Car sales statistics for the subcompact car segment in Europe, updated every quarter.

European sales 2014 January – September Subcompact segment

Sales of subcompact cars in Europe remain stable at a 1% growth year-on-year after the first nine months of 2014. It remains the largest segment of the continent at almost 2 million units sold.

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Photo credit: AutoZeitung

The traditional leader Ford Fiesta has taken some distance from the Renault Clio in second place, mainly thanks to an excellent month of September, in which the small Ford outsold all of its rivals by a margin of at least 10.000 units, similar to last March. These months are the peak months in the UK market, where the Fiesta is particularly strong. In August, the Fiesta was outsold by both the VW Polo and the Clio. The Polo has just been facelifted and has outsold the Renault Clio in both August and September. I think the advantage of the Clio is large enough to hold onto its position until the end of the year, but it better prepare for a battle in 2015.

The Peugeot 208 continues to struggle, down 10% on last year. A Peugeot spokesperson at the Paris Auto Show last month explained to me that the brand prefers profit over volume and therefore chooses not to dump the model to rental companies at very low margins. Also, the 208 is set to get a facelift next year to keep it fresh.

A recent facelift of the Toyota Yaris, with the new X-shaped front-end that’s the brand’s new family face is likely to keep the small Toyota in the plus this year.… 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.

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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-Q1 Subcompact segment

dacia-sandero Sales of subcompact cars in Europe are back in positive territory in the first three months of 2014, up 5% after a similar decline in 2013. Surprisingly, over 25.000 units of the segment’s growth of 30.573 units is accounted for by Dacia, thanks to the very successful model changeovers of the Sandero and Logan, and the equally successful market introduction of the brand in the United Kingdom. Adding the sales increases of the other Renault-Nissan group B-segmenters Renault Clio and Zoe and Nissan Micra, we can conclude that the rest of the segment combined shows a net loss. What an amazing performance for the French-Romanian Dacia brand!

Also impressive is the fact that the Ford Fiesta is increasing its lead over the Renault Clio, although sales of the latter may be slightly cannibalized by its small crossover sibling Captur. The same can be assumed for the Peugeot 208, already down on last year, probably due to the successful introduction of the 2008 small crossover.… Continue Reading …

European sales 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 6% in 2013, which means it declined faster than the overall market.

The segment leader has not changed, but the Ford Fiesta is under threat from the Renault Clio, which has leapfrogged both the Volkswagen Polo and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa to jump into second place, less than 10.000 units behind the leader.

The Corsa had been surpassed by the Peugeot 208 after the first three quarters of 2013, but has made a comeback in the last quarter to hold on to the number 4 spot. It has the UK market to thank for this result, as more than a third of Corsa sales have a Vauxhall badge.… 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 …