Compact_car-segment-European-sales-2015-Volkswagen_Golf-Ford_Focus-Skoda_OctaviaSales in the second-largest segment in Europe are up 5% in 2015 to 2.317.728 units, which is a slower growth than the overall market as customers continue to switch to crossovers. The Volkswagen Golf loses half a percentage point of share, but that still leaves it with 23,1% of the segment. 2015 is probably the last year in a while the Golf tops half a million registrations, as it will start to feel increased competition from the new generation Opel-Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane. The outgoing Astra is kicked down into 5th place by the Peugeot 308 but should easily finish 2016 in 2nd place. The Skoda Octavia barely holds on to its third place as the surging 308 adds almost a third to its volume and two percentage points of share to come within 2.000 units of its Czech rival. Some stats even put the Peugeot ahead of the Octavia in the Full Year data, but when I add up their monthly sales this is what they add up to. Whichever way you look at it, this has been a stellar year for the former Car of the Year as it is single-handedly responsible for half of the segment increase and has more than doubled the nameplate’s sales in two years time.

Renault_Megane-2016-European-sales-2015-compact_car_segmentThe Renault Megane is about to be replaced by the new generation (pictured) and it shows in the performance of the outgoing model: down 9%  (-24% in Q4) and giving up its 7th place to the Toyota Auris, which is stable thanks to its facelift. In the fourth quarter the Auris was up 17% and even outsold the Seat Leon. The Hyundai i30 also had an incredible Q4 with sales up a whopping 62% to go from -4% after the first three quarters to +10% for the year, even though its facelift was only minor.

Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

Nissan-Pulsar-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Kia Cee’d moves into the top-10 despite sales down 3% as the Skoda Rapid loses even more at -12%. That’s not even the worst performance in the top-25, as the Citroën C4 is down 18% perhaps partially from cannibalization by the C4 Cactus but also because the facelift was only minor and couldn’t hide the fact that this wasn’t a very exciting design in the first place. However, proving that exciting design isn’t everything, the Mazda3 plateaus at just under 50.000 sales at #13, although it remains the #2 best selling Japanese model behind the Auris and ahead of the Honda Civic and Nissan Pulsar. The latter is still a long way from Nissan’s goal of 64.000 annual sales, like I had predicted, but I still think being up there with established nameplates like the 3 and Civic is a pretty nice performance for an all-new model in its first full year.

Its EV-cousin Nissan Leaf is stable at just over 15.000 sales, which means it is not longer the best selling electric car in Europe, as the Renault Zoe has grabbed that title. Still, it’s double the Toyota Prius hybrid figures and part of the slowdown in the second half is due to customers waiting for the update in early 2016 which will give the Leaf 25% more battery capacity and thus more range.

Toyota Prius 2016We welcome the Fiat Tipo to the segment, it will be interesting to see if Fiat’s strategy of no longer trying to beat the Golf at its own game, but going for a different customer instead is going to pay off for the company. Newcomers in 2016 are as mentioned the Megane and updated Leaf, Fiat will add a hatchback and a station wagon to the Tipo sedan, Toyota will launch its new generation Prius (the one with the hideous styling), and Subaru will renew its Impreza, so except for the Megane, no real volume models will be launched, but the Astra and Megane should still help the segment to another year of small growth, albeit slower than the overall market again.

Compact segment 2015 2014 Change
1. Volkswagen Golf 534.535 523.729 2%
2. Ford Focus 232.160 222.297 4%
3. Skoda Octavia 215.797 205.071 5%
4. Peugeot 308 213.764 161.515 32%
5. Opel/Vauxhall Astra 192.973 179.547 7%
6. Seat Leon 141.777 136.896 4%
7. Toyota Auris 129.648 128.905 1%
8. Renault Megane 123.114 135.206 -9%
9. Hyundai i30 89.957 81.686 10%
10. Kia Cee’d 73.412 75.692 -3%
11. Skoda Rapid 67.974 76.925 -12%
12. Citroën C4 50.202 61.533 -18%
13. Mazda3 49.766 48.096 3%
14. Honda Civic 43.652 42.035 4%
15. Nissan Pulsar 43.267 8.021 439%
16. Volkswagen Beetle 25.562 29.371 -13%
17. Nissan Leaf 15.303 15.158 1%
18. Toyota Corolla 12.713 12.432 2%
19. Volkswagen Scirocco 12.035 10.093 19%
20. Volkswagen Jetta 10.414 9.675 8%
21. Seat Toledo 10.286 11.037 -7%
22. Toyota Prius 7.638 8.162 -6%
23. Citroën C-Elysee 6.727 5.933 13%
24. Renault Fluence 5.081 5.465 -7%
25. Mitsubishi Lancer 3.791 3.761 1%
26. Peugeot 301 2.448 2.837 -14%
27. Hyundai Elantra 1.507 1.375 10%
28. Subaru Impreza 912 2.240 -59%
29. Fiat Tipo 772 0 New
30. Fiat Bravo 320 3.850 -92%
31. Chevrolet Cruze 149 7.406 -98%
32. Honda CR-Z 32 301 -89%
33. Honda Insight 27 536 -95%
34. Fiat Linea 13 220 -94%
Segment total 2.317.728 2.217.006 5%

Also check out the 2015 compact car segment in the United States.

Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2014 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.