The 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 Astra suffers from outdated technology, with engines that lack fuel efficiency.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%. [Read more…]