Archives for August 2014

European sales 2014 first half Large SUV segment

The large SUV segment in Europe is showing resilience across the board: after losing almost a quarter of its volume in 2013, with all models down except for one, this year so far the large SUV’s are back up 7% and the success is shared by all models but two.


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The Hyundai Santa Fe, the model that added the most market share from 2012 to 2013, now loses the most market share in the first half of 2014. This could still be a result of Hyundai’s strategic decision to restrict exports to Europe of the model, as it’s enjoying huge popularity in other markets like the USA and China, which have a much larger potential for SUV’s and crossovers.

As a result, the Santa Fe is dragging down the performance of the segment as a whole, because the other models combined actually show an increase of 17% on the first half of last year. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Midsized SUV segment


The success of small crossovers is not hurting sales of midsized models, as these types of vehicles enjoyed an increase of 10% in the first half of 2014, exactly the same growth rate of compact cars, the segment most buyers of these vehicles are expected to switch away from.


Photo credit: Auto-Motor-und-Sport

The new generation Nissan Qashqai, the traditional leader of the segment, has helped the model reduce its sales decline to just 3%, which will undoubtedly be turned into a sales increase by the next quarter, let alone by the end of the year. The Qashqai is on its way to a record year, breaking the 208.649 units it sold in 2011, the second of four consecutive years (and counting) above the 200.000 mark.

The Volkswagen Tiguan continues to impress and is enjoying its best first half ever, which means 2014 could be a record year for the already 7-year-old model.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Small SUV segment


Photo credit: Stéphane Capela,

Small SUV’s and crossovers are still the hottest segment after the first six months of 2014, although the growth rate has slowed as two of the hottest new entrants started sales in the second quarter of last year.

No changes in the top-5 ranking since the first quarter means the Renault Captur is still firmly in the lead, but its superiority has shown some cracks. The Peugeot 2008 outsold its French competitor in May, before the Captur struck back with a record month of June, topping 20.000 units for the first time ever, which is almost double the model’s selling rate in the first two months of the year.

Similarly, the Dacia Duster was outsold by the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka for the second time this year in May, but the Duster has held on to its podium spot thanks to excellent performances in April and especially May, when it even outsold the 2008.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Large MPV segment


Photo credit: Auto Express

The large MPV segment in Europe has returned from its artificially high growth rate of 35% in the first quarter of 2014, which was due to sell-out pricing of the outgoing models of the Ford S-Max and Galaxy. In the second quarter, large MPV sales were down almost 7%, leading to a first half increase of 9%.

The S-Max enjoyed only two quarters in the lead of the segment, the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, until the Volkswagen Sharan struck back in the second quarter of this year, its 6% increase was enough to give it the edge over the S-Max in the first half.

Similarly, the Sharan’s sibling Seat Alhambra was outsold by the Galaxy in the fourth quarter of last year and had that model breathing down its neck in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter, the Alhambra took some distance, as Ford’s sell-out pricing was apparently reduced.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Midsized MPV segment

European consumers bought slightly less midsized MPV’s in the first half of 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013.


Photo credit: L’argus

After grabbing the lead of the segment in the first quarter of this year, the Citroën C4 (Grand) Picasso has left the segment’s initiator Renault (Grand) Scenic in second place. The Picasso’s unconventional design has clearly struck a chord with young families and account managers, the biggest groups of buyers in this segment.

The facelifted Scenic did take advantage of an excellent month of June for the Renault brand across almost all models to cut into the Citroën’s lead by about 2.000 units, but such a sudden and inexplicable spike in sales is usually followed by a couple of weaker months to even out the balance. So I expect 2014 to be the second year ever that the Scenic is not the king of the midsized MPV segment. The first time this happened, in 2008, it was the previous generation (Grand) Picasso to do the trick.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Small MPV segment


The small MPV segment’s growth of 10% in the first quarter has slowed down slightly in the second quarter, as first half 2014 sales are still up an impressive 8%. And the difference between success and failure has grown, as only two models show significant gains, while all other models either remain virtually flat or lose sales.

