Bentley, Porsche, Volvo and MG increased sales in June in a market that was down 25 percent for the month. The overall market's decline, however, was a vast improvement on the 57 percent drop in May and the 74 percent collapse in April. The steady revival of vehicle sales coincides with the lifting of lockdowns used to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Europe sales by model, June and 6 months; Bentley, Porsche, Volvo, MG rise; Renault Clio tops VW Golf again
Bentley's June sales rose 11 percent, Porsche was up 9.1 percent and Volvo gained 2.8 percent, but the big winner was Chinese-owned MG, which grew 146 percent, according to figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics. The models propelling those brands in June were the Bentley Flying Spur, Porsche Taycan full-electric sedan, Volvo XC40 and XC60 SUVs, and MG ZS EV small SUV.
The other brands that beat the market, but were not in positive territory for the month, included Lexus (-1.6 percent), Rolls-Royce (-6.1 percent), Mercedes-Benz (-12 percent), as well as Lamborghini and Skoda (both -13 percent).
A growing number of models increased sales despite the lingering challenges caused by the pandemic, including the full-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC, which rose 426 percent to 673 sales from a low base during the same month in 2019. The Renault Zoe full-electric small car was up 115 percent to 10,334 sales, and the Skoda Scala compact hatchback increased sales 99 percent to 5,466.
The Renault Clio was Europe's No. 1 seller for the second consecutive month in June with a volume of 36,372, achieving its third monthly victory this year over the Volkswagen Golf, which is at risk of losing its overall lead to the French model.
The Clio also topped the Golf in February. Prior to that, the last time the Golf lost a monthly sales race was September 2018, according to JATO data.
The Clio won the month of June by increasing sales 1.3 percent. In May, the Clio's volume was 51 percent below the same month in 2019.
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The Golf was second in June with a volume of 24,284, down 35 percent from the same month last year. That was the biggest month-on-month decline of any model in the top 10.
The Clio and the Peugeot 208 were the only models in Europe's top 10 to increase sales in June. The 208 was the best performer in the top 10 with an increase of 11 percent compared with June 2019.
For the first five months, the Golf was No. 1 with 118,937 sales, a decline of 46 percent, followed by the Clio (116,678, -38 percent); Peugeot 208 (84,793, -32 percent), VW Tiguan (82,936, -39 percent); and the Ford Focus (81,940, -36 percent).