After looking at production debuts from the 2018 Geneva Auto Show, it is time to now look at the concept cars.
The midsized segment has been in crisis for a decade now, but the sales decline seems to bottom out, with sales down “only” 5% after the first three quarters of 2014, to just over 400.000 units. With the new generations VW Passat and Ford Mondeo ready to start their customer deliveries, and the Peugeot 508 recently facelifted, the segment should be able to return to positive territory for only the second time since 2001. The VW Passat remains stable and increases its share of the segment to 28,8%, and that’s even without the new generation, which has only just entered European showrooms and should start customer deliveries anytime now.
The top-4 are the only models in the segment to increase their sales and now control almost two thirds of the segment, indicating a further defragmentation of the market. The Honda Accord is the latest victim of this increased monotony in the midsized car segment, as it won’t be replaced at the end of its life cycle, joining the Suzuki Kizashi, Seat Exeo, Chevrolet Malibu on their way to the happy hunting grounds. [Read more…]
After nine months, the European compact car segment is still up 10%, outperforming the market and, with over 1,7 million units sold, still the second largest segment of the continent.
As expected, the VW Golf continues to lead over its rivals by a large margin, and even increasing its share of the segment to 23%, which means almost one in every four compact cars sold in Europe is a Golf. The Ford Focus had an excellent month of September thanks to the strong UK market, but it was outsold by the Skoda Octavia in both July and August. With Octavia sales up one third and Focus sales stable year-to-date, the Focus desperately needs the upcoming facelift to fend off its Czech rival next year.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra is still waiting for its replacement and is in danger of losing its fourth place to the Peugeot 308 next year, as the latter is coming closer and closer. However, the 308 can’t afford not to look in its mirrors, as the Seat Leon is charging ahead as well, now having passed the ageing Renault Megane for sixth place. The Megane was also outsold by the Toyota Auris in August and September and may lose another spot by the end of the year. That should give some consolation to the best selling Asian compact, which has been kicked down from 6th to 8th this year.
The Hyundai i30 and Kia Cee’d lose more than 10.000 units of their volume each, although their replacements won’t be due until at least 2016. [Read more…]
European sales in the midsized segment have declined further in the second quarter of 2014 to show a loss of 5% over the first half. The Volkswagen Passat shows a smaller decline than the overall segment, even though its new generation has already been introduced to the press and will hit showrooms in the last quarter of this year.
Of only five models increasing their sales on last year, the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia is the fastest growing with sales up over one third thanks to a facelift and modernized engines. The second fastest gainer is the Skoda Superb, which also has been updated recently, and which could repeat the remarkable performance of its smaller sibling Skoda in the compact segment by ending the year on the podium of the midsize segment. It’s already leapfrogged the Peugeot 508 into fourth position and has its sights set on the Ford Mondeo.
Belgian production of the current generation Mondeo has already ended in July. After the summer break, Ford will start production of the new generation Mondeo in Spain, but that model won’t hit showrooms until December, leaving it vulnerable to be passed by the Skoda Superb. [Read more…]
The compact segment is up 10% in the first half of 2014, despite rumors that consumers would leave the segment in droves to buy crossovers and SUV’s.
Among the biggest gainers of the segment are the VW-Group siblings Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia (up two spots to an amazing third position) and Seat Leon, together accounting for over 94.000 of the segment’s 104.000 units growth. On top of that, the slightly smaller Skoda Rapid has gained another two spots thanks to the introduction of the Spaceback hatchback version to make it 4 VW-Group cars in the top-10.
The Golf is still the biggest gainer of the segment in absolute numbers, and it’s on track to sell over half a million units in Europe for the first time in 10 years. Other notable gainers are the European Car of the Year Peugeot 308, with the recently introduced station wagon version boosting sales even further, although I don’t expect it to threaten the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for fourth place. [Read more…]
Sales of midsized cars in Europe are down slightly again in the first quarter of 2014, after declining already 22% in the full year 2013. No change at the top, with the Volkswagen Passat still firm in the lead, although no longer selling twice as much as the number two of the segment.
In fact, the new generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, helped by more fuel efficient engines, is the second fastest improving model of the segment, right behind the venerable Ford Mondeo. The outgoing Mondeo is in sell-out mode to prepare for the arrival of the new generation, at last. That model has been on sale in the United States as the Ford Fusion since 2012, but the European market introduction was delayed due to the closure of the Ford Factory in Gent, Belgium and the subsequent migration of the production to Valencia in Spain. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars in Europe are growing slightly faster than the market in the first quarter of 2014, up 8% while the overall market is up 7%. And whereas the growth in the subcompact segment can be fully attributed to the Renault-Nissan alliance, the compact segment’s growth is fully thanks to the VW Group’s compact platform with the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon increasing their first quarter sales by a combined 45.628 units, while the whole segment grows by 43.314 sales.
The Golf doesn’t just increase its stranglehold on the segment, it’s actually the biggest gainer in absolute figures, adding almost 19.000 units to its first quarter sales, still outselling its nearest competitor by a 2-to-1 margin.
The new generation Octavia is moving into previously unthinkable territory, surpassing the Opel/Vauxhall Astra to jump onto the segment podium. To make this performance even more incredible, the Octavia outsold the Ford Focus both in January and February to become the second best selling car of the European compact segment! [Read more…]
Opel Adam Rocks & Adam S
The Adam Rocks is almost identical to the concept car, which was shown one year ago. Its all-around body cladding and 15 mm raised ride height give the Adam a more rugged appearance. The Rocks is exclusively available with a folding canvas roof called Swing Top and will go on sale in early Summer. Opel will also add new three-cylinder 1.0 Turbo Ecotec engines (90/115 hp) combined with a six-speed manual transmission to the Adam line-up. Moreover, Opel launched a new top-of-the-range Adam S, which features a 1.4 Turbo Ecotec engine with a maximum output of 150 hp.
The Peugeot 108 was the first of the next generation triplets manufactured in Kolin, Czech Republic to be revealed. The 108 now comes with many styling cues from the 208, 2008 and 308. The overall length has increased by 40 mm to 3,470 mm, while the width decreased by 35 mm to 1,620 mm as compared to the preceding 107 and the wheelbase is unchanged at 2,340 mm. The luggage capacity is similar to the C1, which means 196 liters with a puncture repair kit or 180 liters with a spare wheel. The base weight of 840 kg is remarkably higher than the outgoing 107. Like Citroën, Peugeot offers 3-door and 5-door versions and an open-top body style, the TOP!. There is a choice of two petrol engines: the 1.0 e-VTi and VTi 68 with CO2 emissions of 88 to 95 g/km or 97 g/km for the ETG-version with semi-automatic transmission. While Peugeot uses a 1.0-liter Toyota engine, the 1.2 VTi 82 (82 hp) has an in-house developed engine with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. [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…]