European sales 2016 large MPV segment

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q3-Ford_S_Max-Volkswagen_Sharan-Seat_AlhambraAt just over 150.000 annual sales, the large MPV segment is the second smallest mainstream segment in Europe, but it’s also the fastest growing segment in 2016 at +32%, although that requires a sidenote that the segment was actually down by 4% in Q4. Only one of the remaining models loses volume for the year and that’s the former segment leader Volkswagen Sharan, which is clearly outsold by the Ford S-Max. The S-Max is the first large MPV to top 40.000 annual sales since 2011 when its previous generation hit that volume, as well as the Sharan which was brand new at that time. Close behind the Sharan in third place we find its Spanish clone Seat Alhambra with sales up 17% despite being the oldest of the remaining models by a large margin (together with the Sharan, of course).

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

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2014-Renault_EspaceThe age of the VW Group twins doesn’t withhold the company to command a 41,6% share of the segment, trumping Ford’s 39,7% share of the segment with its two still very fresh models. The Renault Espace may be up a promising 27% for the year, but remember the new generation was only launched in Q2 of 2015. More worrying is the 36,4% loss for the model in Q4, when it outsold the Ford Galaxy by just 1.000 units, although it improves volume on Q3 when the Galaxy was actually just ahead. The reasons for the apparent lack of success for the grandfather of the segment and its former leader have been discussed here before: it took too long for the new model to arrive so customers had already flocked to competing brands, it’s not available in the UK and its focus on styling and a premium positioning instead of interior space and value-for-money makes it unattractive to rental companies, the biggest customers for the VW Group twins and the Galaxy. On a more positive note: 2016 is still the best year for the Espace since 2007, the last year the nameplate topped 40.000 annual sales.

In last place of the remaining models we find the SsangYong Rodius, up 8% but down 13% in the fourth quarter, indicating the 1.800 annual units it sold is likely the model’s peak. In the table below I’ve thrown in the Mercedes-Benz V-Class as a large MPV as well for comparison. It will be featured in the passenger van segment together with its less luxurious twin Vito and other van-derived MPVs. The V-Class would be in fourth place but only 2.500 sales off the #2 spot. Impressive for a vehicle with its price point, but unsurprising if you’ve ever driven one, as its interior is more than a notch above the others in this segment in terms of space as well as fit and finish.

For 2017 we don’t expect any big news, as Volkswagen hasn’t revealed any plans about the future of its models, when they will be replaced, if at all.

Also check the Minivan segment in the US, where the all-new Chrysler Pacifica makes an entrance but can’t yet threaten the Japanese dominance of the segment.

Large MPV segment 2016 2015 Change
1 Ford S-Max 40.826 17.879 128%
2 Volkswagen Sharan 32.429 36.443 -11%
3 Seat Alhambra 31.695 27.164 17%
(Mercedes-Benz V-Class) (28.940) (22.389) (29%)
4 Renault Espace 26.960 21.149 27%
5 Ford Galaxy 20.472 10.474 95%
6 SsangYong Rodius / Stavic 1.800 1.671 8%
7 Lancia/Chrysler Voyager 94 1.984 -95%
8 Peugeot 807 7 58 -88%
9 Citroën C8 5 69 -93%
Segment total 154.283 116.822 32%

Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2016 and monthly sales from 2012 to 2016, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.

Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.

  1. Espace is absolutely a failure. Low reliability and chinese design. But its position in this segment is still better than Talisman’s in midsized class… (4th place – 7th place)

    the 36,4% loss for the Renault Espace in Q4… So fresh model and so poor sales figures…The same will be with Talisman in Q4 this year. There is no trust for french cars because of low quality

    1. Did a Renault (or any other French car) throw up on you during your childhood?

      It’s stating the obvious the position of the Espace is better than the Talisman’s, because this segment is smaller (9 vs 19 cars and four times less volume). About quality, you should e.g. read some German car magazines. Even they know that Renault produces good cars these days. Auto, Motor und Sport rated the overall quality of the Laguna III as the same of better than the BMW 3 series. Every brand faces difficult times (Mégane II, Laguna II), but things can change. Except your ignorance I guess. Not trying to be rude, but your comments are redundant and I shouldn’t even bother replying.

