The subcompact car segment has long been Europe’s largest segment by volume, but in 2021 they were outsold for the first time ever by small crossovers. And with sales down 22% in the first half of 2022 in an overall market down 15%, subcompact cars also fall behind the compact crossover class. Subcompacts now make up 16.7% of the total market, down from 18.2% last year. In the second quarter of 2022, subcompact cars were down 24%, in line with the overall market.
Like last year, the Peugeot 208 starts the year in the lead and it even manages to improve its share of the class thanks to sales down just 3%. In the second quarter it even manages to distance its nearest rivals by outselling every other car in its class by at least 9,000 units. Best performer and the only nameplate to improve in the top-15 is the Dacia Sandero with sales up 5% in 2nd place. In Q2, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa narrowly outsold the sandero, by 66 units, which allows it to jump onto the year-to-date podium. The Toyota Yaris had a slow start of the year, but manages to leapfrog the Citroën C3 in the second quarter for 4th place year-to-date. Former class leader Renault Clio is the worst performing model in the top-8 at -39%, after losing almost half of its sales in Q2. The Volkswagen Polo also loses ground and is now only one position ahead of its sibling Skoda Fabia. The top-10 is completed by the Ford Fiesta which sees its sales cut in half. In Q2, the Fiesta was outsold by the Hyundai i20. Further down the ranking, the Nissan Micra and Kia Rio manages to grow their share of the class with sales down 11% for the former and stable sales for the latter. The Mazda2 is up 7% thanks to the addition of the hybrid version. On the other had, the Suzuki Swift is down 53% as a new generation is due soon.
The luxury part of the segment accounts for 11.2% of subcompact car sales in Europe, up 0.7 percentage points on the first half of 2021 with sales down 18%. Not all three nameplates share this gain equally. The Mini stays firmly in control, taking a 7th place overall thanks to just 3% fewer deliveries than last year, adding 1.3 percentage points of share. The Audi A1 is down 38% and has shaken off the Lancia Ypsilon ( 21%) which had closed the gap in Q1 this year.
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Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.