European sales declined for the fifth consecutive year in 2012, falling 8 percent to 12.6 million. But not everyone suffered. Kia, Hyundai, Audi, Land Rover and Jeep bucked the downward trend because of fresh models in hot segments.
With sales up by 35 percent to 100,698 units, Land Rover broke its European record for volume and was the fastest growing brand in the region.
The main reason for the surge was high demand for the Range Rover Evoque.
Sales of the premium SUV maker’s entry model tripled to more than 50,000. Land Rover expects 2013 to be another good year because the Evoque remains a hot seller and the brand will launch the fourth-generation Range Rover.
Another SUV maker, Jeep, was Europe’s second fastest growing band last year, up 19 percent to more than 28,263 units. Jeep, which was Europe’s fastest growing brand in 2011, was the only bright spot for parent Fiat. The Italian automaker’s other brands all suffered double-digit losses in Europe in 2012.