El ao 2021 may be the last of a reign that lasts already close to four decades. From 1983, the Volkswagen Golf has been the best-selling car of the year in Europe 32 times. Except for a few occasions when he has yielded the throne to the Fiat Punto (1997), Peugeot 206 (2003), Opel Astra (2005 and 2006) and Peugeot 207 (2007), Golf has dominated the European market with an iron fist and has not come down from the throne since 2008 (He has been at the top of the rankings for 13 years without interruption).
The Volkswagen Golf, about to lose the throne
But the Golf has been showing signs of ‘exhaustion’ for several years and 2021 could be the last of a dynasty That less than a decade ago seemed eternal. The rise of SUVs first, electrification shortly after, and finally the microchip crisis, has caused the Volkswagen Golf to lose close to half a million annual registrations in just six exercises. Of the 648.176 units delivered in 2015, the German compact has become 190.483 in what we have of 2021, according to data from the consulting firm Jato Dynamics, which supposes a cumulative decline of almost 71% (it is said soon).
The rise of the SUV, electrification and the chip crisis
The drop in Golf sales has been accentuated in 2021, with a 24% crash compared to the same period in 2020, which was already a very bad year. It is no coincidence that it coincides with the boom in sales of a compact SUV from the same brand as the Volkswagen T-Roc (169,189 units in 2021 and a growth of 21%), which uses the same MQB platform as the Golf 7 and 8. And it is not by chance that it coincides with the first full year of life of the Volkswagen ID.3, the ‘Electric Golf’ of which 62,467 units have already been sold in 2021, according to data from Jato Dynamics.
Volkswagen Golf: three months in free fall
The last few months they have been especially disastrous for Golf. And that’s because it is suffering the microchip crisis like no other model in Europe. The sales slump has been unstoppable since October, when was the vigsimo best-selling model on the continent with only 8.649 registrations, less than half of the previous month (15.507). In November it fell until position number 35 with slo 6.755 units dispatched in 25 countries, an unprecedented figure in the history of Golf. And December can be even worse.
Golf in Spain: historical collapse
Slo in Spain, the German compact has fallen to the position number 41 in the sales ranking with only 7,388 registrations until December 23, three times less than the Seat Arona, which leads the domestic market with 21.395 units dispatched, according to data from AutoInfor. Golf sales in Spain accumulate a 42.1% drop so far this year and the month of December is going to be one of the worst of the year with a 53% crash compared to the same period in 2020 (380 registrations so far this month).
Toyota Corolla: the best-selling compact in Spain
In its segment, that of compact, the Golf has fallen to seventh position in Spain and has been overtaken by models such as the Toyota Corolla (with less than three years in the Spanish market), the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (from the premium segment) and up to Kia Ceed (Korean made). The Ford Focus (eighth in its segment) is also poised to overtake the Golf.
Dacia Sandero, about to conquer Europe
Golf’s rivals in Europe are taking advantage of the Golf’s ‘weakness’ to cut distances, and there is even three candidates to seize the throne in 2021. The best placed to give the ‘sorpasso’ is the Dacia Sandero, which accumulated 177.953 units enrolled up to November with a 18% year-on-year growth. The Romanian utility vehicle is already the best-selling car in some European markets (it was in Spain in 2020) and in July (20,446) and August (14,961) it led sales on the continent ahead of Golf. They are separated by 12,530 units, a difference that may be enough for the German compact to retain the lead for another year.
The Renault Clio ‘trusts’ in the comeback
The second candidate to unseat Golf is the Renault Clio. The French utility vehicle is the third best-selling model in Europe with 175.563 units enrolled until November. Although accumulates a every 21% year-on-year, the Clio is making up for its poor start to the year with a spectacular comeback which started in September (second two consecutive months) and has led to lead sales in November with 16,353 deliveries, 90 ms than the Sandero. It is separated by almost 15,000 units of the Golf.
Peugeot 2008, the great revelation
The third candidate to surprise is the Peugeot 2008, one of the great revelations of the year with the Hyundai Tucson (13 with a rise of 70%) and the Fiat 500 (ninth with a 35% increase in sales). The French SUV is the fourth best-selling model in 2021 with 173.890 units enrolled up to November and one 28% rise with respect to the same period of the previous year. It is followed by another model of the brand of the lion, the Peugeot 208, with 172.614 deliveries and an interannual variation of -1%.
Toyota Yaris deflates
The list of the 10 best-selling cars in Europe is completed by the Volkswagen T-Roc (169,189 units), the Toyota Yaris (165,961 deliveries), the Opel Corsa (164,125), the Fiat 500 (147,111) and the Lemon C3 (144,859). The Yaris was the Golf’s main rival until August, but Japanese utility sales have plummeted in the past three months, probably also because of the semiconductor crisis. In November it lost 65% of its sales volume and fell to 37th place with only 6,496 units registered. He was even surpassed by his ‘brother’ Yaris Cross with 8,335 deliveries of the Japanese crossover.
The best-selling cars in Europe
- Volkswagen Golf (190,483)
- Dacia Sandero (177,953)
- Renault Clio (175.563)
- Peugeot 2008 (173.890)
- Peugeot 208 (172.614)
- Volkswagen T-Roc (169.189)
- Toyota Yaris (165.961)
- Opel Corsa (164.125)
- Fiat 500 (147.111)
- Lemon C3 (144,859)
- Renault Captur (144,304)
- Volkswagen Polo (141,046)
- Hyundai Tucson (136.490)
- Dacia Duster (129,196)
- Toyota Corolla (128,723)
- Skoda Octavia (127,136)
- Peugeot 3008 (126.167)
- Volkswagen Tiguan (122,910)
- Fiat Panda (122,697)
- Ford Puma (121,349)
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The leadership of the Volkswagen Golf in Europe is in danger: this is the car that can take away the throne