The subcompact car segment in Europe is still up 5% after the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market. At over 2 million units, it remains the highest volume segment of the continent. The traditional leader Ford Fiesta remains untouched despite starting to show its age, but below it there’s an interesting battle for 2nd place. So far, the Renault Clio is able to hold on to its position, but the VW Polo has come within 300 units. And considering the Polo outsold the Clio by more than 6.500 units in Q3, it’s safe to predict it will move up one spot by the end of the year. In fact, the Polo might even be challenging the Fiesta for the Q4 top spot, as it came within 2.500 units in Q3. The full-year crown looks like a one-horse race, but perhaps will 2016 be the first time since 2009 that the Fiesta doesn’t top the subcompact segment.
Another revelation of the year so far is the Skoda Fabia, with the new generation boosting sales by almost 50% in Q3 and by a third in the first nine months of 2015. This has helped the little Skoda leapfrog the Dacia Sandero since July to grab the segment 7th spot. After sliding 12% in the first half, the Citroën C3 is up again by 8% in Q3, and has therefore passed the Seat Ibiza again.
The new generation Hyundai i20 is unexpectedly flat in Q3, as the outgoing model enjoyed a surprisingly strong final year. As a result, the i20 appears to be stuck outside of the segment top-10 for the rest of 2015, despite year-to-date sales still up by 17% (vs. +24% in the first half). A little further below, the new generation Mazda2 is moving up the charts, almost doubling up on its volume of Q3 2014 and passing the Honda Jazz to take 17th place. The new generation Honda Jazz is only just arriving in showrooms now, more than 2 years after its initial launch. The Honda Fit, as the Jazz is called in other parts of the world, actually sells better in the United States than it does in Europe, which is extraordinary for a subcompact car.
The Renault Zoe EV is on track to surpass the Nissan Leaf to become Europe’s best selling electric car, but it’s still a long way from truly breaking through in the mainstream subcompact car segment, stuck at 19th place despite impressive sales gains in the past few quarters.
2015 January – September subcompact car sales Europe
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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