Fiat-500L-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Ford B-Max held on to its lead in the first half of 2013, until the Fiat 500L took over and never looked back. In the second quarter of 2014, the 500L even outsold the B-Max by a 2-to-1 ratio. Then the new generation Nissan Note outsold the little Ford for the first time last December and has done so every month since, to jump into the segment’s second place, from sixth last year. The B-Max is now under threat to lose out of the podium by the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva, with less than 50 units between them after the Meriva outsold the Romanian-built Ford in each of the last 3 months.

The Meriva has passed the Citroën C3 Picasso in the second quarter as well, but the rest of the segment remains relatively stable ranking-wise. All other models are down at least 12% with the only exception of the Skoda Roomster, down just 1% and therefore closing in on the Kia Venga.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half midsize segment


The new generation VW Passat

European sales in the midsized segment have declined further in the second quarter of 2014 to show a loss of 5% over the first half. The Volkswagen Passat shows a smaller decline than the overall segment, even though its new generation has already been introduced to the press and will hit showrooms in the last quarter of this year.

Of only five models increasing their sales on last year, the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia is the fastest growing with sales up over one third thanks to a facelift and modernized engines. The second fastest gainer is the Skoda Superb, which also has been updated recently, and which could repeat the remarkable performance of its smaller sibling Skoda in the compact segment by ending the year on the podium of the midsize segment. It’s already leapfrogged the Peugeot 508 into fourth position and has its sights set on the Ford Mondeo.

Belgian production of the current generation Mondeo has already ended in July. After the summer break, Ford will start production of the new generation Mondeo in Spain, but that model won’t hit showrooms until December, leaving it vulnerable to be passed by the Skoda Superb.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half compact segment


The compact segment is up 10% in the first half of 2014, despite rumors that consumers would leave the segment in droves to buy crossovers and SUV’s.

VW-Golf-Skoda-Octavia-Seat-Leon-European-compact-car-segment-salesAmong the biggest gainers of the segment are the VW-Group siblings Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia (up two spots to an amazing third position) and Seat Leon, together accounting for over 94.000 of the segment’s 104.000 units growth. On top of that, the slightly smaller Skoda Rapid has gained another two spots thanks to the introduction of the Spaceback hatchback version to make it 4 VW-Group cars in the top-10.

The Golf is still the biggest gainer of the segment in absolute numbers, and it’s on track to sell over half a million units in Europe for the first time in 10 years. Other notable gainers are the European Car of the Year Peugeot 308, with the recently introduced station wagon version boosting sales even further, although I don’t expect it to threaten the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for fourth place.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Subcompact segment

The subcompact segment shows a sales increase of just 1%, which is less than the overall market, and down from +5% after the first three months.


Photo credit: Autocar

Part of the slowdown may be due to small crossovers becoming increasingly popular thanks to an influx of new models in that segment.

The Ford Fiesta holds on to its traditional lead of the segment, although the Renault Clio has outsold the Fiesta in three of the six months, including the last two. A (traditional) excellent month of March in the UK has helped the little Ford stay in first position over the first six months this year.

Amazingly, the already ancient Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has taken back its position from the still relatively fresh Peugeot 208, which is already the biggest loser in the top-10, despite being one of the most recent designs. Considering the 2008 and Mokka are not far apart in the small crossover segment, and considering the Clio is unhurt by the success of the Captur, it’s hard to blame the 2008 for the early demise of the 208.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Minicar segment

Citroen-C1-Peugeot-108-Toyota-AygoSales in the European minicar segment are down 2% in the first half of 2014, as a number of important models have just been renewed or will be in the second half of the year. The new generation of the Kolin triplets Citroën C1, Peugeot 107/108 and Toyota Aygo have started sales in June and won’t reach their full potential until the third quarter. Thanks to an excellent first quarter with sales increasing 20%, the Aygo is actually still up for the first half, but the C1 and 107 are down about 25%.

Also in showrooms later this year are the new generations of the Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo, both on the same rear-engined, rear-wheel drive platform, and both outgoing generations down about 12% on last year.… Continue Reading …