The small MPV segment in Europe as a whole increased 9% in 2013, compared to a decline of 2% for the overall market.
New entrants have shaken up the segment, as the Fiat 500L and Ford B-Max have stormed up the charts straight from their introduction in the second half of 2012.
The Citroën C3 Picasso has received a minor facelift in 2012 and also benefits from a factory strike that cost its sister Citroën C3 a lot of sales. The C3 Picasso is especially popular in Italy, where it more than doubled its 2012 sales. As a result, it knocks the 2012 leader Opel/Vauxhall Meriva off the podium, as this model suffers the biggest loss of the top 9. It will receive a facelift early 2014, with more fuel efficient engines, which should help stabilize sales this year.
Outside the top 3, the only model to show a sales increase is the Nissan Note. Thanks to the new generation in showrooms in the last quarter of 2013, its sales doubled in December gave the model a modest 5% year-on-year improvement. It will move further up the charts in 2014, as Nissan has high expectations of the new Note. Downsized engines with a 40% increase in fuel economy and a more inspired design should help it pass the aging Hyundai ix20 and Honda Jazz. The new generation Honda Jazz won’t hit showrooms until late 2014, possibly even 2015.
The Toyota Verso-S and its twin cousin Subaru Trezia never have been able to gain a foothold in the European market, peaking shortly in 2011, their first year on the market, they are way down again in 2013, stuck in the bottom of the chart, between models that have been axed already or will be axed soon.
Fiat has added a stretched version to the 500L, called 500L Living, hoping this will help the model extend its lead over its rivals in the segment, but in my Brussels Autoshow Coverage article, you can read what I think of the 500L Living.
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