Ford Fiesta set to become best-selling car in Europe

Automotive data and intelligence provider JATO Dynamics has released a list of the top ten selling models and manufacturers in Europe in 2010.

Post-scrappage scheme figures from a number of European countries show the sale of small cars such as the Fiesta and Clio are remaining strong despite a general decrease in new car sales across Europe.

In particular, Europe’s second largest new car market, Germany, has seen new car sales drop by almost a third. The Volkswagen Golf relies heavily on German sales and saw a fall of four per cent in sales after the scrappage scheme ended.

However, strong sales in Spain, Italy and the UK has increased sales of the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio by 11.9 per cent and 54.6 per cent respectively, closing the gap on the best-selling Golf in the European best-selling model top ten.

In February alone, Ford sold 32,498 Fiesta models, 5000 less than the Golf. However, in February 2009, the gap was nearly 10,000.

Renault was the most improved manufacturer after an increase of 28 per cent in new car sales, ensuring the French manufacturer finished above Ford in second place. In first place, Volkswagen saw overall sales drop by 0.4 per cent.

The success of the scrappage scheme across Europe was evident in the difference between Western European countries with scrappage schemes and Eastern European countries without a similar scheme.

JATO has warned without the effects of the scrappage scheme, figures there would not be much difference between the two sets of nations.

David Di Girolamo, Head of JATO Consult, explained: "The overall picture is still far from positive. The declines appear to be less severe in Central and Eastern Europe which is more to do with the comparison period than any improving fortunes there.

"The underlying figures from Western Europe are no more encouraging once you remove the impact of government incentives, as the evidence from Germany shows."

The Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders has warned the end of the UK scrappage incentive will cause a decline in new car sales in the UK, causing manufacturers to introduce their own incentive schemes.

Vauxhall, Toyota and Kia have all introduced their own swappage scheme, and Vauxhall has also added a new entry-level specification to reduce the starting price of many of its most popular models.