Although vehicle sales in Europe dropped for the fifth straight year in 2012 at an 8-percent slide to 12.6 million units, not all carmakers were affected by the trend. Carmakers like Hyundai, Audi, Land Rover, and Jeep were able to post growths in Europe, thanks to new models in hot segments.
Land Rover surged 35 percent to 100,698 units in 2012, breaking its European record for volume and was considered as the fastest growing brand in Europe. Land Rover’s strong sales were attributed to the high demand for the Range Rover Evoque. The carmaker sold over 50,000 Range Rover Evoques in 2012.
The premium SUV maker expects 2013 to be a good year since the Evoque remains to be a high demand item and the brand is set to roll out this year its fourth-generation Range Rover.
Jeep, on the other hand, grew 19 percent in 2012 to 28,263 units, making it the second fastest growing brand in Europe in the year. Jeep is the only brand of Italian carmaker Fiat that posted an increase in sales in Europe. Fiat’s other brands succumbed to double-digit sales declines in the region in 2012.
South Korean volume brands Hyundai and Kia likewise posted sales gains in Europe in 2012. Kia gained 15 percent to 337,466 units while Hyundai surged 9 percent to 432,240, according to data from industry association ACEA.
Combined, Hyundai-Kia’s 769,706 sales in Europe would make the South Korean companies the eighth-largest carmaker in Europe, behind Volkswagen Group, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, General Motors Europe, Ford, BMW Group and Fiat Group.
Czech carmaker Skoda was the only other volume brand to post growth after Hyundai and Kia, logging a 2-percent gain to 491,951 units. For French carmakers, 2012 proved to be a dismal year, as they all succumbed to double-digit sales declines.
Renault dropped 22 percent while Citroen and Peugeot each slid 13 percent. GM’s Opel/Vauxhall shrunk 16 percent while Ford dropped 13 percent in Europe. Japanese carmakers were likewise hit by the sales decline in Europe with Toyota sliding 2 percent, Nissan with 6 percent, Honda with 6 percent and Mitsubishi with 33 percent.