Sales in the Alternative Power segment continued falling in Q3 2015 at 17% compared to the same period last year, even faster than the 12% fall in the first half of the year. It is clear that low gas prices are bad news for this segment… [Read more…]
The midsized MPV segment in Europe goes deeper into a sales slump in Q3 of 2015, with sales down 8,7% in the quarter and now -4% year-to-date. In the first three quarters of this year, only two models in the top-10 show improve on their volume from last year. As opposed to most other segments, there’s an actual battle for the top spot between midsized MPVs this year, with the Citroën C4 Picasso reclaiming the lead after losing it to the Renault Scenic in Q2, but the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan isn’t far behind either, and it was the best selling model in Q3. If all three continue like this in the last quarter, the Scenic will drop to the bottom step of the podium, which isn’t very surprising when you consider it’s about to be replaced early next year.
The Golf Sportsvan is cannibalizing the aging VW Touran somewhat, as that model dropped to 7th place of the segment in Q3 and 5th place year-to-date as the Ford C-Max took advantage of its weak rival by outselling the Touran by a 2:1 ratio in Q3. If the VW keeps struggling like this from the slow changeover to the new generation Touran, the Peugeot 3008 may reappear into the top-5 by the end of its seventh year on the market. The 3008 is leaving the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira clearly behind so far, which is the surviving model that’s going down the fastest, losing almost a third of its volume on last year. [Read more…]
The compact car segment in Europe is up 5% in the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market, but the segment is likely to get a boost in 2016 from a few important model launches, most notably from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane. None of these is very likely to topple the Volkswagen Golf from its first place in the segment and in fact the entire car market, as the Golf holds a firm 23% share of the segment. The top-3 is still completed by the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia, as the latter has fallen short in its attempt to pass the Focus.
For fourth place, the Peugeot 308 is already in danger of recapitulating the position it took in the beginning of the year from the Astra, as GM is boosting the outgoing model with huge incentives. The new generation Astra has arrived in showrooms in Q4 and we’ll have to wait and see if it gains traction quickly enough to take back its fourth position by the time the year comes to an end. [Read more…]
Mercedes-Benz A-Class facelift
Mercedes-Benz revamped the A-Class, which features redesigned front and rear bumpers and is optionally available with LED High Performance headlamps. From the beginning of 2016 Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink will become available. The refreshed Mercedes-Benz A-Class comes with a range of no less than eight petrol engines, oddly with only two displacements: a 1.6-litre four-cylinder (A 160, A 180 , A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Edition & A 200) and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder (A 220, A 250, A 250 Sport and A 45 AMG) engine. The A 160 with 102 hp is the new entry-level model. It consumes 5.1 l/100 km (CO2-emissions 119 g/km) when opting for the 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission, the manual version is slightly less efficient. The diesel range consists of five engines with two displacements: the 1.5-litre Renault engine is offered in the A 160 d, A 180 d and A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, while the 2.2-litre Mercedes engine powers the A 200 d and A 220 d. Fuel consumption of the A 180 d BlueEFFIENCY Edition has been reduced slightly to 3.5 l/100 km (CO2-emissions 89 g/km). The A 220 d now offers 177 hp (+ 7 hp). The A 250 Sport now has an additional 7 hp (218 hp) over the regular A 250. Mercedes-Benz was slightly jealous seeing the Audi RS3 dethroning the A 45 AMG (“The best or nothing”, right?), so it has improved the performance of high-performance even further. The four-cylinder engine develops 381 hp (+ 21 hp) and a maximum torque of 475 Nm. Thanks to faster gear ratios, aerodynamic fine-tuning and the Dynamic Select driving mode it launches the A 45 AMG from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, 0.4 seconds than its predecessor.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
Sales in the Alternative Power segment fell by 12% compared to the first half of 2014, one of the larger drops from among all segments. In fact, only three cars sold more in the first half of 2015 than in the same period last year – Tesla Model S and BMW’s i3 and i8. This fall in sales most likely is driven by the continuing low gasoline price, as well as the expectation that this situation may continue for a long time.
You don’t get points for guessing the market leader – the Toyota Prius has dominated this segment ever since the second generation came to the American shores in 2004. However, while the introduction of the V (quasi-MPV, albeit not available in the US with 7 seats for some reason, unlike in Europe) and C (smaller model) helped the Prius to its best showing in 2012, when almost a quarter million Prius cars were sold in the US, 2015 seems like it will be the first time since then that the Prius will sell fewer than 200,000 units. I guess customers are waiting for the new model, but you have to wonder if the awkwardly-styled Mk IV is everything they were hoping for… [Read more…]
Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe are down 1% in the first half of 2015, after increasing by that same 1% in Q1. The ever-increasing popularity of crossovers may have something to do with that, as it does with small crossovers vs. small MPVs. However, the model that suffers the most from a sales slowdown in Q2 doesn’t have an in-house crossover competitor: the Citroën C4 Picasso. In fact, the Picasso loses its pole position of the segment to its main rival, the Renault Scenic, despite the latter being 4 years older and due to be replaced next year, as well as having gotten some in-house competition from the already successful Kadjar crossover.
