The subcompact segment in Europe as a whole saw a small decline of 6% in 2013, which means it declined faster than the overall market.
The segment leader has not changed, but the Ford Fiesta is under threat from the Renault Clio, which has leapfrogged both the Volkswagen Polo and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa to jump into second place, less than 10.000 units behind the leader.
The Corsa had been surpassed by the Peugeot 208 after the first three quarters of 2013, but has made a comeback in the last quarter to hold on to the number 4 spot. It has the UK market to thank for this result, as more than a third of Corsa sales have a Vauxhall badge.
The biggest improvement is made by the Dacia Sandero, thanks to the new generation. A gain of 65% in sales helped it move from 13th spot in 2012 to 8th in 2013. The model has shown some great sales results across Europe, and has enjoyed a very successful introduction in the UK market this year, together with the Duster.
The only newcomer in 2013 is the all-electric Renault Zoe, which outsold a handful models that have been or will be discontinued soon, but managing over 8.000 sales in 10 months by an EV is still quite a performance. It’s larger cousin Nissan Leaf was the best selling electric car at just over 11.000 sales over a full year.
There will be no all-new subcompact models for 2014, but the VW Polo, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will be facelifted. It will be the Corsa’s third facelift, while the model is desparate for an all-new generation. But Opel’s financial struggles in Europe have caused the expensive development of a new subcompact to be postponed.
The Dacia Logan will get the MCV station-wagon version of the second generation, which will help the model move up a couple of places this year.
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