Two important players in the compact segment in Europe will be renewed next year: the Opel/Vauxhall has just arrived in showrooms in November/December and the Renault Megane will follow in March. Both models play a big role in their segment and are important for the volume of their respective brands.
With the traditional and distant leader of the compact segment Volkswagen Golf vulnerable as a result of the Diesel Schandal, and the facelifted Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia no longer the freshest models in the top of the ranking, the Astra is predicted to take a significant bite out of the dominance of the Golf with just over 300.000 sales and take second place of the segment. Meanwhile, with customer deliveries not expected to fully take off before Q2, the Megane should rack up just below 200.000 sales in 2016, enough for a top-5 position ahead of the Peugeot 308. As a result of these two newcomers, the Golf is expected to lose volume and finish 2016 with less than half a million sales and 2017 below 400.000 sales, when the station wagon versions of the Astra and Megane will give these models an extra boost.
These figures are still well below their best years, with the Astra peaking at 670.000 units in 1999 and 512.000 sales in 2005, and the Megane reaching 465.000 sales in 2004. The compact segment has declined as a whole since those years due to increasing popularity of crossovers, as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and the Renault Captur and Kadjar are expected to cannibalize sales from their compact siblings. But the Astra and Megane will still be very important models for their brands, as the Astra will outsell the Corsa to become the brands best selling model and the Megane will trail only the Clio for second place within the brand.
These declining volumes are likely to have a negative impact on the decision to offer a three-door (or in these cases a coupe) model of the new generations. That means 2016 will mark the end of the line for the Astra GTC and Megane Coupe, as the brands will focus on the five-door hatchback and station wagon versions. No word is out on whether the General Motors unit will launch a 4-door sedan version of the Astra again. Renault already carries the Fluence, which is more popular in other parts of the world than in Europe.
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