Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe continue their path to a fourth consecutive and their largest annual decline, with 25% fewer deliveries in the second quarter, leading to a loss of 26% in the first half of 2019. Just over 144.000 midsized MPVs were sold and delivered in these three months, and so far this year only three nameplates have 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 Volkswagen Touran in the first quarter, the Renault Scenic is back on top of the ranking after the second quarter, even though each model is down by more than 20%. That means both also improve their share of the segment slightly, while their nearest rivals from the last few years tumble hard.
The midsized car segment in Europe continues its decline in 2019 with a 18% decrease in deliveries in the second quarter, to less than 108.000 cars. In the first half of the year, sales are down 21% as the segments now accounts for just 2,5% of the European car market as just two out of the 12 available nameplates improve their sales in the first half. The segment which sold nearly 1 million units annually as recently as 10 years ago is now down even further on what already was its lowest volume ever. Interestingly, the luxury midsized car segment is down by just 1% so far this year and is 63% larger than these mainstream models. The traditional segment leader Volkswagen Passat falls faster than the overall segment but is back above 30% share in Q2, and still holds a dominant position. Its sibling Skoda Superb is the only model in the top-4 to improve its share of the segment with sales down “just” 11% while the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia loses almost a third of its sales and the Ford Mondeo is down by 22% and was outsold in Q2 by the new Peugeot 508 with its well-received design. The 508 should become a podium contender when it reaches full availability of all versions, as deliveries of the station wagon version only just started.
The compact car segment in Europe slows down its decline in the second quarter of 2019, with a loss of 8% to just over 557.000 sales, but is still down 11% for the first half as Europe’s second largest segment now accounts for 13,1% of the total market, down from 14,1% in the first six months of 2018. In both quarters the compact car segment showed lower sales than the small crossover segment (up 11% to 14,2% share of the market) and that makes the small crossovers are now the second largest segment in Europe, pushing the compact cars to #3. At least the overall best selling model still comes from the compact car segment, although the Volkswagen Golf is under threat from the Renault Clio now that a redesigned Mk VIII Golf is on the way and Volkswagen has an internal competitor with the T-Roc. Among compact cars, the Golf is still the dominant leader, even though its share is down by 0,7 percentage points to 20,4%, as it lost 14% of its sales in the first half of 2019. The already renewed Ford Focus is still in 2nd place but its margin over the Skoda Octavia was significantly smaller in Q2 with less than 700 sales separating them. The Focus is the only nameplate in the top-7 to improve its sales.
After an 8% decline in Q1 of 2019, sales of subcompact cars in Europe continue their decline in Q2 with a drop of 7%, to nearly 750.000 deliveries. In the first half of the year, Europe’s largest segment by volume accounts for 18% of the total market with sales down 7% on the same period in 2018. The Renault Clio takes firm control of the segment, outselling its nearest rival by almost 30.000 sales in Q2 and showing stable sales in the first half, leading to almost a full percentage point of additional share of the segment, to 12,3% (and even 13,3% in the second quarter). The Clio is enjoying a smooth changeover to the new generation which arrived in showrooms in Q2 while the outgoing model is still selling strong. Its rivals Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta are losing ground, with especially the latter falling behind quickly since its new generation was launched last year. The Fiesta was nearly outsold by the aging and soon-to-be-replaced Peugeot 208 in Q2 and all three sold fewer units than the surprise #3 of the segment in the second quarter: the Dacia Sandero. Despite being launched in 2012, the Sandero has managed to improve its sales every year since and its success is showing no signs of slowing down, with a 5% increase so far this year and adding nearly a percentage point of share, in the meantime passing hte Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and closing in on the 208 and Fiesta. Combined with the Zoe EV, the Nissan Micra and hte Renault Logan, the Renault-Nissan Group held a 28,3% share of the segment in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 23,4% for PSA and 19% for the VW Group.
