If AID’s own provisional February car sales numbers are any guide, there were smiles of smug satisfaction at the European headquarters of Fiat and Ford, Peugeot-Citroen and Renault, and particularly GM’s European Opel offshoot. In Wolfsburg, at Volkswagen Group’s headquarter, there were subdued cries of consternation
By any measure, and for the second successive month, the greatly tarnished Volkswagen car brand still stands out as the principal casualty in this year’s closely fought West European car sales battle.
Again, GM’s Opel offshoot - as if to add salt to Volkswagen’s wounds - stands out among February’s major winners.
Opel’s yellow balloon is gaining lift
With February car sales topping year ago levels by a robust 13.5 per cent, and Volkswagen forced to tread water for yet another month, Opel’s sales retained the fizz already witnessed in the previous month.
Its February sales in Western Europe, buoyed by a bumper 28.1 per cent sales surge on German home turf, topped year ago levels by almost a fifth.
If AID’s provisional figures are any guide, the Volkswagen brand, driving for yet another month with the handbrake on, mustered a paltry 4.3 per cent February sales gain at home and a rise of less than four per cent in the whole of Western Europe.
In consequence, Volkswagen’s February market share skidded more than one percentage point.
Upwardly mobile Opel, during the same month, gained 0.3 percentage points, according to AID
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