European sales 2017-Q1 compact car segment

Compact_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Volkswagen_Golf-Opel_Astra-Ford_FocusSales of compact carsin Europe increased 4% in the first quarter of 2017, half the growth of the overall market at +7,8%. Total volume of the segment was just over 636.000 sales, which means it remains the second-largest segment in Europe. Segment leader Volkswagen Golf is in trouble with a loss of 11% as it has just been facelifted but also feels some in-house competition from the new generation Tiguan, and possibly even from the Seat Ateca crossover. The new generation Opel/Vauxhall Astra continues to outperform the segment, but is still way too far behind to even remotely threaten the Golf’s domination. Like the Fiesta one segment down, the Ford Focus traditionally has a good start of the year thanks to its popularity in the UK, but its 7% gain is nonetheless impressive considering it is one of the oldest models in the top-6.

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

Fiat-Tipo-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThat means the Skoda Octavia, the #3 of the segment in the full year 2016, is back into 4th place, but with a more than comfortable distance from its two French rivals Peugeot 308 (down 17%) and Renault Megane (up 56%). Big surprise in the top-8 is the Fiat Tipo, helped by a record volume in March (although perhaps as a result of questionable tactics, as described in our March 2017 sales analysis). Still, the Tipo manages to outsell the Toyota Auris and has sold more units for a compact Fiat model in a single quarter since the last 12 years. The Hyundai i30, due for a replacement, loses 15% and drops out of the top-10 for now, and the Honda Civic loses 21% as it awaits the arrival of the new generation in showrooms anytime now. The Citroën C4 isn’t due for a replacement, which makes its 25% loss even worse than it seems, and so it the 17% loss of the Nissan Pulsar, the model that never lived up to the brand’s (unreasonably high) expectations. Newcomer Hyundai Ioniq continues to outsell its direct rival Toyota Prius.

In 2017 the Golf and Octavia have already been facelifted and the 308 will follow soon. The i30 will be replaced this year, which means its sibling Cee’d will soon follow suit, and their rival Auris will also be renewed on Toyota’s new platform. Nissan is expected to facelift the Pulsar, while Volkswagen will renew the Jetta sedan. Finally, the next generation Focus will be revealed this year, but it isn’t likely to hit showrooms before 2018 as the brand first wants to focus on the new generation Fiesta.

Also check out the US compact car segment, where the leaders Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla lose volume and the Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze in 3rd and 4th show double digit growth.

  Compact segment 2017-Q1 2016-Q1 Change
1 Volkswagen Golf 115.179 129.863 -11%
2 Opel/Vauxhall Astra 70.123 61.004 15%
3 Ford Focus 64.053 60.081 7%
4 Skoda Octavia 58.634 57.725 2%
5 Peugeot 308 45.406 54.657 -17%
6 Renault Megane 42.545 27.222 56%
7 Seat Leon 36.733 38.484 -5%
8 Fiat Tipo 34.271 7.346 367%
9 Toyota Auris 33.427 36.619 -9%
10 Kia Cee’d 18.424 19.208 -4%
11 Skoda Rapid 18.088 16.366 11%
12 Hyundai i30 17.428 20.448 -15%
13 Mazda3 12.995 12.976 0%
14 Honda Civic 11.487 14.575 -21%
15 Citroën C4 10.294 13.740 -25%
16 Nissan Pulsar 8.147 9.811 -17%
17 Nissan Leaf 6.474 6.297 3%
18 Volkswagen Beetle 5.774 5.323 8%
19 Toyota Corolla 5.193 4.874 7%
20 Hyundai Ioniq 4.625 0 New
21 Citroën C-Elysee 4.299 2.558 68%
22 Toyota Prius 4.220 3.643 16%
23 Volkswagen Jetta 2.209 2.624 -16%
24 Volkswagen Scirocco 2.054 2.580 -20%
25 Seat Toledo 1.932 2.539 -24%
26 Hyundai Elantra 726 160 354%
27 Peugeot 301 528 626 -16%
28 Mitsubishi Lancer 429 1.061 -60%
29 Renault Fluence 198 1.588 -88%
30 Subaru Impreza 170 235 -28%
31 Lada Vesta 114 0 New
32 Chevrolet Cruze 9 7 29%
33 Fiat Bravo 3 2 50%
  Segment total 636.191 614.242 4%

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. Losange says:

    Really looking forward to see the performance of the new Civic. I hope Honda can at least overtake the crappy Skoda Rapid.

  2. Martin C says:

    Will there be a Citroen Astra Cactus or Citroen Insignia Cactus?

  3. What is happeing with Megane? How is it selling worse than the boring 308?

  4. Todor says:

    Why the best selling car in the world is only 19th in Europe? It makes no sense!

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