Sales of large MPVs in Europe were down in each quarter of 2017 after a strong rebound in 2016. A loss of 15% means that sales are down to just over 131.000 units, or 0,8% of the total market, down from 1% in 2016. At least this is still a higher segment volume than 2014 and 2015, but the future of the segment looks bleak as fewer brands see profitability at these volumes and 7-seat crossovers continue to cannibalize their MPV rivals, even though the latter are still way more space efficient and practical. Four out of six remaining players in this segment show double digit losses and only one improves its volume (by a mere 45 units). The Ford S-Max holds on to the segment lead and even manages to increase its share of the segment to 26,9% as it is down by 14%. Its sibling Ford Galaxy is down by 25%, which means Ford’s share of the segment is down from 39,7% to 38,5%. The Volkswagen Group twins are by far the oldest models still on sale in this segment but manage to improve to 46,1% share, up 4,5 percentage point on last year. The Seat Alhambra is stable on 2016 thanks to a last-minute surge: it gained 19% in the fourth quarter.
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 small MPVs in Europe are falling at accelerating pace with a 44% decline in the fourth quarter leading to a loss of 26% in 2017. With less than 225.000 sales the segment now accounts for just 1,5% of total European volume, down from 2% in 2016. With two more models being pulled out of the class, this segment will consist of just 4 models as of 2018, of which one a low-volume EV. With a 23% loss the segment leader Fiat 500L actually improves its share of the shrinking segment to 28,1% but still sells almost 20.000 fewer units. It has also become more dependent on its home market Italy, which accounts for 73,6% of its European sales in 2017. At least the 500L can claim that it’s the best seller in one country: its production home Serbia. The surprise #2 of the segment this year is the Ford B-Max with a gain of 7%. What’s surprising about this is that until last year, sales of the B-Max had been slowly declining for 4 years, and moreover production of the model ended in September 2017. The last few thousand remaining in dealer stock will be sold off in early 2018. As a result of PSA replacing the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Citroën C3 Picasso with crossover models, sales of these two models were also in freefall in Q4, and these two will also sell of remaining stock in early 2018. [Read more…]
Sales of midsized cars in Europe have returned to decline in 2017 after a sharp rebound in 2015 and stable sales in 2016. The segment which sold over 1 million units as recently as 10 years ago is now down to its second lowest volume ever, after 2014. At nearly 543.000 sales, mainstream midsized cars now account for just 3,5% of the European market, down from 4,2% in 2016 and from 6,9% in 2007. Only one nameplate in the segment has been able to add volume last year and only three saw single digit declines with the remaining players in double digit decline. Segment leader Volkswagen Passat did slightly better than the rest of the segment at -11% to increase its share to over one third of the segment. Its platform sibling Skoda Superb holds on to 2nd place which means that for the first time ever, a VW-Skoda duo finishes on top of the annual ranking in both the compact and midsized segments. VW Group increases its share of the segment to 48,8% with these two models. The Opel/Vauxhall Insignia is the only model to even come close to the dominant players, with stable sales for the year but a 62% gain in Q4 thanks to the new generation. In fact, the Insignia outsold the Superb in both the third and fourth quarter and should be able to claim second place in 2018. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars in Europe declined 2% in 2017 to nearly 2,34 million units after 4% declines in each of the last three quarters. Europe’s second largest segment accounts for 15,1% of the total market, down from 15,8% in 2016. Segment leader Volkswagen Golf is completely on par with the rest of the segment and holds on to its 20,6% share thanks to a facelift in Q2. Its stablemate Skoda Octavia is stable for the year, gaining less than 500 sales but that still means a new volume record for the nameplate, knocking down the Opel/Vauxhall Astra which was down 35% in Q3 after a 28% decline in Q3. Like the Corsa in the subcompact segment, the Astra suffers from Opel/Vauxhall’s new owner deciding not to chase volume at all cost as General Motors used to do. This means lower discounts and reduces deliveries to daily rental fleets, leading to a sales shock in the short term but should be beneficial for the brand in the long run. Fourth placed Ford Focus is also stable despite being in the final year of the current generation and despite the overall decline of the UK market, its most important market with a third of its European volume. In the battle of the French, the Renault Megane jumps ahead of the Peugeot 308 to take 5th place, but I´m sure Renault expected more from this new model. [Read more…]
The subcompact car segment in Europe increased by 2% to nearly 2,79 million sales in 2017. Europe’s largest segment by volume still accounts for 18% of the total market, down from 18,1% in 2016. The segment declined by 2% in Q4 as two of the top-3 players were in double digit declines due to model changeovers. This allowed the Renault Clio to extend its pole position to a 50.000 sales lead over the #2. The former traditional best seller Ford Fiesta remains stuck in third place behind the Volkswagen Polo, which was in a lowly 6th place in the fourth quarter even behind the Citroën C3 and Toyota Yaris. The former of these is the big winner in the top-10 thanks to its new generation, topping 200.000 sales for the first time since 2010. Its stablemate Peugeot 208 moved up one spot in the ranking after a strong finish of the year with a 2nd place in Q4, helping it to leapfrog the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa which takes a big hit in the second quarter after PSA took over [Read more…]
Sales of minicars in Europe decline by 1% in 2017 to just under 1,25 million units, which means their share of the total European car market declined from 8,4% in 2016 to 8,1%. The segment is expected to show another small decline in 2018 before stabilizing at about 1,23 million sales until 2020. Fiat remains ultra-dominant in this segmentwith a share of over 30% thanks to its two models. Thanks to an increase of 3%, the Fiat 500 reclaims the segment lead it also held from 2013 to 2015, knocking its sibling Fiat Panda down into 2nd place. Even though their total European volumes are within a few thousand units of each other, there’s a big difference in the way these two models achieve these sales. The 500 is successful across almost all of Europe, while the Panda is heavily dependent on its home market Italy, which accounts for 78% of its sales (or almost 146.000 units), compared to just 28,5% for the 500 (or nearly 54.000 sales). The closest rival to the Italian duo, [Read more…]
The segment grows slowly thanks to a halt in the small vans sales decline
Overall sales of Commercial Vans in the US recovered a bit in the third quarter, with sales of large vans growing by 2%, and sales of small vans not changing much compared to Q3’16. This is a big improvement especially for the latter subsegment, which saw double-digit declines in the first two quarters. Still, because of this decline earlier in the year the overall segment is down 2% on where it was this time last year, with large vans up 1% and small vans down 13% YTD.
Sales collapse of segment-leading Chevy Corvette leads segment to unexpected Q3 sales dropSales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics suffered an unexpected collapse in the third quarter of the year – after declining by around 5% in the first two quarters of the year they fell by 23% in the third quarter. Time will tell if this is a sign of tough times ahead, or possibly a temporary correction after two strong quarters. The lack of new metal won’t help – while the new Lexus LC is proving a big hit with buyers, many of the segment stalwarts are rapidly moving past their “sell by” date (Mercedes-Benz SL, Maserati GranTurismo).
The segment and the new Ford Mustang continue their double-digit declines
Sales in the Mid-sized Sports segment continued falling in the third quarter of 2017 as they had so far this year, resulting in a YTD fall of 14.9%. As we had mentioned before, while the headline figure is mainly the result in falling popularity for the segment leader Ford Mustang, in fact most cars in the segment, even the newest ones, have seen their popularity fall in 2017 so far. Clearly the allure of alternative “emotional purchases” such as 4-door “coupes” (BMW 4-series GranCoupe, Audi A5 Sportback) and sporty SUVs (BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Porsche Macan) is eating into the traditional segment in which rich 50- and 60-year-olds used to treat themselves.