European sales 2015-Q1 Minicar segment

Fiat_500-Vintage_57-Geneva_Auto_Show-2015European sales of minicars, also known as A-segment cars, are up 10% in the first quarter of 2015, after being virtually flat in 2014. The introduction of a handful of new and redesigned models in the second quarter of last year has helped the segment grow faster than the overall European car market.

The Fiat 500 is now in its 8th full year since its introduction without any major redesigns, continues to improve on its best-ever year, although sales of the stylish Italian grow slower than the rest of the segment. Its sibling, the Fiat Panda closes in on the segment’s top spot it traditionally held until 2013.

The third place of the Volkswagen Up! is threatened by the all-new Renault Twingo, which manages to improve 44% vs. a 12% drop in sales for the small VW. The Twingo enjoyed an especially successful month of February, moving into third place for that month. However in March, the third place of the segment was taken by the Hyundai i10, which wasn’t enough for the small South-Korean minicar to fend off the surging Toyota Aygo with sales up 30% thanks to the new generation.

Auto-sales-statistics-2015_Q1-Europe-minicar_segment

The Aygo takes a clear early advantage over its clones Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1, as its first generation did in 2006 and 2007 before the two French contenders upped their game and moved in closer. Funnily enough, total sales of the three first generation Kolin sister models are within 1,5% of each other, so perhaps the 108 and C1 will catch up later again.

European-sales-minicar-segment-2015-Smart_Forfour-Opel_Adam-Fiat-500

Photo credit: Mercedes Blog

The Opel/Vauxhall Adam keeps improving after its less than impressive start and has now surpassed the Ford Ka and Smart Fortwo to move within 51 units of a top-10 position. The latter is down 21% despite its still-fresh third generation, but that’s clearly because of cannibalization of the all-new four-door Smart Forfour. Together, the two minicars score the Smart brand’s best first quarter in at least five years.

The Mitsubishi Space Star continues its impressive late-career improvement, moving in between the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, while the Suzuki Celerio is unable to outsell its outgoing predecessor Alto. To be fair, the Alto is only able to hold its successor off thanks to selling 1.575 units in February in The Netherlands alone, out of a total of 2.268 in that month vs. 979 for the Celerio. However, those 1.575 “sales” in The Netherlands are probably not yet sold, only registered to benefit last-minute of a tax-break that ended in March. The Dutch dealers will now be selling off pre-registered previous generation Suzuki’s at rock-bottom prices for a few months, undoubtedly harming sales of the Celerio in that market.

Mitsubishi-Attrage-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeBesides the Peugeot 108 as a replacement to the 107 and the all-new Smart Forfour, we welcome another newcomer to the segment this year: the Mitsubishi Attrage, a sedan version of the Space Star, which is developed for emerging markets mostly in South-East Asia, but will also be imported into a limited number of European countries, most notably in the south, where sedan models still enjoy some popularity.

2015-Q1 Minicar sales Europe

Minicar segment
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Change
1. Fiat 500 50.244 46.634 8%
2. Fiat Panda 46.065 41.501 11%
3. Volkswagen Up! 29.221 33.025 -12%
4. Renault Twingo 27.642 19.183 44%
5. Toyota Aygo 24.521 18.896 30%
6. Hyundai i10 23.634 21.482 10%
7. Peugeot 108 21.154 0 new
8. Citroën C1 18.175 13.439 35%
9. Lancia/Chrysler Ypsilon 16.959 17.625 -4%
10. Kia Picanto 15.107 15.501 -3%
11. Opel/Vauxhall Adam 15.046 13.005 16%
12. Ford Ka 14.584 15.090 -3%
13. Smart Fortwo 12.602 16.052 -21%
14. Smart Forfour 10.791 0 new
15. Skoda Citigo 9.536 10.322 -8%
16. Mitsubishi Space Star / Mirage 8.515 4.248 100%
17. Seat Mii 6.570 6.131 7%
18. Suzuki Alto 5.139 9.937 -48%
19. Suzuki Celerio 4.832 0 new
20. Suzuki Splash 1.756 4.055 -57%
21. Opel/Vauxhall Agila 1.550 3.691 -58%
22. Chevrolet Spark 192 7.519 -97%
23. Mitsubishi Attrage 159 0 new
24. Toyota iQ 74 1.224 -94%
25. Peugeot 107 57 13.869 -100%
26. Tata Indica 21 102 -79%
Segment total 364.146 332.531 10%

About Bart Demandt

Bart is a 36-year old Dutchman who’s always had a thing for cars, the automotive industry and statistics. He’s combined these passions by writing about them on CarSalesBase.com. His daily driver is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 which he just can’t seem to say goodbye to thanks to the mesmerizing exhaust note.
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. John Maguire says:

    Excellent stuff.

  2. Regarding Smart 4/2 sales, don’t forget that for the first quarter it was also only available with a manual gearshift, which probably put a lot of traditional Smart customers off.

  3. Bart Demandt says:

    Hi Tuga, good point. One would think that a manual would actually broaden the potential for the model, as not everyone was a big fan of the sequential automatic in the first two generations. But you’re right about the loyal Fortwo buyers who may consider it part of the DNA of the brand.
    It’ll be interesting to see for the rest of the year. But if the Forfour ends up outselling the Fortwo, indicating most customers are indeed willing to pay a little more for a 4-door 4-seater while losing the advantages of the small size (p.e. parking sideways), then that might prove the Fortwo pointless and redundant, and could potentially bring Daimler to the point of killing the model in favor of the Forfour.
    On the other hand, that would be admitting failure on a project that’s cost them hundreds of millions…..

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

*