Volkswagen Group had a stunning 8% increase in sales in the first half of 2018, which is all the more impressive since the company dominates European sales, with a 24% EU market share. (In this article “European” refers only to members of the European Union. The numbers are similar when other European countries are added in.) The namesake Volkswagen brand did well; Audi dropped by just 2%, but was still responsible for 400,000 sales, and Porsche picked up some of the difference.
It seems clear that, even if your top management has been implicated in crimes and scandals, you can still sell an awful lot of cars; or, in other words, it’s hard to lose the public’s trust. (Or perhaps VW Group was just successful in spreading confusion and doubt about every other automaker.)
PSA Group, most commonly known for its Peugeot and Citroën brands, zoomed from a 10% market share to 16%, but that was because they bought Opel (including England’s Vauxhall), adding 486,822 sales (around 40,000 fewer than the brands had when they were owned by General Motors last year). GM went from a 6% market share to 0%, selling just 1,450 cars. Peugeot sold 9% more, and Citroën, once known for their odd designs, posted a 4% gain; the luxury DS brand hit 26,171, a 6% gain, beating Lexus. None of these brands are sold in North America.
By the way, you may be seeing PSA cars here in the States soon; plans are to re-enter North America in 2026. 15 states and four provinces are in the running to get PSA dealerships, and they already have a headquarters in Atlanta; the goal is apparently to avoid dealerships, instead selling used cars from their own car-sharing service. It’s probably the first time any manufacturer in the US has sought to establish themselves solely as a used car seller.
#3 is another French company, which also does not sell cars in the United States — Renault. Their namesake brand didn’t really gain, but Dacia and Lada did, and they sold their first 569 Alpines. Europeans have presumably forgotten the Chrysler Alpine by now (no relation).