European sales 2015-Q1 Subcompact segment

The subcompact car segment has grown 3% in the first quarter of 2015, which is slower than the overall market, but up from almost zero growth in 2014.

Ford-Fiesta-Ecoboost-1.0-Powershift-TitaniumAs traditionally, the Ford Fiesta has held on to its lead, although the competition is getting stronger. The top-4 of the model ranking are within 10.000 units of each other, and only has its strong showing in the UK market in March to thank for its continued dominance. In January and February, the Volkswagen Polo was the segment leader, followed by the Renault Clio, pushing the Fiesta down into third place both months. But its best month in three years has helped the little Ford recover in March. It sold over 47.700 units in Europe that month, more than January and February combined, and more than 27.000 of those sales were registered in the UK.

It will be interesting to see if the aging Fiesta can hold on to its crown until the end of the year, with the Clio seemingly on a strong run, unaffected by cannibalization from the Captur small crossover, and both the Polo and the Corsa recently having been facelifted. Yes, I know General Motors calls it a new generation, but we all know they had no money to develop an all-new Corsa, so they took the old one and slapped the front of the Adam on it. Opel then hoped consumers would fall for this lipstick-on-a-pig strategy, but for now most of the 21% growth of the Corsa is the result of a huge batch of self-registrations by GM’s fleet company Opel Rent in Germany, where even the “new” generation Corsa doesn’t reach a higher private sales ratio (up to February) than 22,3%, compared to 47,6% for the Polo and 41,7% for the Fiesta.


A bit further down the ranking, we see the Toyota Yaris continue to improve in sixth place, while the Dacia Sandero holds on to its impressive seventh spot, challenged by the facelifted Seat Ibiza and the New generation Skoda Fabia. Both these VW Group subcompacts have leapfrogged the Citroën C3, while the surging all-new Hyundai i20 is hoping to do the same.

Nissan_Micra-K13-sales-EuropeThe Nissan Micra improves further on its best year since 2011, this generation’s first full year of sales, and outselling the struggling Fiat Punto for the first time ever. The Suzuki Swift miraculously improves its sales by a third, the best of the top-15, without any major changes or updates that I’m aware of.

Honda_Jazz-front-Geneva_Auto_Show-2015The Honda Jazz and Mazda2 both await their replacements later this year, while the all-electric Renault Zoe moves into the segment top-20 with sales more than doubling on last year thanks to Renault’s decision to give customers the option to buy the car including the battery outright instead of charging for battery rental. A technically updated version with improved range is due later this year and should help the Zoe progress even further.


Subcompact segment Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Change
1. Ford Fiesta 88.002 85.801 3%
2. Renault Clio 80.005 74.720 7%
3. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 78.518 64.653 21%
4. Volkswagen Polo 78.304 73.922 6%
5. Peugeot 208 60.442 62.342 -3%
6. Toyota Yaris 50.463 46.482 9%
7. Dacia Sandero 36.803 38.452 -4%
8. Seat Ibiza 32.368 28.805 12%
9. Skoda Fabia 31.737 29.272 8%
10. Citroën C3 31.201 35.977 -13%
11. Hyundai i20 26.398 20.500 29%
12. Nissan Micra 21.180 19.704 7%
13. Fiat Punto 20.558 25.412 -19%
14. Suzuki Swift 17.055 12.781 33%
15. Kia Rio 15.975 15.790 1%
16. Dacia Logan 12.761 13.392 -5%
17. Honda Jazz 10.564 12.090 -13%
18. Mazda2 6.390 7.223 -12%
19. Renault Zoe 2.934 1.238 137%
20. Peugeot 207 785 7.141 -89%
21. MG3 583 409 43%
22. Peugeot iOn 263 107 146%
23. Mitsubishi i-MiEV 198 181 9%
24. Citroën C-Zero 168 178 -6%
25. Chevrolet Aveo 72 2.243 -97%
26. Toyota Urban Cruiser 8 121 -93%
27. Mitsubishi Colt 7 113 -94%
Segment total 703.742 679.049 4%


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.

  1. Hi Bart,

    Thanks again for your figures.
    I have a question : why to include the electric triplets Peugeot iOn, Citroen C-Zero and Mitsubishi Mi-iev in the B segment ?

    Their length is 3,48m so they should be in the A segment (Twingo is 3,59m) in my opinion.
    BTW We spoke about Cactus some time ago, and Citroen isn’t fully satisfied with sales and began to rework entirely its communication: now they speak about “Crossovers” so I guess you could switch it to B-SUV 🙂

    Good day !


    1. Hi d3ns,

      good point you make here. I actually didn’t think they’re that small! I’ll move them to the A-segment for the next update, thanks for bringing it up.
      About the C4 Cactus, I’ve driven it myself and I still believe it’s really just a hatchback. While it’s sized as a compact model, it’s actually based on a subcompact platform, so there’s some room for discussion as well.
      PSA has done the same with the 3008, this was first marketed as a midsized MPV (and it looks like one as well), but when crossovers and SUVs started gaining popularity and Peugeot didn’t have a competitive offering in the segment, they started calling the 3008 a crossover, also pointing at its optional 4-wheel drive (as the HY4 diesel-electric hybrid has an electric motor powering the rear wheels). But I still consider it to be an MPV. Its next generation is promised to be more SUV-like and if it is, I’ll move it.

      What do you think of the segmentation of the new Renault Espace? Renault markets it as a crossover since MPVs have lost their appeal. Sure, it does look less van-like than the previous generations Espace, but I still consider it to be a large MPV instead of an SUV, especially since it’s not even available with 4-wheel drive.

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