Danish Car Sales For January 2015

What are the Danes buying? In at number 20 in January is the Kia Rio. What else?

2015 Kia Rio: one of Denmark´s most popular car (20th most popular). It outsold the BMW 3-series anyway.
2015 Kia Rio: one of Denmark´s most popular car (20th most popular). It outsold the BMW 3-series anyway.

First, they are buying small cars. The VW Golf and Peugeot 308 are the largest cars in the top ten and the top spot goes to a sub-B car, as does position 6 and 7. Secondly, Danes are buying the latest thing. The Peugeot 108’s cousin the Aygo has been on sale for six months or so and buyers have switched from that car to the mechanically similar Peugeot. This means the VW Up has fallen markedly in the same time from its number one position a few months back.

Opel are not faring well in the top 20: the Astra and Adam are absent and the Corsa is lingering at 12 though the figures for that car reflect the fact the outgoing model is still on sale. In counterpoint to my counterpoint, the Fiesta is no spring chicken either and it is the fourth most popular vehicle.

The Corolla nameplate lives on in Ireland. It´s extinct in the UK.
The Corolla nameplate lives on in Ireland. It’s extinct in the UK.

Ireland’s market is about the same size as Denmark’s and cars are similarly highly taxed. It has a similar population density and urban structure (suburbanised). First, how do prices compare? A VW Up base model in Ireland is €12,145. The same car costs  €12,070 in Denmark. And for comparison it costs €9,975 in Germany. In Ireland, the Golf, Focus and Auris take first second and third in sales.

Note there are no sub-B class cars in Ireland’s top ten while Denmark has three. Despite Ireland’s hard recession and rather high prices, the Irish are buying bigger cars than the Danes. Opel is similarly weak in Ireland when it was once a mainstay. I note there is no Opel in the top ten and the Astra is not managing to sell as well as the Golf, Auris and Focus.

One can spend a lot of time wondering what the meaning of that might be. I think it’s due to status sensitivity. The Irish, in my experience, can be rather self-conscious about their cars and I imagine that an Upcitigo doesn’t quite cut it in suburban Ireland.

The Danish top 20 now follows. Sub-B cars are marked in italic.

  1. Peugeot 108 1,134
  2. Peugeot 208 825
  3. MMC Space Star 611
  4. Ford Fiesta 590
  5. Toyota Yaris 550
  6. VW Up 516
  7. Toyota Aygo 514
  8. Kia Picanto 502
  9. Peugeot 308 426
  10. VW Polo 390
  11. VW Golf 363
  12. Opel Corsa 359
  13. Hyundai i10 359
  14. Renault Clio 298
  15. Renault Captur 294
  16. Hyundai i20 290
  17. Skoda Citigo 290
  18. Suzuki Swift 264
  19. Skoda Fabia 251
  20. Kia Rio  249

For Ireland, here is the top 10:

  1. VW Golf 1,488
  2. Ford Focus 1,222,
  3. Toyota Corolla 995
  4. Ford Fiesta 892
  5. Hyundai IX35 831
  6. Skoda Octavia 823
  7. Nissan Qashqai 785
  8. Toyota Yaris 782
  9. Toyota Auris 716
  10. Kia Sportage 651

I apologise for the formatting disarray. Those Irish figures come from bizplus  and not from the Society of Irish Motor Industry which has a lot of user-hostile Excel pages and, so far as I can tell, doesn’t break the data down by model but leaves it in lumps of manufacturers.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

15 thoughts on “Danish Car Sales For January 2015”

  1. The Danish selection is remarkably lacking in even mid-sized cars. It would suggest that the Danes are sensible, practical and not given to superficial frippperies, were it not for the Renault Captur at #15. Now why is that?

    Have Peugeots always been popular in Denmark?

  2. The differences between the two countries are striking.
    Both without own motoring history (recent at least), there should be no influence of “national” buying behaviour. Does that make the countries’ buying pattern more “rational” (= more geared to consumers’ needs)?

    The performance of Peugeot (or the lack thereof) is remarkable.
    And the Space Star is outselling Fiesta, Yaris, and Up. Definitely not status-oriented, those Danes. Quite likeable.

  3. For me the biggest question is whether Danish cars really are so costly if purchasing power is taken into account. Also I think Danes have less money to spend on cars so choose very cheap models. They still have plenty of money for all the rest. Irish people I think have more after tax income and choose to spend it on cars rather than better consumer goods. Irish “stuff” is generally crappier than the same class of “stuff” in Denmark.

  4. In Ireland, Ford have traditionally been seen as ‘Irish’. By consequence, Ford have always figured in the top 10. Toyota dominate saleswise however, having gained a formidable reputation for durability and longevity.

