Just yesterday Kia released pictures of the new Rio, and it looks reassuringly familiar – those solid flanks, the handsome front, the slightly aggressive lights. However, unlike with so many new cars these days, this is not because the new Kia Rio looks much like the old one (think most VAG, BMW products). In fact, the new Rio looks surprisingly unlike its dynamic and uniquely-styled predecessor. Rather, it is reminiscent of another car… [Read more…]
Sales of subcompact cars in Europe are up just 4% in the first half of 2016, compared to 8,8% for the overall market, as the best sellers are starting to age. Still, it remains the biggest segment of the continent in terms of volume. There’s been a change of leadership in Q2, with the Renault Clio grabbing the lead from the Ford Fiesta, which is due to be replaced later this year. The Fiesta has been around since 2008, and so has the Volkswagen Polo. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa is even older, having been developed in 2006, but at least it had an extensive update in 2014. That leaves the Clio and the Peugeot 208 as the freshest models in the top-5, both being introduced in 2012. And it shows: the Clio is the best selling model in Q2 and the first half, while the 208 is the fastest growing model in the top-5. The Fiesta has been the segment leader since 2012 but is now relegated to third place by the Polo. It has even come under threat from the Corsa, which outsold it in May and was just 2.000 units behind for the quarter. Outside the top-5, the Toyota Yaris keeps improving slowly but steadily, although the Dacia Sandero and Skoda Fabia weren’t far behind in Q2. In fact, the Sandero grabbed 7th place from the Fabia, despite the latter being brand new in 2015.
The highest volume segment in Europe grows by just 3% in Q1 of 2016, compared to 8% for the overall market. The Ford Fiesta, segment leader for the past 7 years is now under serious attack with sales down 4%, while the Volkswagen Polo adds 4% and is less than 3.000 sales behind after leapfrogging the Renault Clio and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa. The facelifted Peugeot 208 is closing in on the top-4 as well with sales up 13%, but the big winner of the top-15 is the new generation Skoda Fabia, adding a third to its volume of last year, and passing the Dacia Sandero and Seat Ibiza for 7th place, despite continuous growth for the French-Romanian model. The Citroën C3 also gains market share and a position against the Ibiza.[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 subcompact car segment in Europe is still up 5% after the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market. At over 2 million units, it remains the highest volume segment of the continent. The traditional leader Ford Fiesta remains untouched despite starting to show its age, but below it there’s an interesting battle for 2nd place. So far, the Renault Clio is able to hold on to its position, but the VW Polo has come within 300 units. And considering the Polo outsold the Clio by more than 6.500 units in Q3, it’s safe to predict it will move up one spot by the end of the year. In fact, the Polo might even be challenging the Fiesta for the Q4 top spot, as it came within 2.500 units in Q3. The full-year crown looks like a one-horse race, but perhaps will 2016 be the first time since 2009 that the Fiesta doesn’t top the subcompact segment. [Read more…]
The Bentayga is the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world according to Bentley, a statement which could very well be true. The production version of the EXP 9 F Concept is based on the platform of the new Audi Q7, but designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe. It sits on the 2,992 mm wheelbase of the Q7, while the overall car length is 5,141 mm, its width is 1,998 mm and height 1,742 mm. It can be selected with four- or five-seat configurations. The four-seat version features two individual rear seats that adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The storage space features a leather-trimmed folding seat that matches the style of the cabin seats, according to Bentley “Ideal for those wishing to stop for a moment and enjoy a spectacular outdoor environment or pursuit”. A 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine with a power output of 608 hp and 900 Nm torque powers the SUV, with which it could achieve a top speed of 301 km/h and accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The engine is mated to an eight-speed transmission, while the CO2-emissions are 292 g/km. In the future Bentley will launch diesel and hybrid variants.
Sales of subcompact cars in Europe have grown 5% in the first half to more than 1,4 million units, which is an improvement from a stable 2014 and a 3% growth in the first quarter, but still lags the overall market at +8%. The Ford Fiesta holds on to its traditional leadership of Europe’s biggest segment with growth only slightly below the segment average, despite being the oldest model of the top-8.
Behind the Renault Clio, segment leader in April, the Volkswagen Polo has passed the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa this quarter to reclaim third place. Both models are up 13% year-on-year thanks to their facelifts earlier this year. The Peugeot 208 has also been facelifted recently and is recovering from -3% after Q1 to +1% in the first half.
The all-new Skoda Fabia is storming up the charts, already having passed its sibling Seat Ibiza this quarter, the Czech hatchback and wagon will undoubtedly grab 7th place from the Dacia Sandero in the next quarter. The Fabia also outsold the Toyota Yaris every month in Q2, but by such a small margin that the best selling Japanese subcompact appears safe in 6th place for the rest of the year. [Read more…]
The subcompact car segment has grown 3% in the first quarter of 2015, which is slower than the overall market, but up from almost zero growth in 2014.
As traditionally, the Ford Fiesta has held on to its lead, although the competition is getting stronger. The top-4 of the model ranking are within 10.000 units of each other, and only has its strong showing in the UK market in March to thank for its continued dominance. In January and February, the Volkswagen Polo was the segment leader, followed by the Renault Clio, pushing the Fiesta down into third place both months. But its best month in three years has helped the little Ford recover in March. It sold over 47.700 units in Europe that month, more than January and February combined, and more than 27.000 of those sales were registered in the UK.
It will be interesting to see if the aging Fiesta can hold on to its crown until the end of the year, with the Clio seemingly on a strong run, unaffected by cannibalization from the Captur small crossover, and both the Polo and the Corsa recently having been facelifted. [Read more…]
In the late 1990’s, Nissan was Europe’s best selling Asian car brand thanks to the Micra, Almera and Primera, which were the epitome of Japanese cars in that period: not very exciting, but extremely reliable. But in the early 2000’s, they tried to bring more frivolous design into their cars with the 2002 Micra K12 and 2002 Primera P12, and as a result, the once faithful customers looking for anonymous transportation stayed away. At the same time, the newly formed alliance with Renault caused the Japanese engineers to lose their focus on bulletproof reliability, and Nissan’s sales dropped from almost 440.000 units in 1998 to just over 300.000 in 2007. Contrastingly, Toyota was growing fast, and it has held the title of biggest Asian brand in Europe since 2000, even more than doubling Nissan’s sales between 2004 and 2008.
As Nissan realized that they could no longer be competitive in the regular compact hatchback and midsized sedan and station wagon segments with the Almera and Primera, they made a very risky but brave decision: abandon Europe’s second and third largest segments with combined annual volumes of 4.3 million units in 2006 (5.9 million including premium brands) in favor of relatively small, but fast-growing niche segments. [Read more…]
Sales in the European subcompact segment have stabilized in the second half of 2014 after increasing slightly in the beginning of the year. With over 2,5 million cars sold, it remains Europe’s largest segment.
Even though sales of the model slowed in the fourth quarter, the segment’s bestseller Ford Fiesta has managed to fend off a simultaneous coup by the Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo. However, both these models outsold the Fiesta in each of the last four months of the year, so taking the 2015 crown again is not a matter of course for the small Ford.
Add to that a facelift (although GM likes to call it a new generation) of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa in the beginning of the year, and the subcompact segment may turn out to be one of the most heavily contested in the market this year. [Read more…]