June ushered in the official start to summer, but temperatures weren’t the only thing rising: European automakers continued a fiery pace in racking up the sales. The Germans led the way again: Audi sold more cars in June than any month since coming to the U.S 42 years ago; Mercedes-Benz continues stellar momentum; and Volkswagen closed out its best first half of a year since 1973. Overall it was a strong month for European automakers, and just about everyone is selling more through the first six months this year than last, save for Volvo. We went through the numbers to see what was spearheading all this growth, and what models if any, were holding automakers back.
- Jetta: Still Vee-Dubs number one model, we recently drove it and can see why. A solid all-around car, and accessibly priced.
- Beetle: Possibly the most iconic VW model, the new Beetle is sportier, and a topless version is soon coming.
- Passat: It’s made in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and with more than 10,000 Passats sold in June, it’s the automaker’s second most important model behind the Jetta.
- X3: Small utility packaged well, and shoppers had a healthy appetite for them in June.
- X5: The X5 comes with a base 3.0-liter V-6 engine, or you can opt for the powerful 4.4-liter V-8. Either way this luxury crossover offers infinite options and add-ons, and apparently people are finding ones that are just right for them.
- 6 Series: The new 6s are on the way, and incentives seem to be moving the 2012′s off the lots in a hurry.
- Mini: Faring a little better than previous months, the Mini Countryman gave the automaker a boost, and sales of the Cooper S are still paying the bills. The Clubman continues on the sluggish side.
- A6: The A7 got all the attention last year, but sales of the A6 in June are showing that a traditional tail is rather popular, too.
- Q5: The Q5 is closing the gap with the A4 as the automaker’s most important model. Audi has been talking about expanding the Q line from two models to seven. At the rate the Q5 is flying, we see where this logic is coming from.
- A4: Someone’s gotta pay the bills, and for decades, the A4 has been doing that for Audi. May was no different.
- C-Class: Outselling all other MBs, including the E-Class. The redesign has really breathed life into the automaker’s entry-level models.
- M-Class: Plenty of leather, wood, and shiny stuff, with a Mercedes-Benz badge starting at about $50k. The M-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s third greatest seller.
- E-Class: Not wanting to miss out on a potential sale, you can get an E-Class in: coupe; convertible; hardtop; sedan; wagon; big engine; medium-sized engine; diesel; gasoline; etc. The only line to sell more was the C-Class.
Porsche is now fully owned by Volkswagen, which purchased the remaining 50 percent of the iconic German automaker. Both seem to have exceptional momentum, which can only help the transition. Porsche’s best-selling model is still an SUV; The Cayenne leads the way for the German sports car maker; the new 911 has enthusiasts drooling; the Panamera has really expanded Porsche’s appeal; Boxster/Cayman are still drawing interest.
The Range Rover Sport is still Land Rover’s top dog, but the new Evoque is turning out to be a gamble that has paid off handsomely. It’s not a very practical SUV, but it is stylish and buyers don’t mind the smaller 2.0-liter engine. On the Jaguar side, the XF has kept things purring. Jaguar will get an F-type in 2013.
The S60 may be the Swedish automaker’s most practical car, and it’s certainly the best selling. But the new Volvo XC60 is gaining some serious momentum. We got to drive one last month, and think Volvo may be on to something with the new SUV.
Source: Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover