The minicar segment in Europe is still up 10% in the first half of 2015. This means sales of the smallest cars are growing faster than the overall market, which is up 8%. The top-3 of the segment is still unchanged, as the Fiat 500 keeps improving to almost 100.000 sales in six months, even though it’s been on the market since 2007 and a minor facelift is coming up (pictured). Its sibling Fiat Panda shows an improvement of 11%, increasing its share of the segment to the highest level since 2012. This strength of the Fiat models is largely thanks to the recovery of the Italian car market, which is the continent’s #1 minicar market, as well as the natural habitat of the 500 and Panda.
While the increased competition from newly introduced models doesn’t seem to affect the Fiat offerings thanks to the aforementioned reason, the Volkswagen Up! does feel the heat from fresher products like the Renault Twingo. The Twingo improves 39% year-on-year and is only 3.500 units off the segment podium. In fact, the Twingo outsold the Up! already in June.
Similarly, after losing its 4th place to the little Renault, the Hyundai i10 is now also threatened by the Toyota Aygo, which is now less than 200 units behind after outselling the Korean minicar in June. The Aygo’s twins Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 are having a slower start of their new generations, but still show impressive gains.
The Opel/Vauxhall Adam continues its impressive performance, improving another 9% on already above-expected levels last year. A welcome success for the struggling GM brand and indeed a sign that trendy citycars in the style of the Fiat 500 are the way to go in Europe. The Smart Fortwo has had a slow start of the year, when deliveries of the third generation hadn’t yet started, and is therefore still in negative territory year-to-date. The Fortwo did recover in May and June, but undoubtedly it’s also held back by cannibalization of the newly introduced five-door, four-seat Forfour, which sells an impressive 21.000 units in the first half, more than some value-for-money competitors like the Skoda Citigo, Mitsubishi Space Star and the Suzuki Celerio/Alto.
We welcome the Opel Karl & Vauxhall Viva twins to the segment this quarter, as deliveries have started in June. And in their first month, the pair already sold as many times as the Space Star, a sign that a top-10 position should easily be possible in the next couple of months. Another newcomer is the Mitsubishi Attrage, a sedan version of the Space Star and the only sedan minicar for sale in Europe. It’s sold only in a handful of countries, where the four-door sedan body style is still popular, but the Attrage still has to make a mark in those countries, considering its volume dropped to just 18 sales in June.
Also notice we’ve moved the electric triplets from Mitsubishi and PSA to the minicar segment, as suggested by one of our readers. Considering their size, they do seem to fit better into this segment, but they remain stuck outside the top-20
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