European sales 2016 Minicar segment

Minicar-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Fiat_Panda-Fiat_500-Volkswagen_UpWith a bit of a delay we’ll start with the European segment analyses for 2016, starting of course with the minicar segment. Sales of minicars in Europe were stable in 2016 with 1,33 million units sold, compared to an overall market growth of 6,2%. Fiat still holds the top 2 spots of the podium and grows its share of the segment to over 28%, but after 3 years of Fiat 500 reign the Fiat Panda has reclaimed leadership of the segment it led from 2004 until 2012. The Volkswagen Up! holds on to its third place but loses 8% of its volume. The Renault Twingo, leader of the segment between 1999 and 2003, is knocked down into 5th place by the Hyundai i10 and feels the Toyota Aygo breathing down its neck. All three models lose volume in 2016. The Smart Fortwo is the biggest winner in the top-10 with sales up 21%, jumping four places on 2015 and two places on Q3 of 2016. The small two seater even outsold the Aygo in Q4.

Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

Minicar-sales-Europe-2016-Citroen_C1-Peugeot_108-Toyota_AygoThe Lancia Ypsilon is now only available in Italy, but is popular enough in its home country to grow another 13% to its highest volume since 2007, and even climbs one spot to 8th place, outselling the two French models of the PSA-Toyota triplets. The Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva misses out on a top-10 position after being outsold by the Kia Picanto and its sibling Opel/Vauxhall Adam in Q4. Of the VW Group triplets, the Skoda Citigo is the only one to keep its sales almost stable, while the Seat Mii, already the slowest seller of the three, drops 18% to drop to last place of the real volume models. Just ahead of the Mii we find the discontinued Ford Ka, as 2016 marks the end of the line for the model after two generations. Ford will no longer cooperate with Fiat for its minicar platform and instead has decided to launch the larger but similarly priced Ka+ instead, imported from South America and featured in the subcompact car segment due to its size.

Of the Mitsubishi-PSA electric triplets, the French clones continue to improve, even though there are better alternatives available to the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero, especially now the Renault Zoe will be available with an improved range. More promising is the Suzuki Ignis, a revival of a familiar nameplate with a retro design and almost premium pricing to differentiate it from the practical but uninspiring value-for-money Celerio.

There won’t be a lot of news in the minicar segment for 2017, with only the Kia Picanto getting a complete overhaul. Furthermore the Opel/Vauxhall Adam will be facelifted and Smart will launch electric versions of its Fortwo and Forfour.

Also check out the minicar segment in the US, where the Chevrolet Spark (a rebadged Opel Karl/Vauxhall Viva) has taken the lead.

  Minicar segment 2016 2015 Change
1 Fiat Panda 190.432 171.377 11%
2 Fiat 500 183.194 180.005 2%
3 Volkswagen Up! 96.836 105.348 -8%
4 Hyundai i10 85.385 86.004 -1%
5 Renault Twingo 84.766 95.808 -12%
6 Toyota Aygo 84.321 86.085 -2%
7 Smart Fortwo 69.169 57.056 21%
8 Lancia Ypsilon 66.941 59.501 13%
9 Peugeot 108 63.561 68.522 -7%
10 Citroën C1 62.537 63.695 -2%
11 Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva 57.458 28.638 101%
12 Kia Picanto 54.982 54.036 2%
13 Opel/Vauxhall Adam 52.938 55.278 -4%
14 Skoda Citigo 38.664 38.735 0%
15 Smart Forfour 37.133 39.543 -6%
16 Mitsubishi Space Star / Mirage 27.386 29.547 -7%
17 Suzuki Celerio 26.465 25.393 4%
18 Ford Ka 21.333 48.368 -56%
19 Seat Mii 19.882 24.298 -18%
20 Peugeot iOn 1.881 1.461 29%
21 Citroën C-Zero 1.780 1.075 66%
22 Suzuki Ignis 1.602 0 New
23 Citroën E-Mehari 569 0 New
24 Mitsubishi i-MiEV 484 714 -32%
25 DR Zero 261 190 37%
26 Toyota iQ 172 292 -41%
27 Mitsubishi Attrage 168 352 -52%
28 Chevrolet Spark 96 479 -80%
29 Opel/Vauxhall Agila 19 2.054 -99%
30 Suzuki Splash 11 2.663 -100%
31 Peugeot 107 5 88 -94%
32 Suzuki Alto 4 5.710 -100%
33 Tata Indica 3 52 -94%
  Segment total 1.330.438 1.332.367 0%

Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2016 and monthly sales from 2012 to 2016, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.

Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.

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 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.


  1. Hi, two things. First, I always thought Lancia is subcompact car. Second, here in Poland Ypsilon is available to buy from dealers , still

    • I agree, for me the Ypsilon is a subcompact (B-segment) although it shares a platform with the small Fiats. Its length and certainly its pricing are closer to cars like the Hyundai i20, Renault Clio, VW Polo and Toyota Yaris.

      Great job by the way from Fiat. They’re expanding their dominance with two old models whereas the younger VAG and PSA triplets already decline next to the Twingo.

      Still an interesting case study: why does the VW Up! sell significantly better than the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo compared with the more balanced Citroën C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo.

      • Fiat depends on Italian market, where small cars are very popular. On the other markets the A segment is slowly dying. That why Renault and VW and PSA are struggling and Ford already gave up.

        About Mii, Citigo and UP comparing to C1, 108 and Aygo. I think that the answer is easy. Citigo and Mii are poorer version of UP. Worse quality, worse design (especially back of the car), cheaper interior, less personalisation options, whereas PSA tripple are real competitors.

  2. The Kolin triplet sold just 210.000 units in 2016 – a few units less and it’s a loss making venture.
    Smart Forfour & Twingo only reached 120.000 units. That must be marginal business for both Renault & Benz

    • And VAG 155.000 units of its tripple. About 52 per model.

      Yes, this segment is clearly dying. If not Italy, the results would be terrible. However, it can still be profitable. Those cars are relatively expensive comparing to their size. Usually they have only one or two engines available, So maybe margins are high because of small volume?

  3. It’s impressive how Ypsilon has still not died.

  4. @ToJa

    Only VW’s marketing department wants you to think the Up! is ‘more expensive’ than the Citigo and Mii, but in real life, it isn’t. VAG uses the same components for their small cars. All three have the same cheap solutions (e.g. shelf, seats). Design is a subjective issue. Personally I think the Up! looks weird with the diagonal window line as a box on wheels.

    • UP has some “more expensive” elements. for example rear is made of black glass. The same in interior. More materials and options. But the differences are small. In my opinion UP looks more expensive.

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