The decline in the US car market resumed in October, and even though the 1.1% decline in sales was the mildest since May it was still an unwelcome return to trend after the surprising 6.3% growth in sales in September. The SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) once again was over 18 million, suggesting a healthy market, but it remains to be seen whether the coming months will be more like September, or whether we will continue to see a steady slide in sales numbers.
The minicar segment in Europe has changed at the same pace as the rest of the market, at -2% from 2012 to 2013. This year, the segment has a new sales leader: the already 6-year-old Fiat 500 has surpassed its sibling Fiat Panda to take the crown of the segment for the first time.
The VW Up! is closing in on the Panda as well, as it leaves its twin siblings Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii far behind. The Up! actually sold almost double of the other two combined. This is a very skewed ratio compared to the PSA/Toyota-triplets, which are less then 2.000 sales separated from each other.
The Lancia Ypsilon has gone from -4% and #10 after three quarters to +3% and #7 by the end of the year. It has sold pretty good in Italy, where almost 80% of Ypsilons are sold. Lancia is likely to stop selling cars outside of Italy, and will discontinue all other models as well, considering three quarters of all Lancias sold are Ypsilon. [Read more…]
The subcompact segment in Europe as a whole saw a small decline of 6% in 2013, which means it declined faster than the overall market.
The segment leader has not changed, but the Ford Fiesta is under threat from the Renault Clio, which has leapfrogged both the Volkswagen Polo and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa to jump into second place, less than 10.000 units behind the leader.
The Corsa had been surpassed by the Peugeot 208 after the first three quarters of 2013, but has made a comeback in the last quarter to hold on to the number 4 spot. It has the UK market to thank for this result, as more than a third of Corsa sales have a Vauxhall badge. [Read more…]
The compact segment in Europe as a whole was stable from 2012 to 2013, and it remained the continent’s largest segment. The traditional leader Volkswagen Golf managed to sell more than twice as many cars as the segment’s number two, the Ford Focus. A feat the brand pulls off as well with the Passat in the midsize segment.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra and the three French entrants Renault Megane, Peugeot 308 and Citroën C4 all showed double digit losses. The Megane has been facelifted at the end of 2013 and may stabilize this year, while the 308 has been renewed and is set to move back up the charts in 2014. It has already shown some impressive sales in the last quarter, taking back its place from the Hyundai i30. Peugeot has aimed the new 308 directly at the Golf in the styling department, so it may appeal to a larger audience.
The Skoda Octavia has slowly but steadily crept up the sales charts, silently moving into fourth position of the segment and 12th overall, and the Czech model is set to move up onto the podium in 2014, as it already has done in December, thanks to the new generation. [Read more…]
The midsize segment in Europe as a whole saw a sharp decline of 22% in 2013, as a result of a clear shift towards premium models in this segment. In fact, if we would combine the premium midsize with this segment, BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-class would hold the 1st, 3rd and 4th place of the combined segment respectively. However, the premium midsized models have not been spared in 2013, as their segment declined as well, although slower than their non-premium rivals, at -8%.
Only one midsized car has been able to sell more units in 2013 than in 2012, the Mazda6 has its new generation to thank for that. All other models show double digit declines, leaving the segment ranking relatively stable. No changes at the top, where the Volkswagen Passat is still by far the leader, selling more than twice as many cars as the number two of the segment, just like the Golf does in the compact segment.
The smallest declines in the top 5 are from models that have been facelifted in 2013, the Skoda Superb and the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. The latter is most popular in the UK, as almost 37% of all Insignia’s are sold with a Vauxhall badge. [Read more…]
The small MPV segment in Europe as a whole increased 9% in 2013, compared to a decline of 2% for the overall market.
New entrants have shaken up the segment, as the Fiat 500L and Ford B-Max have stormed up the charts straight from their introduction in the second half of 2012.
The Citroën C3 Picasso has received a minor facelift in 2012 and also benefits from a factory strike that cost its sister Citroën C3 a lot of sales. The C3 Picasso is especially popular in Italy, where it more than doubled its 2012 sales. As a result, it knocks the 2012 leader Opel/Vauxhall Meriva off the podium, as this model suffers the biggest loss of the top 9. It will receive a facelift early 2014, with more fuel efficient engines, which should help stabilize sales this year. [Read more…]
The midsized MPV segment in Europe declined 9% in 2013, with only one model in the top 8 improving year-on-year.
The Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic have held on to the top spot, but are threatened by the Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max, despite being facelifted in the first half of 2013. The last spot on the podium still belongs to the Volkswagen Touran, but is likely to be taken by the all-new Citroën C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso this year. The stylish French MPV’s have hit a chord in the market, as sales where up 65% in the last quarter of 2013.
Another model that has done well in the last quarter is the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira, thanks to a minor facelift and modernized engines. [Read more…]
The large MPV segment in Europe has given a small sign of life in the last quarter of 2013. Sales had been down 25% from January through September, but sales were up 14% from October through December.
Ford is to credit for this, as it is heavily discounting the outgoing S-Max and Galaxy, as the new generations will finally be presented at the Geneva Autoshow in March 2014, although they might not hit showrooms until early 2015. In the last quarter, S-Max sales are up 60% on 2012 and Galaxy more than doubles its sales on last year.
Despite this last-minute surge, the S-Max has had to give up the segment’s top spot to the Volkswagen Sharan and the Galaxy has been knocked off the podium by the Sharan’s cousin Seat Alhambra, the only model in the top 8 with a year-on-year gain. [Read more…]
New entrants have made big waves in this dynamic segment, and while the Nissan Juke has taken the 2013 top spot from the aging Dacia Duster, 2014 is likely to show a new leader again, as the Renault Captur has outsold the Juke by more than 50% in the last three months of 2013.
The Peugeot 2008 has its eyes on the second spot of the podium, leaving the Nissan Juke, Dacia Duster and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka to fight for places three, four and five. The Duster will be facelifted in 2014, and will receive more fuel efficient engines as well, which should help it stabilize its sales this year. [Read more…]
The midsized SUV segment remains stable, growing just 1% in 2013, which still compares favorably to an overall-market decline of 2%.
No surprises for the top two spots, as the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan remain firmly in place.
The Qashqai is due to be replaced this year, and will undoubtedly hold on to the top spot again, possibly topping 200.000 annual sales for the fifth consecutive year.
Behind the Tiguan, the Kia Sportage has leapfrogged its cousin Hyundai ix35, but the biggest increase comes from the Mazda CX-5, almost doubling its 2012 sales and moving from #11 to 7th place.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has also shown great gains, thanks to sales of the PHEV Plug-In Hybrid version, which sold over 8.000 units in The Netherlands, where government incentives on EV’s and Plug-in hybrids have had a huge effect on the sales charts. The Outlander PHEV will become available for the rest of Europe this year, so it may give the otherwise totally uninspiring SUV another boost for 2014. [Read more…]