The large passenger van segment in Europe shows booming growth in 2017 at +26% to just over a quarter million sales, helped by fresh product and optimistic views on the economy. The chart toppers Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan grow just 2% which reduces their share of the segment by 6,1 percentage points to 26,9% but is also a new annual record for the nameplate. In second place the full-sized Fiat Ducato also loses share with a 16% growth rate and sells just over half the volume of the segment leader, distancing the Mercedes-Benz V-Class in third place. Combining the V-Class with its utilitarian version Vito as VW does with its versions too (and as displayed in the graph as opposed to the table below where we split the versions for as far as we know the data), Mercedes would be in 2nd place with 53.000 sales and 21,2% share. The Renault Trafic and its sister model Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro are both up with the latter at the segment average but the former also losing share. The two latest additions to these quadruplets are the Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300, both way behind the two established iterations of the same Renault-developed van. [Read more…]
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…]
Sales of large passenger vans in Europe continue their double digit growth thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. A 36% growth in Q2 brings the first half 2017 figure to 137.832 sales, up 34% on the year before. The three top sellers all grow slower than the segment and lose share but remain dominant with a combined 54,9% share (down from 68,3%). The Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan add just 5% to their sales of last year and lose 7,2 percentage point of market share, but still sell more than 50% more than their closest rival. Even when combining the Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer with its luxury derivative V-Class, Volkswagen maintains a comfortable lead. And while VW may lose share, its volume is still growing despite the increased competition from the all-new PSA-Toyota vans. The Fiat Ducato reclaims the 2nd spot in Q2 as it is boosted by sales of camper vans in spring and beginning of summer, a segment in which the Ducato is ultra dominant.
Sales of large passenger vans in Europe continue their double digit growth thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. The three top sellers all grow slower than the segment and lose share but remain dominant with a combined 54,6% share (down from 68,6%). The Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan add just 3% to their sales of last year but still sell more than twice the volume of their closest rival. Even when combining the Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer with its luxury derivative V-Class, Volkswagen maintains a comfortable lead. The Fiat Ducato in third place still depends on campervan conversions for most of its sales. However, the Ducato would be off the podium if we combined sales of the Renault quadruplets Trafic, Vivaro, Talento and all-new NV300.
The large passenger van segment in Europe was very dynamic in 2016, with a handful of new models entering the segment and a 21% gain in overall sales to 200.000 units, as the entire top-5 showed double digit increases. The Volkswagen T6 Transporter/Multivan stays dominant with a third of all sales in this segment. Even if we combine sales of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Vito (as VW also does with its Multivan and Transporter, the luxury version and the basic version), the T6 would be 20.000 units ahead of its closest rival. The Fiat Ducato holds on to its podium spot thanks to strong sales in springtime, the high season for campervans, the bulk of Ducato sales. In Q4, the Fiat was in a distant 6th place with just a fifth of its volume in Q2. The V-Class gains 29% and was the clear #2 in the last quarter, and as mentioned above, would be in 2nd place for the year as well when combined with sister model Vito.
Sales of large passenger vans in Europe are up 21% in the first nine months of 2016, after a 35% improvement in Q3. The segment outperforms the overall market at +7,5% by a large margin, as the entire top-6 shows double digit growth. The Volkswagen T6 still leads the segment with almost a third of total sales thanks to its facelift of last year. The T6 sold more than twice as many units in Q3 than any of its challengers. However, keep in mind these sales include those of the Multivan, the luxury passenger van that competes with the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. If we combine sales of the latter with those of its basic twin Vito Tourer, Mercedes would be the closest rival of VW in this segment, however still unable to touch the Transporter. The Fiat Ducato was outsold by the V-Class in Q3 but has built up a large enough advantage to keep its position by the end of the year.
Abarth 124 Spider
This is the tuned version of the Fiat 124 Spider, which in its turn is based on the fourth generation Mazda MX-5. That means a long hood, low seating position and short but stubby rear end. And of course rear wheel drive and a short-shifting manual gearbox. The Abarth looks more militant than the Fiat thanks to its black hood and trunk lid, but the powerboost of just 10 hp to 170 hp isn’t very impressive and the chassis can handle more power for sure. I hope they’re coming up with more impressive hardware in the future, for example the 300 hp 1,8 liter they’ve mounted in the rally-spec Abarth hard-top. That unit has been mounted further back in the engine bay for better weight distribution. But that’s not all: it looks so stunning you’d wonder why they don’t use a transparent hood to show their jewelry to the world.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
We’ve finally seen the mainstream versions of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, after having been teased with the Giulia QV for over six months now, and honestly I hate to say this, but I’m slightly disappointed with them. The Giulia looks absolutely stunning and very aggressive with the QV body kit, and the white one on display wasn’t too bad, but the blue and grey ones just look didn’t do it for me. The lame wheel designs didn’t help and neither did the uninspiring colors. I really hope this is Alfa’s attempt at following Audi’s strategy of making the basic car look so lame that anyone with even one drop of petrolhead-blood in his body is forced to spend extra on the optional sports package (or S-line for Audi) with body kit and a nice set of wheels to make the car look the way it’s supposed to look.
The Giulia will be available in Europe with three 2,2 liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, the 150 hp and 180 hp versions are rear-wheel drive only and the option of manual or automatic gearbox. The 210 hp diesel will only have four-wheel drive and an automatic. The 2 liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine will also come in three versions all with standard automatic gearbox. The entry-level version has 200 hp with rear-wheel drive, the 250 hp version has four-wheel drive and the 280 hp version surprisingly comes standard with RWD, but optional AWD. The next step up is the QV with 510 hp, as we already know.[Read more…]
The Light Commercial Vehicle business in Europe has always been one of low margins and high volume. That’s why so many LCV models are co-developed in alliances of automakers who would otherwise be each others rivals. Some of these alliances have been in place and successful for decades, take for example the “Sevel Sud” alliance between Fiat and PSA Peugeot-Citroën, which has been producing the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer (originally known as J5) and Citroën Jumper/Relay (originally the C25) since 1981. However, in the upcoming few years, some of these alliances are due for a shake-up as a result of two new partnerships in the European car landscape. The first one is a cooperation between PSA and General Motors, even though this partnership already been reduced from its initial target, it will still involve Light Commercial Vehicles, and the other is the tightening of the relationship between Renault-Nissan and Daimler. Each of these four automakers already have tie-ups with other brands in the LCV market, most notably the cooperation between General Motors and Renault-Nissan. [Read more…]