The minicar segment in Europe has changed at the same pace as the rest of the market, at -2% from 2012 to 2013. This year, the segment has a new sales leader: the already 6-year-old Fiat 500 has surpassed its sibling Fiat Panda to take the crown of the segment for the first time.
The VW Up! is closing in on the Panda as well, as it leaves its twin siblings Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii far behind. The Up! actually sold almost double of the other two combined. This is a very skewed ratio compared to the PSA/Toyota-triplets, which are less then 2.000 sales separated from each other.
The Lancia Ypsilon has gone from -4% and #10 after three quarters to +3% and #7 by the end of the year. It has sold pretty good in Italy, where almost 80% of Ypsilons are sold. Lancia is likely to stop selling cars outside of Italy, and will discontinue all other models as well, considering three quarters of all Lancias sold are Ypsilon.
Surprising to see the Suzuki Alto increase more than 20%, as the model has not been updated and it will be replaced by the Celerio this year. The new generation Hyundai i10 has already been introduced late 2013 and will pick up steam this year, but is expected to be overtaken by the new generation Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108. These three will very likely help the segment as a whole grow, while at the same time stealing sales from the VW-Group triplets. 2014 will be a busy year for the minicar segment, as it also marks the introduction of the new Renault Twingo, which will be a rear-engine, rear wheel drive, co-developed with Smart, who will introduce their new Smart Fortwo on the same platform as well.
The newcomers this year have not stormed the sales charts as their manufacturers may have liked them to do: the Opel Adam managed to sell just over 45.000 units, which actually doesn’t even seem that bad, until you realize the Fiat 500, at which it is aimed, sold 3,5 times that volume. The Mitsubishi Space Star has sold less than 14.000 units, which places it at the tail of the segment top 20.
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