European Automakers: Record-Setting March and First Quarter Across-the-Board Edition

By Trevor Dorchies | April 05, 2012
While other automakers from all over the world were turning in record sales figures for the month of March, Europe's biggest automotive nameplates were no different. In astonishing fashion, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz all turned in record-setting sales figures for March and the first quarter of 2012. Audi rode its March wave to its 15th consecutive monthly sales record while Volkswagen hasn't seen a third month of the year that has been this giving since 1973. German heavyweights BMW and Mercedes-Benz waved goodbye to the month of the leprechaun while closing out the most lucrative first-quarter periods in either companies' history. Audi's Winners
  • The 2012 Audi A6 saw a 104.3-percent increase in sales figures when compared with the same month last year. The midsize luxury sedan appears to have hit its stride and found a niche in the market for those looking for an all-weather luxury sedan.
  • The Audi A5 coupe saw comfortable growth in March moving 1,714 units, a 23.5 percent increase over March of 2011.
  • The A3 hatchback saw a moderate bump in sales figures when compared to last year and is up 9.9 percent. March saw 633 A3s roll off the lot as opposed to 576 during the same month last year.
Audi's Losers
  • For the second consecutive month, the biggest sedan Audi offers, the A8, was shown little love. March saw 418 A8s find new homes, a 25.4-percent decrease from the same month last year.
  • The Audi R8 supercar also saw little love for the second consecutive month as only 90 units were moved in March. That translates to a 15.1-percent decrease in sales when compared to the same month last year.
  • Normally known as Audi's best-seller, the A4 had a sluggish month for its standards "only" moving 3,291 units in March. That's a four percent decrease when compared to the same month last year for those of you keeping track at home.
BMW/Mini's Winners
  • With 759 units sold in March, the BMW 6 Series posted 105-percent increase over the 66 vehicles that were sold during the same month last year.
  • The BMW 7 Series full-size luxury sedan enjoyed a March where 1,280 units were moved, good for a 24.6-percent increase.
  • Next to the 6 Series, the X5 had the most robust March among all models served up by BMW. In all, the X5 moved 2,841 units last month, a 41.3 percent increase over the same time last month.
BMW/Mini's Losers
  • The compact BMW X3 crossover had an off month moving 2,135 units, a drop-off of 19.3 percent.
  • Mini checks in on our list with the Mini Cooper Clubman only being able to muster 497 units into new homes last month. That's a 36.1-percent decrease over the same month last year.
Jaguar/Land Rover's Winners
  • Popular with soccer moms and professional alike, the Range Rover Sport pulled its weight and then some in March. The trendy luxury SUV saw 1,356 leave dealership lots, the brand's leader in volume moved this month.
  • The do-anything and go-anywhere Land Rover LR4 found 852 new owners during the month of March, an 18-percent increase over the same period last year.
  • Jag's volume-leader for the month saw 614 Jaguar XF sedans moved, up 109 percent over March of 2011.
Jaguar/Land Rover's Losers
  • The Range Rover Evoque finds itself in Jag/Land Rover's loser list for March simply because of the troubles it has been facing to simply get to the dealership. Despite a dealership distribution system that's suffering from a severe case of bottlenecking, the all-new SUV continues along finding new owners. For the month, the Evoque moved 785 units, a 100-percent increase over the same period last year.
  • While it still saw an increase in sales, the Jaguar XJ finds itself on this side of the fence simply because it didn't move as much as other vehicles in the same stable. The XJ still moved 516 units over the course of March though, an 11-percent increase over the same month last year.
Mercedes-Benz/Smart's Winners
  • The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar had a March for the ages as it found 123 new owners, an increase of 20.6 percent over the same month last year.
  • The premium-class Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van saw a 29.5-percent increase in sales during the month of March with 1,375 units being moved.
  • March checked in as the fifth consecutive month that sales were on the rise for the tiny Smart ForTwo two-seater. The ForTwo was just a shade under 1,000 units sold for March with 999 vehicles finding new homes, a 135-percent increase when compared to the same time last year.
Mercedes-Benz/Smart's Losers
  • The Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned program saw sales dip 3.3 percent with 6,994 vehicles moved during the month of March.
Porsche's Winner
  • With no end in sight, the wildly popular Porsche Cayenne SUV led the way in volume sales with 1,255 units moved in March.
Porsche's Losers
  • The Porsche 911 was down in March, only moving 465 units when compared to March  2011 where 609 units were sold.
  • Both the Boxster and Cayman had trouble getting out of its own way with 87 units moved last month. Ouch.
Volkswagen's Winners
  • The popular Volkswagen Jetta sedan assumed its position as the German automaker's volume-leader moving 12,947 units during March.
  • The Volkswagen Golf and GTI hatchbacks check in with a 17.6-percent increase in sales for the month of March with 3,633 vehicles finding new homes.
  • Volkswagen's popular Passat family sedan enjoyed a successful March with 10,032 units finding their way to new homes. That's a 33.34-percent increase over the same time last year.
Volkswagen's Losers
  • A 43.1 percent decrease in sales will get you the biggest loser crown every time. The Volkswagen CC only managed to move 1,327 units last month as opposed to 2,331 units sold during the same month last year.
  • Volkswagen's unloved Routan minivan was shunned last month, only managing to move 590 units, a decrease of 48.2 percent.
Volvo's Winner
  • With 2,599 units moved last month, the Volvo S60 saw a sales increase of 33.1 percent.
Sources: Audi, BMW, Mini, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Porsche, Volkswagen, Volvo