With an increase of 13% to 1.227.950 sales, the midsized crossover segment in Europe has grown for the sixth consecutive year, almost doubling its volume since 2009. As opposed to the compact and midsized car segments, Volkswagen is not the commanding leader of this segment. Renault-Nissan is, with the Nissan Qashqai breaking its volume record in an unthreatened first place for the 8th year in a row, the 6th of which it sells more than 200.000 units. Renault has added the Kadjar to that, already the #3 of the segment in Q4 while still in start-up mode, while the Nissan X-Trail is the fastest growing model of the segment. Renault-Nissan models are responsible for 70% of the segment growth in 2015 and now hold a 26,1% share of the segment for the year (29,3% in Q4) and that’s unlikely to decrease this year as the Kadjar will reach its full potential and the X-Trail will benefit from the new turbocharged gasoline engine. And Renault is working on a new Koleos to fit above the Kadjar as well.
The Small crossover segment has been the hottest segment in Europe for a while now and the end is not in sight as new players continue to broaden the choice for car buyers. In 2015, the segment grew by 46% as more than 1 million small crossovers were sold for the first time ever, which makes it bigger than for example the midsized MPV segment (Renault Scenic, VW Touran etc.). Only one model in the top-15 sees its volume decrease, albeit by a slight 2% and except for one more model, all others are either up by double digits or better, or entirely new to the segment. In this onslaught of increased competition, the top-5 all lose share but none as much as the leader Renault Captur, which loses more 4 percentage points despite improving sales by another 18% to almost 200.000 units. This is an excellent performance from a model which was estimated by Renault itself to sell about 120.000 annual units.
However, the Captur is under threat from the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, which is up 28% and therefore adds more volume than the Captur (+35.809 vs. +30.046). With a facelifted Mokka on display at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show in March and Renault busy launching the new Scenic, that trend is likely to continue this year, although I expect the French crossover to keep the lead.
The European large MPV segment is down 6% to 116.891 sales in 2015, a new all-time low after a slight rebound in 2014. But we have reached the bottom as sales were up 14% in the fourth quarter of the year thanks to the new generation Renault Espace, up threefold for the year. In 2016, Ford will re-enter the competition with the new generations of the S-Max and Galaxy to help the segment back into growth mode again. The Volkswagen Sharan has held on to the top spot, but was outsold by the Espace in Q4 and even by the new Ford S-Max in December. These last two will have an exciting battle this year for the top spot. The Sharan’s clone Seat Alhambra climbed to the second place in 2015 with sales up 19% but it won’t last there as it was down into fourth place in December.
Sales of Midsized MPVs in Europe are up 4% to 906.300 in 2015, but that’s mostly thanks to two new models as all others in the top-10 lose volume and only 4 out of 18 models actually improve on their 2014 score. The French still lead this segment as their home country is the biggest market in Europe for this type of vehicle. The Citroën C4 Picasso and Renault Scenic, including their Grand versions, have now been joined by the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan to make it three models with sales over 100.000 units. The Sportsvan is up 75% on its first partial year of sales, but doesn’t set is not a record for the brand, as its predecessor Golf Plus sold more than this in 2005, 2006 and 2009.
The small MPV segment in Europe is under stress from the small crossover segment, with sales down 60.000 units or 15% in 2015 to 354.425 sales. This is the lowest figure for the segment since 2003 when the first generation Opel/Vauxhall Meriva had just been introduced and none of the other current contenders were around yet. The pain is shared among all players with the exception of one: the facelifted Kia Venga manages to improve 13% and leapfrog the Skoda Roomster, which ended production in April and sold just a handful of remaining stock models in the last few months of the year. The Fiat 500L remains the best selling small MPV thanks to its home market Italy, which takes mroe than 58% of the total European volume. Serbia, where the 500L is produced, is the only country in the world where it’s the best selling model overall, albeit with a humble 1.819 sales.
