Volkswagen has pulled yet further ahead of Ford in a half-yearly ranking of Europe's biggest automotive brands.
The compilation of European sales figures, conducted by automotive analyst JATO Dynamics and released July 19, shows that Volkswagen increased sales by nearly six percent year-on-year, while Ford fell by 5.6 percent during the first six months of 2011.
Opel/Vauxhall managed an increase of 2.9 percent during the same period, but the two French brands which make up the rest of Europe's most popular automakers both fell, Renault by 11 percent and Peugeot by 6.9 percent.
German automakers, by contrast, performed fairly well, with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all posting gains.
"Consumer perception of quality, high standard equipment levels and strong residual values are critical factors in the success of the German brands," said JATO's Gareth Hession.
"Their success is supported not only by their traditional customer base, who being typically more affluent are more confident purchasers during these tough economic times, but also from consumers who are looking for security from their hard earned investment."
The Volkswagen Golf retained its position as Europe's most popular model, selling 253,288 vehicles, some way ahead of the Ford Fiesta, which sold 195,592 models, a significant fall of 18.2 percent in the first six months of this year.
In fact, only two models among Europe's most popular ten were able to actually improve their sales, the new Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Passat, which posted a whopping 28.8 percent rise in sales.
Europe's best-selling cars
1. Volkswagen Golf
2. Ford Fiesta
3. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa
4. Volkswagen Polo
5. Ford Focus
6. Opel/Vauxhall Astra
7. Renault Clio
8. Peugeot 207
9. Renault Megane
10. Volkswagen Passat
Figures from JATO DynamicsReuse content