After the first nine months of 2015 the minicar segment is still up by 10%, as it has been all year. It has been helped by a number of newcomers and model changes, which have also slightly eaten into the share of the segment leader Fiat 500, which sees flat sales as it’s been updated ever so slightly. Fiat obviously doesn’t want to mess too much with the model that’s kept it afloat for the last half a decade. The 500’s sibling Fiat Panda does better than the overall segment and closes in on the #1 spot it held until 2012.
The Volkswagen Up! has shaken off the Renault Twingo which had closed in on third place after the first half, but the little VW is still down 16% on last year, while the Twingo is up 22%. The Hyundai i10 has consolidated its fourth place these last three months as it’s being challenged by the all-new Toyota Aygo, which is followed by its clones Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1. That means the Lancia Ypsilon (only 4 Chrysler Ypsilons were sold in Q3) is kicked down into ninth place, just ahead of the car that tries to capture a similar hip and trendy audience: the Opel/Vauxhall Adam. Originally expected to sell about 45.000 units a year, the Adam has already virtually hit that target in just nine months this year and can therefore be called a success story for the troubled GM brands.
The Smart Fortwo has improved from -9% after six months to almost into the black, but has still lost a position to the Kia Picanto. The Fortwo is obviously held back by the success of the four-door and four-seater Forfour, which is only two spots behind, albeit at ¾ of its little brother’s volume. After a couple of very impressive quarters, the Mitsubishi Space Star has fallen flat in Q3, selling just 5.800 units, which would put it in 19th place of the segment instead of its current 16th spot. For now, it’s held off the Suzuki Celerio, which can’t seem to match the success of its predecessor Alto. This could be a result of intensified competition in the segment, but also because of the brand’s decision to develop a 100% rational model, with above average room for the passengers and luggage, but a very uninspired and not very frivolous design, as opposed to the more successful models in the segment.
In 19th place we find the Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva duo, who took a 13th spot for the quarter, indicating they may be fighting for a top-10 position in 2016, something General Motors has surely been aiming for.
The EV-trio Peugeot iOn, Citroën C-Zero and Mitsubishi i-MiEV have all three improved, despite the availability of better and more advanced competition, most notably the Renault Zoe.
2015 January-September minicar sales Europe
Mitsubishi Space Star / Mirage
Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva
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.
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