Sales of small MPVs in Europe have seem to hit a ceiling at just over 400.000 annual sales, as customers prefer the much more trendy small crossovers. Only two models manage to increase sales and do so by a large margin, while the rest of the segment is struggling. With the segment leader 500L soon to get internal competition from the 500X crossover, and no new models planned for the year, I predict the segment to take a big hit in 2015 and easily fall below 400.000 sales for only the second time in a decade. It may even drop as low as 350.000 sales, while the overall market remains stable or may even show a slight increase again.
Sales of the two segment leaders Fiat 500L and Nissan Note were both down in each of the last two months of the year, indicating their impressive winning streak in 2014 isn’t likely to continue into 2015. The 500L reaches record sales for the model at 94.000 units, while the Note clocks its best year since 2007. Contrastingly, even though sales of the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva remain relatively stable, the model is still down more than half on as recent as 2011.
We may see a third leadership change in the segment in four years, with the Note seemingly best positioned to benefit from the possible cannibalization of the 500X on the 500L, although in the Nissan was outsold in November and December by the Meriva.
The Ford B-Max is the biggest loser of the segment, losing over 14.000 sales and over a fifth of its volume, falling from second place to fourth, after leading the segment in 2012. The Citroën C3 Picasso is only slightly less unfortunate, keeping it from leapfrogging the Ford as well.
The only model that’s due to be refreshed this year is the Kia Venga, with a facelift in the first quarter, which should help it to take back its position above the Skoda Roomster.
Citroën C3 Picasso
Renault (Grand) Modus
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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