Europe 2006: Opel Astra triumphs, Clio and Focus close behind
2006 was a year off for the VW Golf, losing sales to its Golf Plus version.This threw the models ranking into a spin with no less than 5 cars holding the top spot at some stage during the year.
The Opel Astra ends up being the best selling car in Europe for the first time ever, 15 years after the nameplate launched. It delivers 437,673 sales this year, down 6%. It nearly missed the mark given the Renault Clio was #1 after 11 months. In fact, the year was a succession of changes atop the ranking.
The Ford Focus started the year with a bang and ranked #1 for the very first time in January with 40,362 sales. Then the Fiat Punto, boosted by the arrival of the Grande Punto, took the top spot in February for the first time since 2000, followed by the Opel Astra in March. The Renault Clio took the relay and led the market in April, only its second time ever at #1 in Europe. The Focus was back on top in May before being passed by the Clio again in June…
At half-year, the Ford Focus was #1, ahead of the Renault Clio, Opel Astra, Fiat Punto and VW Golf. The Astra was then #1 twice (in July and September) as well as the Golf (August and November), the Clio leading in October and the Focus in December.
All in all, the Renault Clio finished the year at a best-ever #2 (+28%), the Ford Focus at #3 (+2%), the VW Golf at #4, its worst European ranking in over 25 years, and the Fiat Punto at #5 with a massive +51%.
Other significant events this year include the VW Passat ranking above the Golf for the first time ever in January – it finished the year at a best-ever #7 – and the very fast change-over between the Peugeot 206 and 207: the 206 was still in the Top 10 in April and the 207 made its first appearance in it in July! Only 2 months off, an amazing feat by Peugeot.
Full Year 2006, 1st and 2nd Half and January to July Top 10 Ranking Tables below.
You can check out every Monthly Top 10 here: Europe 2006 Monthly.
Number of months spent at #1 in 2006:
Opel Astra: 3 (March, July, September)
Renault Clio: 3 (April, June, October)
Ford Focus: 3 (January, May, December)
VW Golf: 2 (August, November)
Fiat Punto: 1 (February)
Europe Full Year 2006:
|10||BMW 3 Series||289,053||20%||241,784||14|
Europe 1st Half 2006:
Europe 2nd Half 2006:
|9||BMW 3 Series||144,053|