February European Sales: New Vehicles, Diesels and Crossovers Edition

By Joel Arellano | March 02, 2012
While the press keeps hammering how most of Middle America is in the dumps, losing jobs, can't find jobs, grossly obese because they can't find a job, etc., apparently there were just a few still gainfully employed and able to secure their favorite cars and crossovers from ze Germans automakers and even Sweden throughout the month of February. Recently introduced models, unsurprisingly, got the lion's share of purchases, with the all-new Volkswagen Beetle, for example, seeing sales rise more than 1500 percent from February 2011. But diesel-powered German cars, like the Audi A3 TDI and Mercedes-Benz's various BlueTEC models, all saw higher numbers as knowledgeable buyers saw price differences between premium gasoline and diesel shrink to pennies. Audi's Winners:
  • Audi A3: While the A3 saw a modest increase in sales (21.5 percent) from last February, diesel Audi A3 TDI models saw a more than 53-percent increase that month.
  • Audi A7: The stunning, all-new A7 saw purchases numbering more than 500 sales in February alone. Talk about an amazing Valentine's Day present.
  • Audi Q5: Americans continue their love affair on all things crossover with sales of the mid-sized Q5 increasing a modest 14 percent.
Audi's Losers:
  • Audi A8: Are large sedans going by the wayside? That seems to be the case for Audi's flagship. Must be all these large crossovers SUV so readily available and for about the same price.
  • Audi Q7: Sales for the full-sized crossover SUV dropped in February, but more due to a supply issue, according to the automaker, than demand from consumers.
  • Audi R8: We're not sure it was a lack of supply that explains the drop in sales for the Audi R8 sports car for February.
BMW/Mini Winners:
  • BMW 3 Series: The all-new 3 Series saw sales jump more than 66 percent through the month of February, illustrating car enthusiasts' perennial favorite still has plenty of life left in the U.S. market.
  • BMW 6 Series: High sales of the big coupe, on the other hand, show that the consumer and car enthusiasts don't always see eye to eye in taste.
  • Mini Countryman: A larger Mini? Americans gave a collective thumbs-up for the Countryman, to the collective gasps of disbelief from purists. Hey, obesity issue, remember?
BMW Losers:
  • BMW 1 Series: Americans like their compacts "large" even when they're, well, suppose to be a compact. Low sales of the show Americans find the compact too compact.
Jaguar/Land Rover Winners:
  • Jaguar XF: For February, the XF sedan commanded the lion share of sales for the month, up around 80 percent from last year.
  • Jaguar XK: Buyers responded positively to the Jaguar XK lineup which includes coupe and convertible body-styles, as well as the high-end XKR and XKR-S.
  • Land Rover Evoque: The all-new Evoque, to nobody's surprise, caught Americans eyes and pocketbooks, selling more than 700 crossover SUVs for the Tata-owned brand.
Jaguar/Land Rover Losers:
  • The older Land Rovers: While Land Rover's Range Rover lineup (Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque) dominate sales for the premium SUV maker, the older Land Rover LR2 and Land Rover LR4 SUVs continue to be pushed in the background by the press and consumers.
Mercedes-Benz/Smart Winners:
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class: The all-new C-Class drove February sales, offering entry-level Mercedes buyers not only sedan body-style but, for the first time, a coupe as well. Apparently they like it.
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Americans like crossovers and SUVs. The M-Class is a mid-sized crossover SUV. Sales rose more than 75 percent in February. Not rocket science here, eh?
  • Diesels: Collectively, diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz vehicles saw a collective rise over 80-percent from last February.
  • Smart Fortwo: The diminutive coupes saw yet another increase in sales, the fourth month in a row. Well, good for the brand. We're now real curious to see the electric model.
Mercedes-Benz/Smart Losers:
  • Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: With an all new SL on the horizon, sales of the last generation fell by nearly 50-percent in February, and for the entire year.
  • Mercedes-Benz R-Class: Americans continue to find the "it's not fish nor fowl" R-Class just too different as a credible full-sized crossover. Will China continue to save the R-Class from the chopping block?
Porsche Winners:
  • Porsche 911: The all new sports car appealed to the American sense of new-and-shiny, hence a near 112-percent jump in sales.
  • Porsche Panamera: Porsche purists continue to wail as the buying public continues to buy the Porsche Panamera sedan in droves, with sales rising nearly 17-percent from 2011.
Porsche Losers:
  • Porsche Boxster: The all-new Boxster is scheduled to debut later this month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Thus, the "old" model is languishing at the Porsche dealerships.
  • Porsche Cayenne: Although still a breadwinner for the brand, sales of Porsche's SUV have slipped to about two-thirds the level they were at last year.
Volkswagen Winners:
  • Volkswagen Beetle: The all-new more "manly" Beetle attracted both sexes with sales over 2,300-percent compared to last February.
  • Volkswagen Touareg: The mid-sized crossover SUV continues to find shoppers even if they can't pronounce its name. Sales broke 65 percent both in February and year to year sales.
  • Diesels: Gas prices rose in February. Demand for diesel VWs rose more than 54-percent that month. Diesel offers hybrid-esque fuel economy without an extra—and heavy—electric motor and batteries.
Volkswagen Losers:
  • Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen: The near 46-percent drop in sales of the Jetta station wagon in February continues to illustrate that Americans like crossovers.
  • Volkswagen CC: The coupe-like CC may be a passing fad for VW lovers, as sales dropped nearly 40-percent in February. Of course, the all-new VW Jetta and Passat could be stealing sales from the CC as well.
Volvo Winners:
  • Volvo S60: The mid-sized S60 assumes the "entry level" vehicle into the brand after the Swedish automaker discontinued the more compact S40 last year. S60 sales rose over 50-percent for the month of February.
  • Volvo XC90: Americans like large crossover SUVs, especially safe ones. Sales of the Volvo XC90 rose more than 33-percent, despite it being the oldest vehicle in Volvo's lineup.
Volvo Losers:
  • Volvo S80: The aging flagship saw sales plummet last month. Maybe buyers are more interested in the Volvo XC60 crossover or XC90?
  • Volvo C70: Convertibles didn't get a lot of love last month as sales dropped more than 30-percent for the C70 convertible. Maybe this summer?
Sources: Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, Volvo

Audi A8: Are large sedans going by the wayside? That seems to be the case for Audi’s flagship. Must be all these large crossovers SUV so readily available and for about the same price.