Polo and Megane buck the European car sales trend

The Volkswagen Polo and the Renault Megane were the only two cars to gain popularity among European car buyers in August 2010, according to figures released last week by automotive analyst JATO Dynamics.

The two models bucked a downward trend to show both year-to-date and year-on-year sales growth, despite an overall 11.8 percent fall in European car sales during August.

The Polo showed a dramatic 49.7 percent rise in August sales, while the Megane posted a jump of 17.1 percent.

The strength of Renault sales has helped it replace Opel/Vauxhall in the top three European automakers ranked by year-to-date sales (up an impressive 15.7 percent), with JATO attributing this to the French brand's speciality with smaller vehicles.

Volkswagen remains the most popular automaker in Europe, but saw a sharp drop in sales of its popular Golf compact - compared to last year, August sales were down by 29.3 percent.

Ford is the third most popular automaker, although it too saw both year-on-year and year-to-date sales fall in August.

Europe's most popular cars - August 2010

1. VW Golf
2. VW Polo
3. Ford Fiesta
4. Renault Clio
5. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa
6. Peugeot 207
7. Opel/Vauxhall Astra
8. Renault Megane
9. Ford Focus
10. Fiat Punto

Data from Jato Dynamics - http://www.jato.com