Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe are down less than 6.000 units, or 1% on the first three quarters of last year. Only three models increase their sales more than 2%, including one all-new model, while the rest either loses ground or stays virtually stable.
The Citroën C4 (Grand) Picasso continues its strong performance, now grabbing 15,6% of the segment and extending its lead over the traditional leader Renault (Grand) Scenic. If the Picasso holds on to its lead until the end of the year, it would be only the second time ever that the Scenic doesn’t lead the segment it invented in 1996. In 2008 it was also Citroën who kicked the Scenic down. However, the French may have a battle on their own turf next year, as the recently introduced Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan was the best selling midsized MPV in September. Despite having half as many selling days as the rest of the segment, the Sportsvan has already moved in to 7th place of the segment and doesn’t seem to take any prisoners.
The rise of the Golf Sportsvan does seem to hurt sales of the ageing Touran, kicked down one spot in the year-to-date ranking by the Ford (Grand) C-Max after a horrible month of September, in which the Touran fell from its podium position down to 7th place. It was in fourth spot for the quarter, as the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira also outsold it these three months. I don’t think the Zafira will make up 5.200 sales in the last quarter to leapfrog the Touran for the full year, but then again, I hadn’t expected the Sportsvan to rise this high either.
The two Peugeot models are losing ground despite their facelifts, the 7-seater 5008 is suffering more than the oddly styled 3008, which is available with the same diesel-electric hybrid system as the Citroën DS5 hybrid and Peugeot 508 RXH. With this system, the front wheels are powered by the diesel engine and the rear wheels by the electric motors, giving the car four-wheel drive capabilities, a system that’s been copied by Tesla for their Model S P85D.
The Toyota Verso is down again, despite its recent facelift and the addition of a new BMW-supplied diesel engine. Apparently it is cannibalized by the introduction of the Auris TS wagon, which is also available with an optional hybrid powertrain, giving it an advantage in countries where hybrids are subsidized.
The Kia Carens is the fastest growing model of the segment, thanks to its new generation, although its sales were already down on last year in August and September, indicating the model has already peaked, which is typical for South-Korean models in Europe, with the exception of small citycars. The Dacia Lodgy loses more than 10.000 units, or 40% of its volume of last year, making it the only Dacia model to lose sales this year. The arrival of the Logan MCV station wagon with 7 seats may have something to do with the early decline of the Lodgy.
In 2015, Volkswagen will introduce a new generation Touran, which you probably won’t be able to tell apart from the outgoing model as traditional at VW, while Renault will launch the fourth generation of the Scenic, which it promises to offer a funky design to counter the Citroën C4 Picasso.
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