Sales of midsized cars have rebounded hard in 2015 from over a decade of losses to add over 100.000 units of volume in 2015, an increase of 20% to 619.474 sales. That’s still just over a third of the almost 1,8 million non-premium midsized cars sold in 2001. Two renewed models carry all of the segment increase: the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford Mondeo. The Passat adds almost half to its 2014 volume to take 36,5% share of the segment. It is the only model in the segment above 200.000 sales, and even the only model above 100.000 sales for that matter. Its closest competitor Opel/Vauxhall Insignia drops 4%, which is not too bad considering there are now two fresher competitors around. The biggest winner of the segment is the Mondeo, but that’s not so hard if you consider how deep it had fallen while customers were waiting for the new generation to arrive, 2 years late. Even then, it took the Ford until December to finally outsell the Insignia, and I’m afraid the very evolutionary styling compared to the outgoing model is to blame for that. The Mondeo just too much like the old one in my opinion, especially 3/4 from the rear. [Read more…]
Sales in the second-largest segment in Europe are up 5% in 2015 to 2.317.728 units, which is a slower growth than the overall market as customers continue to switch to crossovers. The Volkswagen Golf loses half a percentage point of share, but that still leaves it with 23,1% of the segment. 2015 is probably the last year in a while the Golf tops half a million registrations, as it will start to feel increased competition from the new generation Opel-Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane. The outgoing Astra is kicked down into 5th place by the Peugeot 308 but should easily finish 2016 in 2nd place. The Skoda Octavia barely holds on to its third place as the surging 308 adds almost a third to its volume and two percentage points of share to come within 2.000 units of its Czech rival. Some stats even put the Peugeot ahead of the Octavia in the Full Year data, but when I add up their monthly sales this is what they add up to. Whichever way you look at it, this has been a stellar year for the former Car of the Year as it is single-handedly responsible for half of the segment increase and has more than doubled the nameplate’s sales in two years time. [Read more…]
The subcompact car segment grows slower than the overall European car market at +6%, as only two models have been renewed last year. Still, 2.646.842 sales mean it’s still the biggest segment in Europe with more than 300.000 units advantage over the compact car segment. The Ford Fiesta leads for the 4th straight year and the 6th time in the last 7 years. The Renault Clio manages to hold on to its #2 spot above the Volkswagen Polo, despite the latter gaining 8% and closing in quickly. All three have sold over 300.000 units last year. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris follow in the same order as the year before to keep the entire top-6 ranking stable, but the renewed Skoda Fabia adds almost as much volume as the three competitors ahead of it and moves past the Dacia Sandero and Citroën C3 to take 7th place. [Read more…]
The growth in the minicar segment in Europe has slowed in the fourth quarter, as the segment ends 2015 with 1.332.146 sales, an increase of 8% after growing 10% in each of the first three quarters. The Fiat 500 manages to hold on to its title for the third year in a row despite stable sales as the 500 suffered slightly from a slow fourth quarter as the factory was still gearing up for the model’s first facelift in 7 years time. For Fiat it was the 12th consecutive year on top of the minicar segment since the Panda took over from the Renault Twingo in 2004. Fiat Panda sales were up 13% in 2015 as it closed the gap to its sibling the “Nuova Cinquecento” to less than 9.000 sales.
The Volkswagen Up! is in third place again, despite losing 16% of volume. In Q4 the little VW sold only 40 more units than the Twingo, which closes in for the full year with sales up 17%. The Toyota Aygo does even better at +25% thanks to the new generation. This helps the Aygo move past the Hyundai i10 into 5th place. Its siblings Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 are a still behind the i10 in #7 and #8, which puts them above the Lancia Ypsilon, down 5% to a still respectable 60.000 sales. [Read more…]
After discussing which car manufacturers and brands sold well in 2015, we’ll zoom in further to see which models boosted or sank their respective brands. Unsurprisingly, the Volkswagen Golf is the best selling car for the 8th year in a row, and it is followed by the Ford Fiesta for the 4th year in a row, or the 6th time in the past 7 years. Although the top-3 models, which includes the Renault Clio as well, all grow slower than the overall market, the top-6 ranking remains unchanged from 2014. If the Golf and Fiesta were the only two models to sell over 300.000 units in Europe in 2014, last year they were joined by the Clio and the Volkswagen Polo.
We also welcome two more models in the >200k-club, the biggest winner in the top-20 by far: the Volkswagen Passat, which jumps from 17th to 9th place thanks to sales up 47,1%, and the Peugeot 308, which benefits from an exceptionally strong December in The Netherlands to finish 2015 just outside the top-10 behind the Skoda Octavia with a 32,3% improvement. This pushes the model ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for the first time since the launch of the previous generation 308 in 2007. [Read more…]