK Motoring Directory


  1. Dave Lawrence says

    I’m just impressed that the Golf is Europe’s top selling car, given that it’s not exactly cheap to buy. And even more so that it’s sales are hurting, but it’s still at the top.?

What do you think?