European car sales by segment

European sales 2013 Premium midsized and compact SUV segment

BMW-x3-audi-q5-range-rover-evoque-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe as a whole is relatively stable: down 3%, which is slightly more than the downward trend of the total market. No changes in the lead (yet), but the top three have moved closer towards each other, as the BMW X3 is down 15%. It will be facelifted this year in order to stabilize the decline in sales. Because of the X3’s downfall, the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque have the segment leadership within arm’s reach. Both sell slightly more in 2013 compared to the year before.

Just off the podium is the Volvo XC60, which has been facelifted halfway through the year, and as a result sales were up every month since July, and full year sales are virtually flat.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium large SUV segment

Mercedes-M-Class-Range-Rover-Sport-Porsche-Cayenne-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium large SUV segment in Europe is down 11% in 2013, as the top 4 all show double digit declines, but a shake-up of the segment will take place in 2014.

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is still the leader by a large margin, despite sales down 17%, because the number two of 2012, BMW X5 is down 22% and two places to fourth position. The M-Class will be replaced this year and the X5 has just been renewed. What this means for a model’s sales in this segment, is demonstrated by the Range Rover, up 82% thanks to the new generation. The Range Rover Sport has been renewed in the second half of the year, and sales are up 70% in the last quarter, so it will be fighting for the podium in 2014. The mammoth Mercedes-Benz GL has also been renewed late 2012, and sales have more than tripled in 2013, retaking its position ahead of the still-going-strong G-Class. The G-Class is up as well, which may have something to do with the publicity around the introduction of the utterly absurd G65 AMG, nicknamed the world’s fastest rolling bungalow by some.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 exotic and sports car segments

bentley-continental-gt-ferrari-458-italia-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013Sales of exotic cars in Europe are down slightly more than “regular” cars, at -5% vs. -2% for the whole market. Compact sports cars are down even more, at -8%, while large sports cars (the “911-segment”) are up 6%, but only thanks to the introduction of a new model into the segment.

In the exotics segment, the Bentley Continental GT and GTC keep their lead, despite sales down 10%, as the segment’s number 2, the Ferrari 458 Italia is down even more, at -17%. The introduction of the 458 Speciale should help it stabilize its sales before an update in 2015 to keep the car fresh.

2014 will be an interesting year for Lamborghini, as the Gallardo replacement Huracan will reach showrooms is spring this year and should be able to get 400+ sales by the end of the year.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Passenger Van segment

Volkswagen-Caddy-Life-Citroen-Berlingo-Multispace-sales-europe-2013The small van-derived car (or Ludospace in French) segment in Europe in 2013 is down slightly more than the average of all cars, at -4% vs -2% for the whole market. Traditionally, the cargo versions of these cars sell much better than their passenger versions, but there is a loyal and happy customer base of people looking for an affordable and spacious no-frills car, and who don’t mind the lack of refinement and the utilitarian looks.

In 2013, every model is down, except for two newcomers of late 2012: the Dacia Dokker and Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi. In fact, with the exception of the segment leader Volkswagen Caddy Life, all models are down double digits.

The Dacia Dokker makes a smashing entrance, straight up to 5th place, within arm’s reach of its cousin Renault Kangoo, while the Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi, which is a rebadged Renault Kangoo stays stuck at the bottom of the charts. It is the second attempt at this segment for Mercedes-Benz, after the Vaneo in the beginning of the new millennium was not very successful either, sales peaked at 15.500 sales in 2002 but the model was pulled off the market after just five years.

Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Minicar segment

fiat-500-panda-vw-up-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The minicar segment in Europe as a whole saw flat in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Minicar-specialist Fiat is the traditional leader of the segment, although Panda sales are down and first place has been taken by its sister Fiat 500, with VW Up! becoming a serious threat for second place as well.

Zooming in on the battle between the two triplets in the ranking, the Bratislava-built Up!, Citigo and Mii rack up 154.734 sales (+44%) between them, while their much older rivals Aygo, C1 and 107 still hold strong with 137.506 combined sales (-15%). What’s interesting, is that the Kolin-built triplet divide sales pretty evenly among themselves, while VW Up! takes about two thirds of the three model’s combined sales, almost 4,5 times as many as its little sister Seat Mii. Read my article about Seat’s fate within the VW-Group, where I mention this phenomenon as well.

Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Subcompact segment

ford-fiesta-renault-clio-vw-polo-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The subcompact segment in Europe as a whole saw a small decline of 8% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Despite sales down 7%, Ford Fiesta has reclaimed the crown in the segment, after Renault Clio (+20%) was the leader after six months this year. Obviously, the Aston Martin-style front end has struck a chord with European carbuyers, especially in the UK, where 43% of all European Fiestas are sold (+8%).

Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has fallen off the podium to fifth place (-11%), being overtaken by both French refreshed models Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. This is not very surprising, with Corsa desperately longing for a model change as well, with a design that was already out of fashion at its introduction in 2006, something two facelifts in 2010 and 2011 can’t disguise. It has become a rental company favorite, since private buyers looking to spend their hard-earned cash on a subcompact car know other models offer more style and sophistication for the money. In its home market Germany, only 18% of Corsa sales were to private buyers!… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 compact segment

vw-golf-ford-focus-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The compact segment in Europe as a whole saw a small decline of 3% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. VW Golf remains the perennial leader by far, even increasing its market share because sales are up 2%. Ford Focus and Opel Astra complete the podium like last year, but Focus (-7%) has increased its lead over Astra (-16%) from 7.225 units last year to 21.603 this year. Astra suffers from outdated technology, with engines that lack fuel efficiency. Only 23% of Astra sales in its home market Germany were to private customers, compared to 31% and 34% for Golf and Focus respectively.

Below we see Skoda Octavia (-18%) pass Renault Megane (-26%), the former not yet fully taking advantage of its model change and the latter desperately longing for a refreshing. Toyota Auris sales are up 59% thanks to the introduction of the TS station wagon, the only hybrid station wagon on the market. As a result, Prius sales are down 31%. … Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 midsize segment

The midsize segment in Europe as a whole saw a sharp decline of 26% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. This is a result of a clear shift towards premium models in this segment. In fact, if we would combine the premium midsize with this segment, BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-class would hold the 1st, 3rd and 4th place of the combined segment respectively.

vw-passat-opel-insignia-ford-mondeo-skoda-superb-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013Segment leader Passat  has increased its market share slightly, as sales are off just under the segment average at -22%, as does its stretched-but-cheaper sister Skoda Superb (-21%), moving up to 5th place, passing Toyota Avensis (-39%). Biggest losers in the top 10 are Opel Insignia (-31%), Peugeot 508 (also -31%), Ford Mondeo (-34%), Toyota Avensis (-39%), which desperately needs a hybrid powertrain in order to stay competitive against the diesels, and Citroën C5 (-34%), suffering the most from the shift towards premium. It leaves you wondering how profitable Insignia and Mondeo must be, with sales divided between no less than three different body styles (sedan, liftback and station wagon), where all others make do with two and keeping in mind sales in this segment are traditionally skewed towards station wagons anyways.… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Small MPV segment

Fiat-500L-Ford-B-Max-Citroen-C3-Picasso-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The small MPV segment in Europe as a whole saw a healthy increase of 13% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year, thanks to the introduction of two major new players who have shaken up the segment. Fiat 500L and Ford B-max were introduced in 2012 and are now the number 1 and 2 of the segment, knocking Opel Meriva off the top spot. With the European population aging, this segment will show even more growth in the future, as these models are very popular among the elderly carbuyers, because of their high seating position. Marketed mainly towards young families, the target group tends to prefer small SUVs for their style or mid-sized MPVs for their practicality.

Fiat 500L has been a welcome addition to the Fiat 500-family and has helped its utterly forgettable predecessor Idea to do exactly that: be forgotten quickly. In its home market Italy, it has been outselling its namegiver for three consecutive months and has been on the podium twice. Half of its European sales come from outside Italy, which may be more than any other large Fiat has accomplished since Fiat 127 in the seventies. Even in the US, the Serbian-built MPV has helped offset falling sales of the original Fiat 500 to keep Fiat brand sales flat year-to-date. Maybe this incredibly funny commercial “I’ve got my hose in the back” has got anything to do with it.… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Midsized MPV segment

renault-scenic-ford-c-max-opel-zafira-vw-touran-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The once booming midsized MPV segment in Europe saw sales decline 12% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year, with all but two models in the top 10 selling more units than in 2012 and a very stable ranking, with just two models moving up in the top 10. Peugeot 3008 benefits from a steeper fall by Opel Zafira, and Dacia Lodgy passing Toyota Verso and Seat Altea for a ticket into the European top 10 at number 9.

That means Renault Scenic & Grand Scenic stays of the segment, despite (or thanks to?) already being facelifted twice since its 2009 launch. Ford C-Max & Grand C-Max are getting closer, leaving behind VW Touran, another model that’s had more nose (and tail-)jobs than Cher, which can’t hide that the basics have been around for 10 years and counting.… Continue Reading …