Sales in the European subcompact segment have stabilized in the second half of 2014 after increasing slightly in the beginning of the year. With over 2,5 million cars sold, it remains Europe’s largest segment.
Even though sales of the model slowed in the fourth quarter, the segment’s bestseller Ford Fiesta has managed to fend off a simultaneous coup by the Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo. However, both these models outsold the Fiesta in each of the last four months of the year, so taking the 2015 crown again is not a matter of course for the small Ford.
Add to that a facelift (although GM likes to call it a new generation) of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa in the beginning of the year, and the subcompact segment may turn out to be one of the most heavily contested in the market this year.
The biggest loser in the top-10 is the Peugeot 208, due to receive a facelift in the Spring, followed by the Skoda Fabia which has recently been renewed, so the little Peugeot should see its sales stabilize and hold on to its 5th place, while the small Czech hatchback and station wagon should be able to reclaim its spot above distant cousin Seat Ibiza.
The Dacia Sandero breaks its 2009 sales record and claims a 7th place in the segment, whereas it’s never been in the segment top-10 before. But the laurels for the Romanian hatchback don’t stop there; in December, the Sandero also passed the 700.000 cumulative sales barrier, in just 6,5 years on the market.
Even though the new generation Hyundai i20 was due to arrive in showrooms early 2015, the outgoing model managed to improve on its record of 2013 to achieve its highest sales in its last year on the market. An amazing accomplishment for the South Korean hatchback, and the new generation, which will also become available as a 3-door coupe, should help it crack the top-10. Considering it won’t be hard to overtake the limping Fiat Punto, that’s just one more rival to pass.
With sales steadily climbing, the Renault Zoe EV becomes the second electric car to break through the 10.000 annual sales, and if its December performance is any indication of what’s in store for 2015, the Zoe better prepare for at least double that figure in 2015. After Renault dropped its initial strategy of only selling the Zoe without the batteries, which required a monthly lease, sales have skyrocketed. December sales were almost 2.500 units and the small electric Renault finished 2014 up more than a third after being stable at the end of Q3.
The most impressive performance of the segment could easily be the MG3, only available in the UK and Ireland, and its UK figures add up to over 1.600 units in its first full year, making it by far the best selling MG since the return of the brand under Chinese ownership.
As said above, the new generations Hyundai i20 and Skoda Fabia are already in showrooms, and it won’t be long before the new generations Mazda2 and Honda Jazz arrive at dealerships as well. Kia will give the Rio a facelift in the first quarter, and Seat will do the same to its former best seller the Ibiza in the third quarter.
Toyota Urban Cruiser
Great Wall Voleex C20R
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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