    I am unable to speak for the Danes, but in Ireland cars are very much seen as tools, there being little in the way of reliable and late-running public transport apart from in the larger cities. People drive everywhere. In some ways they have little choice. The roads are in poor repair. Cars wear out faster by consequence. I would suggest the Irish are pragmatic in their car choices. They don’t have much interest in frippery, cars like the C4 Cactus won’t sell in great numbers here. They like three volume saloons. They tend to buy from mainstream manufacturers rather than ‘prestige’ marques – although this is changing as the prestige marques drive downmarket. They don’t tend to favour small cars, preferring something from the c-sector.

    The only surprise for me on that list was the presence of the Kia Sportage. I never realised it was that popular. Also, I’d tend to agree with Richard regarding ‘stuff’. Status matters over here and that can be more overtly expressed with a car than with other consumer goods.

    1. But what, then, explains the complete absence of French cars in the top 10?

  5. That Corolla saloon looks good on the picture. I can see it selling well in Ireland, and not just to Dublin taxi companies, as well as in ’emerging’ countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle-East.

    1. Yes, the World’s Best Selling Car looks quite handsome in its latest iteration. But then I always admired the final Nissan Primera. I see Toyota describe the international Corolla as a notchback Auris.

  6. It is interesting to consider a hypothetical motoring industry, where each country had developed and produced its own cars for the past 50 years, catering only to local tastes and requirements, and with no reference at all to what other countries were producing. How different would all these vehicles be from each other?

  7. That counterfactual goes a bit too far for me and seems to suggest that Austrian car makers had no knowledge at all of Bavarian ones and that Irish manufacturers knew nothing of what the British were doing. Let´s say there were manufacturers in each country but due to closed markets and high-tarriffs only local cars were sold. I´d guess that the road conditions, geography and weather would produce a distinct mix of cars in each country. As I hail from the Emerald Isle, land of scholar, saints and singers, I will suggest Irish cars would be not unlike a mix of British ones and Swedish ones with a splash of Italian-style carelessness thrown in. There´s not much to distinguish Irish from British aesthetic preferences so the cars would look indistinguishable from British ones; they´d have much tougher suspension and thicker steel to cope with the bad roads. And if Irish cars were inspired by, say, German ones, they´d be filtered through the requirements of needing to deal with damp and lumpy roads.

  8. Daniel asked why the absence of French marques from the Irish top ten. The answer is most likely to be real or perceived quality and reliability. Each of the top ten here are manufacturers who have a reputation for making durable cars. You’ll probably find Renault in the top twenty; the Clio, Captur & Fluence sell well here. PSA are in more trouble. Their sales can’t be healthy, given the numbers seen on the roads. But then, they’re not offering much, are they?

  9. Actually I think they do. Well, maybe not Citroen (apart from the Picasso), but Peugeot is on the right track. The modular platform helps, the styling is getting better in the latest models (far from perfect, though). They have a huge problem with marketing strategy (at least as far as I can tell for Germany). And a huge problem with image and perceived quality – rightfully so in the light of the last decade’s cars. But the cars are better than their reputation. A lot, one has to add, when considering the reputation.

  10. The one thing I am not too concerned about is Peugeot´s quality. Nothing about them seems worse than the class standards. It´s the lukewarm everything else that kills me. I suppose that my driving experiences of all their 90s cars barring the 605 have coloured my opinions. With cars that were reasonably priced and so pleasant to use, the quality of the plastics and paint seemed a completely fair compromise. Then as now they seemed dead average but if your choice was an Escort or Golf or Astra, then I´d go for the 306 without a doubt. These days I have more appreciation of the Astra F but on balance, the 306 was much, much more delightful. None of the current cars express delight or joy. What could make the difference? Probably a modest retuning of the interior colours and space and a modest retuning of the chassis and steering. Then I could overlook the ho-hum appearances.

  11. PSA’s quality has improved of late, but the market has yet to catch up. Memories are long and folklore has a habit of becoming the God’s-honest truth. PSA no longer produce shoddily-assembled cars and if I have inferred that to be the case, I have perhaps sold them short. They remain slightly lacking as quality products nevertheless; my recent experience of a DS5 interior being ample evidence of Citroen’s ‘that’ll do’ attitude. The infuriating thing is that it probably wouldn’t cost them that much more to do it properly.

    I’ve owned Peugeot’s. (A 304 Coupe and a 205GTi). I respected their ethos, their engineering, their style and the pleasing manner in which they comported themselves. Both were, in their own way, exceptional. I could make allowances for their occasional lapses on that basis. Today however, they have absolutely nothing to offer me. Nothing.

    I’d love to see Peugeot regain the qualities that made the cars I owned so memorable, but it does appear that they have lost something elemental. They just make cars now.

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