Ford takes Volkswagen's crown as Europe’s top-selling automobile

Ford takes Volkswagen's crown as Europe’s top-selling automobile
VW Golf is no longer Europe’s best-selling car. The title now belongs to the Ford Fiesta, reports JATO, a London-based supplier of automotive business intelligence.

In March, VW sold 46,800 Golfs compared to 47,300 Fiestas sold by Ford. The third best-seller was VW’s Polo with 40,700 sold in the month.

Volkswagen lost the title for the first time in seven years. JATO names three reasons for the event, which it describes as “historical."

First, the Golf has been recently updated, which, according to JATO, is usually followed by a drop in sales.

“The company has run down the old pre-facelift range and not yet got much stock of the facelifted range, so we are in the natural lull between the two,” JATO explained.

Second, Volkswagen’s reputation was hit by the so-called dieselgate scandal. The German automaker admitted it used fraudulent software that allowed VW cars to emit 40 times more than the legally permitted amount of pollution. This hit not only the producer but diesel cars as a whole.

“During the last 18 months, we’ve haven’t only seen the effects of the dieselgate, but also the increasing bad reputation issue around this fuel type. Governments through bans are severely attacking the diesels, and of course, this is having an impact on the demand,” said JATO.

And finally, March saw better Fiesta deals, and the Golf is expected to return the leadership in April and the months following.

“The updated version has everything to ensure the domination of this model in Europe. Meanwhile, Ford prepares the new generation of its Fiesta with the usual negative impact on sales.”