Ford, Fiat-Chrysler Are the Big Winners in European Auto Sales Bump

SUV fever is expanding overseas.

byEric Brandt|
Fiat News photo

March was a good month for overall auto sales in Europe, with the month seeing a strong growth of 11 percent. A good chunk of that growth came from Ford and Fiat Chrysler, thanks to Europeans starting to crave SUVs and crossovers almost as much as us Yankees do.

The overall surge is encouraging, in light of disappointing auto sales figures in the US for March.

Ford saw a 17 percent sales boost growing their market share from 7.8 percent to 8.2 percent. Their sales rally was driven by the Kuga (same as the Escape), the compact EcoSport (which is coming here for the 2018 model year), and Edge. That puts Ford in second place for Q1 sales in Europe, behind Volkswagen and ahead of PSA (a.k.a. Peugeot).

FCA enjoyed an 18 percent increase in sales mostly thanks to the Jeep Renegade and its corporate twin the Fiat 500X. This gave its Euro market share a modest bump from 6.3 percent up to 6.8 percent. (Looks like Sergio Marchionne is doing just fine without merging with anybody.)

This growth spelled unfortunate news for European top dogs Volkswagen AG and PSA. Despite sales growth of 6.2 percent, Volkswagen’s market share in Europe dipped from 22.4 percenr down to 21.4 percent, which still gives its a comfortable lead. 

As for PSA, which sells Peugeot, Citroen, and DS, its sales went up 6.7 percent, with its newly acquired Opel/Vauxhall jumping a slight 3.4 percent.