Europe May Sales Report: Through the Numbers

By Matthew Askari | June 04, 2012
As we go through the European sales numbers released today, a few things are clear: these are good times to be an automaker, and especially if you're from Europe. The Germans led the way again, and Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are all staring down historic months. Overall it was a strong month for European automakers, and just about everyone is selling more through the first five months this year than last, save for Volvo. We went through the numbers to see what was spearheading all this growth, and what models if any, were holding automakers back. Volkswagen:
  • Jetta: VW's bread and butter is holding steady, while newer models pick up steam.
  • Beetle: One of the most iconic models is new, more sporty, and apparently being received quite well.
  • Passat: It's made in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and with more than 10,000 Passats sold in May, it's the automaker's second most important model behind the Jetta.
  • 3 Series: Not as hot as last month, but still Bimmer's top dog.
  • X5: The X5 comes with a base 3.0-liter V-6 engine, or you can opt for the powerful 4.4-liter V-8. Either way this luxury crossover offers infinite options and add-ons, and apparently people are finding ones that are just right for them.
  • Mini: While BMW is on a tear, Mini's sales are getting a little smaller. The topless Cooper S is doing well, but enthusiasts aren't quite sure what to make of the Clubman.
  • A6: The A7 was an early star, but the A6 is showing that a traditional tail is rather popular, too.
  • Q5: Audi has been talking about expanding the Q line from two models to seven. At the rate the Q5 is flying, we see where this logic is coming from.
  • A4: Someone's gotta pay the bills, and for decades, the A4 has been doing that for Audi. May was no different.
  • C-Class: Outselling all other MBs, including the E-Class. The redesign has really breathed life into the automaker's entry-level models.
  • M-Class: An SUV, done up the Mercdes-Benz-way; there's plenty of leather, wood, and shiny stuff, with a Mercedes-Benz badge starting at about 50k.
  • E-Class: Not wanting to miss out on a potential sale, you can get an E-Class in: coupe; convertible; hardtop; sedan; wagon; big engine; medium-sized engine; diesel; gasoline; etc. The only line to do better was the C-Class.
Who could have guessed? Porsche's best-selling model is an SUV. The Cayenne leads the way for the German sports car maker. The new 911 has enthusiasts drooling. The Panamera has really expanded Porsche's appeal, Boxster/Cayman are in need of new inspiration.
Jaguar/Land Rover: The Range Rover Sport is still Land Rover's top dog, but the new Evoque is turning out to be a gamble that has paid off handsomely. It's not a very practical SUV, but it is stylish and buyers don't mind the smaller 2.0-liter engine. On the Jaguar side, the XJ and XF kept things purring. Jaguar will get an F-type in 2013. Volvo: The S60 may be the Swedish automaker's most practical car, and it's certainly the best selling. But the new Volvo XC60 is gaining some serious momentum. We got to drive one a couple weeks ago, and think Volvo may be on to something with the new SUV. Source: Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover