Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe are on track to a fourth consecutive and their largest annual decline, starting 2019 with 27% fewer deliveries than in the first quarter of 2018. Just under 128.000 midsized MPVs were sold and delivered in these three months as only three nameplates managed to improve their sales on last year. Besides the competition from crossovers, it appears some potential MPV buyers are also cross shopping with van-based MPVs like the new Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Rifter as these balance their lower refinement with a lower price and more practicality. The fact that Opel/Vauxhall is not replacing the Zafira but giving its new van that same name instead is another indication of this trend. After ceding its top spot to the Renault Scenic in 2018, the Volkswagen Touran is back on top of the ranking in 2019, even though both models are down by exactly the same percentage in Q1, at -21%. That means both also improve their share of the segment significantly, while their nearest rivals from the last few years tumble hard. The Citroën C4 Picasso (now renamed C4 Spacetourer) loses 42% of its volume as the former segment leader (2014 and 2015) is down into 5th place. And with the arrival of the brand’s first compact crossover C5 Aircross, the bleeding isn’t yet over for the C4 Picasso. In fact, production of the 5-seater version will end and only the 7-seater Grand version will continue to be sold, as the brand doesn’t yet offer a 7-seat crossover.
The midsized MPV segment in Europe has declined for the third consecutive year and 2018 shows the biggest loss yet with a loss of 20% on the previous year to over 600.000 sales, the lowest annual sales since 1999, not long after the Renault Megane Scenic jumpstarted this segment in 1997. Sales of midsized MPVs peaked in 2006 and 2007 at nearly 1,5 million sales in Europe, but are now down 60% from that level and falling quickly, with a loss of 42% just in Q4 of 2018. The segment is down one percentage point to just 3,9% of the overall European car market. Like in all MPV segments, brands are replacing their MPVs by crossovers which are more popular. Only one nameplate in the top-10 managed to improve its sales, two others saw single digit declines while the remaining seven players suffered double digit declines on 2017. In this harsh environment, the Renault Scenic takes the annual lead for the first time since the launch of its fourth generation in 2016 and improves its share of the segment thanks to a decline of “just” 15%. 2016 and 2017 leader Volkswagen Touran stabilizes its share but is down into second place, just ahead of the best seller in 2015 and 2014 Citroën C4 Picasso (now baptized C4 Spacetourer). However, as both the Scenic and the C4 Spacetourer are available in 2 versions, a normal 5-seater and a three-row Grand version, we should also combine the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan with the Touran for an honest comparison. And then VW is still in the lead, despite a 33% loss for the Sportsvan, which is unlikely to be continued for much longer after the regular Golf is renewed later this year.
Aging Nissan Sentra is the only top 10 model to see sales rise as segment’s decline accelerates
Sales in the US Compact segment fell by 11.7% to 976,19 in the first half of 2018, as the rate of sales decline rose yet again: from the 3.8% decline in 2017 overall, 7.0% in Q4’17, and 10.1% in Q1’18, to 13.1% in the latest quarter. With the new VW Jetta now on sale, the new Ford Focus about to enter the market and a new Toyota Corolla [Read more…]
Segment shrinks by over 10% as alternative power models hit new heights
Sales in the Compact segment fell by 10.1% to 464,749 in the first quarter of 2018, a faster rate of decline than the 7.0% the segment experienced in Q4’17, and a much faster one than the 3.8% decline in 2017 overall. It is a sign of just how badly the mainstream segment has been hit of late that this decline still makes the Compact segment [Read more…]
The midsized MPV segment in Europe has declined for 6 consecutive quarters and finishes 2017 with a loss of 8% on 2016 to just over 746.000 sales. This means the segment accounts for 4,8% of the total European market, down from 5,4% in 2016. Only three nameplates increase their volume this year, of which two come from the same manufacturer, although they’re technically not related: the Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic and the Dacia Lodgy. The Scenic was the segment best seller in Q2 and Q4, but that’s not enough for the model to top the chart this year as the Volkswagen Touran is ahead for the second consecutive year, although this time by just 2.138 sales. Other brands offer their two-row and three-row versions under the same name, as the Scenic, C4 Picasso, 2-Series and C-Max do, but VW splits them into two distinctive models. When combining the Touran with the (Golf) Sportsvan, the brand holds more than a quarter of the sales in this class. The Citroën C4 Picasso is knocked down into third place and is below 100.000 sales after 3 years above that level. The biggest loser in the top-5 is the BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer with a loss of 15% and more than a percentage point of share.
Sales of PHEV cars grow faster than any other segment, as new models like Prius Prime and Pacifica PHEV shine
Having analyzed sales of hybrid green cars in 2017, let’s look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEV for short. Sales of PHEV vehicles rose by 10.7% to 24,525 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while overall sales in 2017 rose by 31.7% to 85,111. Such a prodigious growth rate makes this the fastest-growing of all types of vehicles, beating out electric [Read more…]
Growing demand for hybrid versions of conventional models helps segment grow despite collapse in Prius sales
Sales of hybrid vehicles rose by 2.6% to 90,377 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while overall sales in 2017 rose by 12.4% to 368,137. Hybrid vehicles remain the most popular from among the three types of green cars by far, selling more than double the volume of the other two types: PHEV and EV. Perhaps unsurprisingly given its size, the growth [Read more…]
Segment continues to shrink, hitting a six-year low, though the decline is still modest by mainstream standards
Sales in the US compact segment fell by 7.0% to 486,244 in the fourth quarter of 2017, the fastest rate of decline the segment has experienced in the past year. For 2017 as a whole, the segment shrank by 3.8% to 2,164,507, the lowest level in six years, as customers keep leaving for crossovers. Still, the segment can take some comfort [Read more…]
Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe are down for the fifth consecutive quarter in Q3 of 2017, with a loss of 9%. In the first 9 months of 2017, nearly 580.000 units were sold, also down 9% from a year earlier. Only three nameplates increase their volume so far this year, of which two come from the same manufacturer, although they’re technically not related: the Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic and the Dacia Lodgy. After leading the segment in Q2, the Scenic is down into 2nd place in Q3 but that’s not enough to overtake the Citroën C4 Picasso for the segment #2 spot year-to-date, let alone that it’s able to retake the segment lead from the Volkswagen Touran. The last time the inventor of the segment, now already in its fourth generation, was the best selling midsized MPV in Europe was in 2013. If the Scenic fails to top the segment for the full year, it has the first quarter to blame, when it was only in 6th place due to supply issues after a fire at one of Renault’s suppliers. Keep in mind, both the C4 Picasso and the Scenic are available in 2 sizes, like the Ford C-Max and BMW 2-Series, while the Touran is one size only but Volkswagen also offers the slightly smaller Golf Sportsvan. When combined, the Touran and Sportsvan hold a quarter of the segment volume in the first three quarters of the year. [Read more…]
Compact segment continues its slow decline
The compact segment continued its slow decline, with sales falling by 2% in the third quarter of 2017. So far this year sales have declined by 3.4% to 1,709,103, which may not be great, but it has allowed the segment to open a commanding lead of almost 200,000 units compared to the mid-sized segment, with which it was pretty much even this time last year. While there aren’t any new models that will hit the market in the next half a year, the segment may yet bounce up as the period after that promises a lot of new metal: Ford Focus and VW Jetta are about to be replaced, while a new Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla are likely to be not far behind. In the meantime, there is a lot of excitement about the alternative power cars of compact size, with the new electric Chevrolet Bolt and the PHEV Toyota Prius Prime in particular starting to make a meaningful dent in the sales figures.