The minicar segment in Europe reverses its decline in the second quarter of 2019 as European car buyers took delivery of nearly 340.000 minicars, a 2% gain on 2018 and leading to a 1% loss in the first half, compared to an overall market loss of 3,6%. After a dip below the 30% mark in Q1, Fiat’s dominance in this segment rebounds to 31,2% in Q2 with its two models. The Fiat 500 manages to outsell its sibling Fiat Panda by a slight margin, but not enough to reclaim the segment crown for the first half of the year. These two models are surprisingly resilient considering the 500 is in its 12th year without any major redesign and the Panda in its 8th year but is still the best performer in the segment top-10 for the first half of 2019. Surprisingly, the #3 best selling minicar in Europe in the second quarter was the Renault Twingo, helped by the recent facelift of the model. As a result, the Twingo has passed the long-time #3 of the segment Volkswagen Up! in the first-half ranking to claim 4th place behind the Toyota Aygo, after the Japanese model already leapfrogged the Up! in Q1.
After a few relatively stable months in April and May, with sales up 1,4% and down 1,3% respectively, European new car sales were down by 7,8% in June 2019, to 1,48 million sales. For the first half of the year, sales are down 3,6% to 8,3 million units. According to ACEA, the surprisingly heavy decline in June can be attributed to a negative calendar effect. On average, June only counted 19 working days across the EU in 2019, compared to roughly 21 days the year before. As a result, the five major EU markets all posted declines, especially France (-8,4%) and Spain (-8,3%), whereas the UK (-4.9%), Germany (-4,7%) and Italy (-2,1%) performed better than the overall market. Just five out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA showed growth in March, with the fastest growing markets Lithuania (+41,1%), Romania (+15%) and Ireland (+12,7%), while Greece (+4,5%) and Cyprus (+0,9%) are the remaining countries in the plus. Biggest losing markets in June were Sweden (-52%) and Iceland (-47,7%), the former influenced by an artificially high month of June in 2018 which pulled forward registrations in anticipation of a new tax system in July of last year. In the first half each of the big EU markets recorded a slight decline with the exception of Germany (+0,5%).
In the first half of 2018, European passenger car sales are up 3% to 8,6 million, with new EU member states contributing the most at +11,4%. Among major markets, Spain (+10,1%) is the biggest gainer, followed by France (+4,7%) and Germany (+2,9%) while sales in Italy (-1,4%) and the UK (‐6,3%) are falling. Crossover sales are up 22,9% in the first half, while car models lost 3,1% and MPVs lost 17,5%.
Sales decline as segment anticipates onslaught of replacements from Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz
Sales in the US Premium Large segment fell by 4.8% to 123,507 in the first half of 2018, as stagnant sales in the first quarter gave way to a sales decline of 9.3% in the second quarter. With the new Audi A6, Audi A7, BMW 6-series and Mercedes-Benz CLS about to go on sale, the new Lexus ES going on sale in July, and the [Read more…]
Segment sales remain stable as BMW 5-series and Volvo S90 steal sales from other models
Sales in the US Premium Large segment fell by a mere 15 units to 62,651 in the first quarter of 2018, a much better performance than the 2017 overall sales decline of almost 10%. Given all the new metal in the segment, however, the expectations were probably higher still – instead, BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz E-class and [Read more…]
Sales in the limousine segment in Europe improved sharply in the second half of 2017 to pull the full-year figure up 13% after a 5% gain in the first half. Nearly 46.000 limousines were sold last year, 0,3% of the total European car market. Despite this impressive gain, only 2 models in the segment top-5 improve on last year, as the segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class is stable with a 200-unit loss thanks to a 30% gain in the fourth quarter when the facelifted version became fully available. The S-Class lost 4,6 percentage points of share in 2017, but that’s still much better than its closest rival BMW 7-series which was only in its second full year of sales but already lost 13% of its volume and 7,6 percentage points of share as the new generation’s design apparently doesn’t have a long shelf life. On the other hand, this is the third-best year for the model since 2006, and don’t forget the S-Class also includes sales of the coupe and convertible versions. Big winner of the segment is the Porsche Panamera with sales up more than threefold thanks to the new generation. The Panamera outsold the 7-Series in both the third and fourth quarters, helped by the S e-Hybrid version, but was unable to topple the BMW for 2nd place in the segment. The Sport Turismo version should help the Porsche move ahead of its rival in 2018, but it remains to be seen if that’s also enough to grab the #2 spot then, as the new generation Audi A8 is also in showrooms and looking to move up a few notches.