The subcompact segment shows a sales increase of just 1%, which is less than the overall market, and down from +5% after the first three months.
Part of the slowdown may be due to small crossovers becoming increasingly popular thanks to an influx of new models in that segment.
The Ford Fiesta holds on to its traditional lead of the segment, although the Renault Clio has outsold the Fiesta in three of the six months, including the last two. A (traditional) excellent month of March in the UK has helped the little Ford stay in first position over the first six months this year.
Amazingly, the already ancient Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has taken back its position from the still relatively fresh Peugeot 208, which is already the biggest loser in the top-10, despite being one of the most recent designs. Considering the 2008 and Mokka are not far apart in the small crossover segment, and considering the Clio is unhurt by the success of the Captur, it’s hard to blame the 2008 for the early demise of the 208.
Perhaps the recent surge of its sibling model the Citroën C3 has something to do with it, as the C3 is recovering from factory strikes in 2013 and enjoying popularity thanks to new, more fuel efficient engines and a minor exterior design update.
The biggest winner of the segment is Dacia, with both the Sandero hatchback and the Logan sedan each rising around 20.000 units, for a combined total that would place them in 6th position with more than 106.000 sales.
Also enjoying increased popularity thanks to some minor exterior updates is the Nissan Micra, gaining four spots on last year and the fastest gaining model in the top 15.
Surprisingly, sales of subcompact full-electric vehicles are down in 2014, the Renault Zoe is down 15% and the Citroën C-Zero, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Peugeot iOn triplets are down more than 3% combined.
Later this year, the Mazda2 will be completely renewed, and the Fiat Punto’s suffering will be stretched well into 2016 by yet another facelift. The design of the Grande Punto can be compared with a beautiful woman who tries to hide her increasing age with facelifts and Botox-injections. The once good looking Maserati-nose design has been made uglier with every update, and this latest facelift has been so well received that some Fiat distributors, including the Dutch, just plainly refuse to import the updated model and will continue to sell the current version until the Fiat 500 5-door is introduced in 2016.
At the end of this year or early 2015, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will also receive its umpteenth facelift, although GM wants everybody to think it’s an all-new model. Forget what they’re telling you, it’s still on the same platform and despite a more Adam-like nose, the current model is still very recognizable in the design. At least the Corsa will get modernized engines with increased fuel economy, in order to satisfy the Hertz-customers renting one.
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