The 2015 car sales premier league, CAR+ March 2016

Published: 17 February 2016

► 2015 was the year of car sales
► Six-year high for Europe
► We take a look at the winners and losers

2015 set a new global record for car sales at 87m units. Unprecedented sales in the US, the UK and emerging markets such as India – plus a six-year high for Europe – contrasted sharply with slowing growth in China and significant downturns in Russia, Brazil and Japan. No-one swapped places in the world’s top 10 car makers, but who were the winners and losers?

1st) VW Group remains top dog despite #dieselgate, but also saw sales tumble most. Golf and Polo growth slowed in Europe, while lack of fresh SUVs hurt

2nd and 3rd) Toyota and GM get silver and bronze but both suffered in exposure to Russian and Brazilian markets’ collapse, China’s slowdown, and lack of product to take advantage of buoyant small SUV market

5th) Record Ford earnings in 2015, driven by SUVs and trucks, and success in China – especially with Lincoln (MKX above). Falling fuel prices helped US sales across the board

6th) Renault was one of the big winners in Europe, driven largely by sales of the Captur and Kadjar. No coincidence these are newly launched crossovers

7th) Fiat-Chrysler’s Jeep delivered and 500X helped in Europe, but the Italians’ exposure to tanking Brazilian market caused plenty of pain

8th) Honda struggled at home after tax changes hurt kei car market; big growth in China and India

10th) Second biggest loser in the top 10, Suzuki suffered a 20% decline in home market Japan (kei cars again), plus a 19% fall in China

This graph helps illustrate the winners and losers

Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine