The growth of the large passenger van segment in Europe slows down but is still in double digit territory thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. A 14% growth in Q3 brings the year-to-date figure for the first nine months of 2017 to nearly 196.000 sales, up 28% on the year before. The dominant segment leaders Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan continue to lose share with a 1% decline in sales in the third quater and just a 3% gain so far this year. VW’s share of the segment has reduced from almost one third of the segment to just over a quarter (from 32,7% to 26,4%). They still sell over double the volume of their closest rival, which was the Fiat Ducato in Q2 and Q3 thanks to campervan sales. The Ducato improves by 17% in the third quarter to outsell the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, but not by a large margin. Its year-to-date lead is large enough to be comfortable in 2nd place, even if we know its Q4 sales are traditionally half of those in Q3. Combining sales of the luxury V-Class with those of its more utilitarian version Vito Tourer, as VW does as well, Mercedes-Benz would be in 2nd place, still almost 12.000 sales behind the segment leader. [Read more…]
Stability in a segment normally full of surprises
Sales of Premium Mid-sized SUVs in the US were up 3.9% in Q3 of 2017, a slowdown compared to the first two quarters of the year, when the segment recorded robust double-digit growth. Still, sales are up 8.9% since the beginning of the year, to 328,025, meaning the segment continues to (slowly) close the gap to the Premium Large SUV segment, which is still the largest from among Premium SUV segments at 458,376 units for the first three quarters of the year. With the new Audi Q5, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Range Rover Velar still building sales, and the new BMW X3, Infiniti QX50 and Volvo XC60 coming to market soon, the segment is bound to grow robustly in the next year. [Read more…]
Fastest growing segment in the US, now larger than premium compact car segment
The Premium Compact SUV segment continued its trend of double-digit sales increases in 2017, growing by 17.0% in the third quarter. This makes it the only Premium SUV segment to maintain double-digit growth in all quarters of 2017 so far, although at 84,544 units sold it remains the smallest of the three by far. With sales of the new generation Mini Countryman picking up, and the arrival of the BMW X2, Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 by the end of the year, the segment is bound to continue on this path of growth. Next year, Audi could bring the Q2 to the States as well, although this has not yet been officially confirmed, nor has Acura hinted at the possibility that the China-made CDX is coming to the US. If so, it won’t be for at least another year.
At just 42.000 sales in the first three quarters of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy 32 times as many of these cars than Europeans do, as American dealers have already sold almost one and a half million of these vehicles this year. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 19) outsells the entire European segment combined. No wonder most of these models never make it to the old continent and the segment continues to shrink with Nissan not replacing its Murano and Pathfinder or Mazda its CX-9 as they have done in the US. Then again, Ford entered the segment by bringing the Edge over from the States. And while absolute volume remains relatively low (13.100 in Europe vs. nearly 105.000 in the US), it has quickly become the segment leader with a commanding 31,2% share. However, that can’t prevent the segment from losing 19% of its volume in Q3, as every other nameplate lost with double digits, except for the low-volume SsangYong Rexton. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Edge, the segment would be down 30% in the third quarter and down 19% in the first nine months, instead of up 4%.
The premium midsized car segment in Europe accelerates its decline in Q3 of 2017 with a loss of 9%, bringing its year-to-date figure for the first nine months also in the red at -1%. Nearly 539.000 midsized luxury cars have been delivered by European dealers so far this year. slightly declined in the second quarter of 2017, which leads to a slim 2% increase in the first half, to 378.426 sales. With the mainstream midsized segment down by 11% in Q3, this type and of vehicle continues to lose volume to crossovers. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class increases its share of the segment to over 26% as its 5% loss in the third quarter is better than the segment average, while its closest 3 rivals all drop by double digits. The success of the new generation Audi A4 has been short-lived with sales down 21% in Q3 and down 13% year-to-date. The BMW 3-series loses 14% in the third quarter but a new generation will arrive next year. Its coupe and convertible versions under the 4-series monicker are also down by 11% in the third quarter, when they were outsold by their Audi rivals A5, up 50% thanks to the new generation. The gap between those models has been narrowed to less than 3.000 sales and the A5 is fresh and has the momentum, so it may become a tight race for the segment #4 spot by the end of the year, although I think the 4-Series will prevail. One sidenote to the figures of the C-Class: they include sales of the coupe and convertible versions, which BMW and Audi sell under separate nameplates. When looking at combined figures, Audi consolidates its segment lead with 160.344 sales (-2%), ahead of BMW with 151.800 sales (-7,1%) and Mercedes-Benz with 141.488 sales (+5%). In Q3 BMW was in third place just behind Mercedes-Benz. [Read more…]
The premium compact car segment in Europe loses volume for the third consecutive quarter in Q3 of 2017, with an 8% decline in sales. Year-to-date, the segment is down by 6% to nearly 671.000 sales. The ranking is relatively stable, but some individual models still show significant volume decreases or increases. The dominant segment leader Audi A3 is down 6% in the third quarter and its closest two rivals are closing in. The 2nd placed Mercedes-Benz A-Class improved 3% while the BMW 1-series saw stable sales in Q3. All three models have sold over 100.000 units so far this year and combined they control more than half of the segment. However, that does not paint the full picture, as Audi sells its hatchback, sedan and convertible models all under the A3 monicker, while Mercedes-Benz and BMW have split off some of those versions under different names. Mercedes-Benz is the segment leader in terms of brand sales, with the A-Class hatchback, B-Class MPV and CLA sedan and station wagon at 210.606 sales, stable on the year before. BMW follows closely with 205.950 sales of its 1-Series hatchback, 2-Series MPV and 2-series Coupe & Convertible as well as the i3 EV, down 2%.
The small crossover segment in Europe has definitely hit a ceiling as sales were up just 4% in Q3 even though a slew of new models has been launched during the past few months. For the first nine months of 2017, the segment is up by just 3% to a record 1,13 million sales. As those new entrants gain traction with deliveries, the segment should continue its growth into 2018, but logically even when the absolute growth stays strong, as the segment gets bigger it will get harder to keep up those double digit figures of recent years. After a 12% loss in Q2, segment leader Renault Captur is down by just 2% in Q3 thanks to its facelift. However, the #2 Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was just 1.700 sales behind this quarter, closing in on the YTD #2 spot by just 77 sales. For now, the Peugeot 2008 still holds that second place, but it was down by 12% in the third quarter and was almost down to 4th place as it outsold the Dacia Duster by only 1.500 units. The Duster returns to the black even though its replacement has already been revealed. YTD, the top-5 is relatively stable, including the Nissan Juke, despite being one of the oldest models in the segment. [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…]
After a strong rebound last year, sales of large MPVs are down for three consecutive quarters, including a 19% drop in sales in Q3 with all players down by double digits except for one. Just over 100.000 units were sold in the first nine months of 2017, a decline of 17% on the same period in 2016. The Ford S-Max holds on to the segment lead despite a 25% decline in Q3, a similar decline as its sister model Ford Galaxy, which was in fourth place for the quarter but remains in 5th place year-to-date. The share of the segment for the two Fords drops from 40,2% to 39%, while the VW Group twins improve their share from 40,8% to 45,2%. Keep in mind that the Volkswagen Sharan and Seat Alhambra are by far the oldest models still on sale in the segment, having been introduced in 2010, compared to late 2015/early 2016 for the S-Max and Galaxy. The Alhambra loses 14% in Q3 and is down to third place behind its sister model Sharan which is the only nameplate to improve this quarter at +1%. Year-to-date, the Seat is still ahead of the VW but they’re close enough to make it a battle for 2nd place by the end of the year.
The midsized car segment in Europe is in continuous decline as it is in the US. An 11% drop in sales in Q3 leads to a 14% loss in the first three quarters of the year. So far this year, only 2 nameplates manage to improve year-over-year and all but one of the other models show double digit declines. In the third quarter, 2 of the top-3 manage to improve their volume, but the distant segment leader VW Passat is still down by 8% this quarter. It still holds a one third share of the segment and like its smaller sibling Golf outsells its closest rival by more than a 2-to-1 margin and like in the compact car segment that #2 is a Skoda. That means the Volkswagen Group controls almost half of the sales in this segment. However, the Skoda Superb was outsold in Q3 by the all-new Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, which moves back onto the segment year-to-date podium by passing the Ford Mondeo, down 17% for the quarter and down 22% for the year.