      1. In case Espace and Talisman things hasn’t changed – the reliability of these vehicles is low and a lot of owners return with the problems to the car service + Renault reputation for many years as a poor quality carmaker – and we have reasons why sales figures for Espace&Talisman aren’t good.

    2. @Bazooka it’s obviously that you’re not one of the Renault fans.In every post you say something negative about their cars.But for now they’re the second best-seller manufacturer in Europe and it’s a clear fact that they increased the quality of their cars plus the cars have a great design.Don’t be such a hater.

  2. Bazooka is just a simple hater. He comments here only to criticise Renault and offend others. He does not have any real arguments. He does not place any other comments. Maybe he is paid by VAG ? 🙂

    1. Several months ago you wrote that you hate VAG – so the one and only hater here are you…
      It’s funny how Renault fanatics desperately try to bewitch reality and tell that Espace and Talisman are a success… But one look at sales figures and we know the truth…

      1. Yes yes, keep saying that. Everyone on this site knows what kind of person you are. You can write a lie for a hundred times. it will never be a truth.

        P.S. I never wrote I hate VAG. I wrote “I don’t hate VAG” 🙂 See the difference? You are liar and manipulator.

  3. BTW if Talisman would be available full year (as Espace) then it would be 5th in the D segment. Not bad for a model not available in second biggest market 🙂

    Bart, do you have data about private sales vs corporate sales in VAN segment? You mentioned that Ford and VW are mainly bought by rental companies (what makes sense, instead of having a van, rent it for holidays). i’m interrested how much percent is it.

    1. Hi ToJa,

      I don’t have data about private sales vs corporate sales in this segment, so it’s not a scientific claim. But everytime I rent one of these vans in Germany, Austria or UK and I always get either a Sharan or a Galaxy and I see lots of those models with similar license plates and barcodes on their rear window.

  4. I am sure Renault will come up with an Espace update to keep it in the public’s eye.
    Never come across any advertising but I assume special media and controlled circulation we be their choice.
    Other than that, 25k volume is critically low, even though the Espace shares it’s underpinnings with siblings.

    1. It is an interesting point for discussion. Is Espace a hit or a failure?

      On one side: it is not offered in UK and its not typical rental car. The design is very brave, which automatically eliminates many potential buyers. it is also not so “clever” as common van in this category. it is rather a huge crossover – the one and only. So maybe 24k is a good result?

      On the other hand, -36% in Q4 of second year of model existence… this is not looking very optimistic. Also old models are outselling it.

      Bart, maybe a poll? 🙂

      1. Espace is a great looking car, however its low roof makes interior a lot less spacious, especially compared to its predecessor.Sitting inside I was amazed how car this big can be so small (relatively speaking) inside. Sadly, I think that in upcoming years this segment will shrink further, obviously because of crossovers and suvs.

  5. I think this segment, as the mini MPV, is a dying breed. If it wasn’t for the rental companies, the large MPV sales would have been dismal… I think the mid-sized MPV is the one people buy these days and the one that can potentially survive the crossover craze, offering more space at a decent price and with the option of 7 seats only reserved for the large MPV until the arrival of the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira. Mini and Large MPV’s will slowly be replaced either by crossovers or van-based vehicles since those are getting more luxurious and car-like to drive than ever before.

  6. I think the Espace is a great looking car, and had a great start thanks to its fresh design. But I also think it is suffering from its lack of practicity and habitability compared to its predecessors, and compared to its current competitors, though older and not as sexy. But it may also suffer from internal competition from the Talisman (which btw is doing great in Europe, not having a left hand drive), and the Grand Scénic, also a 7-seater and cheaper.
    Anyhow, I read somewhere (sorry, no sources to provide) that most of the Espace sales were made in the top versions (Initiale), which are the most profitable versions for Renault. So I guess this is pretty positive.
    Besides of this, I think the Ford S-Max is beautiful, and manages to combine sexy design and practicity, and hence totally deserves its first place on the podium.

    1. @Clem – in some materials Renault position Espace in segment E or D crossover. So this is not a van anymore (kind of). New age limousine? I think an experiment. And as for experiment, this is not bad!

  7. Probably Ford knows exactly, why they offer S-Max AND Galaxy. May be Renault should do the same, because a van is a van and the clients decide for these cars thanks to practical reasons.

  8. I am quite surprised because this segment was up 32 % although we have the SUV-boom. Everybody is talking about the van-segment dying soon, but the data look different,

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