20 Jan 17

Hungary: From Diesel to Petrol

The Hungarian fleet sales* of passenger cars represent about 72% of the total market. With 57k units sold in 2015, it has increased by 54% compared to 2012.

Looking at the ranking of the first eight months of 2016, Škoda is fighting with Ford for the first place, with about 5,000 units each. Opel is not far behind, with ‘domestic’ make Suzuki and Volkswagen completing the top five. Remarkably, there are no premium brands in the top ten, and cost challenger Dacia – which in other European countries barely features amongst the popular fleet brands – comes in at number nine.

Looking at the models, the Škoda Octavia is leading the market, but the Suzuki Vitara is closing in since the start of 2016. That is rather atypical, but is undoubtedly the consequence of Suzuki having a large assembly plant in Hungary, which indeed produces this compact SUV (apart from the Swift and the SX4 S Cross). The most popular executive saloon and estate (nr 5) is the Volkswagen Passat. Third and fourth position are taken by 2 compacts: the Opel Astra and the Ford Focus.

Another remarkable fact is that the fuel mix is evolving in the favour of petrol. In 2013, nearly 55% of all new passenger cars sold to fleets were diesel powered. During the first eight months of 2016, the diesel share has fallen to 44%. Alternative powertrains have not skyrocketed as they have elsewhere in Europe, but the government’s pro-EV tax scheme is not without effect.


Hungary’s light commercial vehicle market is heading to 20,000 units by the end of 2016, a growth of more than 30%. This means that this segment is amplifying even faster than that of the passenger cars. Like in many European countries, Ford sways the sceptre in ‘vanland’, capitalizing on its successful and comprehensive Transit line-up.

Fiat grabs a slice of the cake that is only half the size of Ford’s, with a market share of nearly 14% (versus nearly 28%, Jan-Aug 2016). It mostly relies on the Ducato, which is the second most popular LCV on the local market. Remarkably, the Ford Ranger is the third most popular model in the LCV ranking, illustrating the rise of the pick-up truck throughout Europe.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier