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 compact car segment in Europe is up 5% in the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market, but the segment is likely to get a boost in 2016 from a few important model launches, most notably from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane. None of these is very likely to topple the Volkswagen Golf from its first place in the segment and in fact the entire car market, as the Golf holds a firm 23% share of the segment. The top-3 is still completed by the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia, as the latter has fallen short in its attempt to pass the Focus.
For fourth place, the Peugeot 308 is already in danger of recapitulating the position it took in the beginning of the year from the Astra, as GM is boosting the outgoing model with huge incentives. The new generation Astra has arrived in showrooms in Q4 and we’ll have to wait and see if it gains traction quickly enough to take back its fourth position by the time the year comes to an end. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars have stalled in Q2 of 2015, as the segment is up just 4% at the end of the first half. This is down from +10% after Q1 and just half of the overall market growth of 8% so far. That said, the Volkswagen Golf, traditional leader of the segment and the overall market, is up just 2% but remains unchallenged by a large margin. VW dealers still sell more than twice as many as their nearest competitor, the Ford Focus.
After the Focus had to fight for its second place in the first quarter, with the Skoda Octavia outselling it in January and February, the facelift has given the Ford some renewed sales energy. It’s taken some distance from its Czech rival, which is now also challenged by the Peugeot 308, up 34% on last year. The 308 narrowed the gap to the Octavia to less than 200 units in June, while the Opel/Vauxhall Astra managed to outsell both of them that same month thanks to heavy discounts on the outgoing model as the new generation has just been revealed (pictured). [Read more…]
Let me take you back to some childhood memories: if you’re born in Europe, it’s very likely that your parents had a compact 3-door hatchback to haul you (and potentially your siblings) around in the backseat. In order to reach that backseat, one of the front seats had to be folded forward, giving you just enough space between the seat-back and the B-pillar to dive in. This also meant it was virtually impossible for adults to get in there, making the back seat your own little territory.
Then later, when you reached puberty and you got to borrow you parent’s car to go to clubbing with your friends, getting into the back brought glorious entertainment to all bystanders, even before anybody was drunk. Then on the way back, when one of the backseat passengers started to feel sick and the car needed to pull over, not having rear doors could mean you’d spend the rest of the way back in a sickening smell and you’d be cleaning the car interior for a few hours. Or when you started to get interested in girls and you’d get one warmed up for some backseat fun with you, stumbling into the back via that small opening could easily lead to a cooling of the mood before you even got in there together.
Well okay, not all of these memories may apply to you, but nevertheless it’s becoming ever less likely that our offspring will have similar character-building experiences, as it suddenly occurred to me that the compact hatchback is virtually dead. [Read more…]
Europe’s second biggest segment keeps growing faster than the overall market, but only slightly at 10% for the compact car segment vs. 8,3% for all cars. The tight grip the Volkswagen Golf has held on the segment the last few years seems to soften a little bit, as the Golf grows slower than the segment. Still, more than one in every five compact cars sold in Europe is a Golf, and the VW Group has a 40% share of the segment, although that’s admittedly lower than 2014’s 44%.
The Ford Focus is stable on the first quarter of last year, despite its recent facelift. It does hold on to its second place, but just like its smaller sibling the Fiesta, it has strong March volume in the UK to thank for that. In January and February, the Skoda Octavia clearly outsold the Focus and even the Peugeot 308 came within 1.000 units for the two months combined. With over 32.000 units, more than half of the Ford’s volume in this quarter was registered in March alone.
The aforementioned 308 is the strongest gainer in the top-20 of the segment thanks to the new generation, its station wagon version and the European Car Of The Year award in March of last year. This also means it’s now officially outselling the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for the first time since 2004 and is likely to continue to do so for the rest of the year, as the latter won’t be replaced until the end of the year. [Read more…]
Thanks to a flood of redesigned models, the compact car segment has grown faster than the overall market and has closed in on subcompact cars as the continent’s biggest segment. However, with no more new products in the pipeline until the end of the year and ever-more competition from premium compact rivals as well as small crossovers, 2015 may prove a difficult year for compact cars.
Volkswagen Group is still ultra-dominant, increasing its share of the segment to 44% with over 1 million units sold. Of these, 865.000 are underpinned by VW’s new modular MQB platform, a number which increases to over a million units when we include the Audi A3, the premium compact segment leader, which would rank in fourth place overall if the two segments were to be combined.
Possibly even more impressive than the record 23% share of the Volkswagen Golf is the first-ever top-3 ranking of the Skoda Octavia, not that far off the second place of the Ford Focus. [Read more…]
After nine months, the European compact car segment is still up 10%, outperforming the market and, with over 1,7 million units sold, still the second largest segment of the continent.
As expected, the VW Golf continues to lead over its rivals by a large margin, and even increasing its share of the segment to 23%, which means almost one in every four compact cars sold in Europe is a Golf. The Ford Focus had an excellent month of September thanks to the strong UK market, but it was outsold by the Skoda Octavia in both July and August. With Octavia sales up one third and Focus sales stable year-to-date, the Focus desperately needs the upcoming facelift to fend off its Czech rival next year.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra is still waiting for its replacement and is in danger of losing its fourth place to the Peugeot 308 next year, as the latter is coming closer and closer. However, the 308 can’t afford not to look in its mirrors, as the Seat Leon is charging ahead as well, now having passed the ageing Renault Megane for sixth place. The Megane was also outsold by the Toyota Auris in August and September and may lose another spot by the end of the year. That should give some consolation to the best selling Asian compact, which has been kicked down from 6th to 8th this year.
The Hyundai i30 and Kia Cee’d lose more than 10.000 units of their volume each, although their replacements won’t be due until at least 2016. [Read more…]
The compact segment is up 10% in the first half of 2014, despite rumors that consumers would leave the segment in droves to buy crossovers and SUV’s.
Among the biggest gainers of the segment are the VW-Group siblings Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia (up two spots to an amazing third position) and Seat Leon, together accounting for over 94.000 of the segment’s 104.000 units growth. On top of that, the slightly smaller Skoda Rapid has gained another two spots thanks to the introduction of the Spaceback hatchback version to make it 4 VW-Group cars in the top-10.
The Golf is still the biggest gainer of the segment in absolute numbers, and it’s on track to sell over half a million units in Europe for the first time in 10 years. Other notable gainers are the European Car of the Year Peugeot 308, with the recently introduced station wagon version boosting sales even further, although I don’t expect it to threaten the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for fourth place. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars in Europe are growing slightly faster than the market in the first quarter of 2014, up 8% while the overall market is up 7%. And whereas the growth in the subcompact segment can be fully attributed to the Renault-Nissan alliance, the compact segment’s growth is fully thanks to the VW Group’s compact platform with the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon increasing their first quarter sales by a combined 45.628 units, while the whole segment grows by 43.314 sales.
The Golf doesn’t just increase its stranglehold on the segment, it’s actually the biggest gainer in absolute figures, adding almost 19.000 units to its first quarter sales, still outselling its nearest competitor by a 2-to-1 margin.
The new generation Octavia is moving into previously unthinkable territory, surpassing the Opel/Vauxhall Astra to jump onto the segment podium. To make this performance even more incredible, the Octavia outsold the Ford Focus both in January and February to become the second best selling car of the European compact segment! [Read more…]
The compact segment in Europe as a whole was stable from 2012 to 2013, and it remained the continent’s largest segment. The traditional leader Volkswagen Golf managed to sell more than twice as many cars as the segment’s number two, the Ford Focus. A feat the brand pulls off as well with the Passat in the midsize segment.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra and the three French entrants Renault Megane, Peugeot 308 and Citroën C4 all showed double digit losses. The Megane has been facelifted at the end of 2013 and may stabilize this year, while the 308 has been renewed and is set to move back up the charts in 2014. It has already shown some impressive sales in the last quarter, taking back its place from the Hyundai i30. Peugeot has aimed the new 308 directly at the Golf in the styling department, so it may appeal to a larger audience.
The Skoda Octavia has slowly but steadily crept up the sales charts, silently moving into fourth position of the segment and 12th overall, and the Czech model is set to move up onto the podium in 2014, as it already has done in December, thanks to the new generation. [Read more…]