Volkswagen occupies the next two spots with the still fresh Golf Sportsvan now firmly ahead of the soon-to-be replaced Touran, making VW the biggest brand in the class. The Ford C-Max and Peugeot 3008 maintain their positions above the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira, which is the biggest loser of the segment at -35%. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars have stalled in Q2 of 2015, as the segment is up just 4% at the end of the first half. This is down from +10% after Q1 and just half of the overall market growth of 8% so far. That said, the Volkswagen Golf, traditional leader of the segment and the overall market, is up just 2% but remains unchallenged by a large margin. VW dealers still sell more than twice as many as their nearest competitor, the Ford Focus.
After the Focus had to fight for its second place in the first quarter, with the Skoda Octavia outselling it in January and February, the facelift has given the Ford some renewed sales energy. It’s taken some distance from its Czech rival, which is now also challenged by the Peugeot 308, up 34% on last year. The 308 narrowed the gap to the Octavia to less than 200 units in June, while the Opel/Vauxhall Astra managed to outsell both of them that same month thanks to heavy discounts on the outgoing model as the new generation has just been revealed (pictured). [Read more…]
The midsized MPV segment is one of the most stable of the market in recent years: after declining just 2% in 2014, sales of midsized MPVs are up by a mere 1% again in the first quarter of 2015.
With Q1 sales down 10%, the Citroën C4 Picasso barely holds on to its first position, while it hasn’t led the segment in any of the three months. The Renault Scenic trails by less than 300 units after being the segment best seller in Febuary and March, and will be completely renewed by the end of this year. The all-new Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan is less than 1.700 units behind the C4 Picasso in third place, after being the segment leader by a large margin in January.
The Sportsvan improves massively on the sales of its predecessor Golf Plus, which was in run-out mode last year. However, in 2006, its first full year on the market, the Golf Plus sold more than 128.000 units in Europe, a figure the Sportsvan won’t reach at the current selling rate. But then again, the segment has become more populated since, and those 128.000 units were only half of what the Scenic sold that year, while both models aren’t separated by much this year [Read more…]
Europe’s second biggest segment keeps growing faster than the overall market, but only slightly at 10% for the compact car segment vs. 8,3% for all cars. The tight grip the Volkswagen Golf has held on the segment the last few years seems to soften a little bit, as the Golf grows slower than the segment. Still, more than one in every five compact cars sold in Europe is a Golf, and the VW Group has a 40% share of the segment, although that’s admittedly lower than 2014’s 44%.
The Ford Focus is stable on the first quarter of last year, despite its recent facelift. It does hold on to its second place, but just like its smaller sibling the Fiesta, it has strong March volume in the UK to thank for that. In January and February, the Skoda Octavia clearly outsold the Focus and even the Peugeot 308 came within 1.000 units for the two months combined. With over 32.000 units, more than half of the Ford’s volume in this quarter was registered in March alone.
The aforementioned 308 is the strongest gainer in the top-20 of the segment thanks to the new generation, its station wagon version and the European Car Of The Year award in March of last year. This also means it’s now officially outselling the Opel/Vauxhall Astra for the first time since 2004 and is likely to continue to do so for the rest of the year, as the latter won’t be replaced until the end of the year. [Read more…]
The European midsized MPV segment has been shaken up this year, although a 2% overall drop in sales doesn’t fully reflect the fierce competition between some of the top sellers.
Excluding the newly arrived VW Golf Sportsvan, only three other models manage to improve their sales, of which one by less than 50 units. Big winner is the Citroën C4 Picasso/Grand Picasso, adding over 30.000 units and stealing the leadership from the Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic for only the second time since the latter created the segment almost 2 decades ago. With a new generation Scenic not due in showrooms until 2016, Citroën has a shot of making it two in a row. However, there’s a new challenger in the segment, which has made a thunderous arrival. Replacing the aging VW Golf Plus which never has ranked higher than 5th in the segment, the Golf Sportsvan boldly took first place in four of the last five months of the year, signaling it has its sights set on the segment leadership in 2015, even without a 7-seater option, which is reserved for the aging Volkswagen Touran. [Read more…]