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.
It’s cousin Seat Leon is also looking upwards, especially with a station wagon version available for the first time in the model’s three generations.
The Toyota Auris shows the biggest increase in the top 10, as it also has a station wagon for the first time, and it is the only station wagon on the market with an optional hybrid powertrain.
Look for the Mazda3 to move up in 2014 as well, as it has been renewed at the end of 2013, with a more inspiring design and anti-downsizing engines. It is the only compact still available with a non-turbo 2.0 liter engine, which has a fuel economy rating that is very close to that of the award-winning 1.0 liter 3-cylinder turbo engine in the Ford Focus. This means that in the real world, it will be more efficient. Way to go, Mazda!
The all-electric Nissan Leaf managed over 11.000 sales, which places it ahead of no less than 8 traditionally powered and 3 hybrid competitors, not at all a bad result. Just over 4.600 of those have been sold in Norway, where the Leaf amazingly ranked third overall in 2013, thanks to government incentives on electric cars.
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