With a bit of a delay we’ll start with the European segment analyses for 2016, starting of course with the minicar segment. Sales of minicars in Europe were stable in 2016 with 1,33 million units sold, compared to an overall market growth of 6,2%. Fiat still holds the top 2 spots of the podium and grows its share of the segment to over 28%, but after 3 years of Fiat 500 reign the Fiat Panda has reclaimed leadership of the segment it led from 2004 until 2012. The Volkswagen Up! holds on to its third place but loses 8% of its volume. The Renault Twingo, leader of the segment between 1999 and 2003, is knocked down into 5th place by the Hyundai i10 and feels the Toyota Aygo breathing down its neck. All three models lose volume in 2016. The Smart Fortwo is the biggest winner in the top-10 with sales up 21%, jumping four places on 2015 and two places on Q3 of 2016. The small two seater even outsold the Aygo in Q4.
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
The Lancia Ypsilon is now only available in Italy, but is popular enough in its home country to grow another 13% to its highest volume since 2007, and even climbs one spot to 8th place, outselling the two French models of the PSA-Toyota triplets. The Opel Karl / Vauxhall Viva misses out on a top-10 position after being outsold by the Kia Picanto and its sibling Opel/Vauxhall Adam in Q4. Of the VW Group triplets, the Skoda Citigo is the only one to keep its sales almost stable, while the Seat Mii, already the slowest seller of the three, drops 18% to drop to last place of the real volume models. Just ahead of the Mii we find the discontinued Ford Ka, as 2016 marks the end of the line for the model after two generations. Ford will no longer cooperate with Fiat for its minicar platform and instead has decided to launch the larger but similarly priced Ka+ instead, imported from South America and featured in the subcompact car segment due to its size.
Of the Mitsubishi-PSA electric triplets, the French clones continue to improve, even though there are better alternatives available to the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero, especially now the Renault Zoe will be available with an improved range. More promising is the Suzuki Ignis, a revival of a familiar nameplate with a retro design and almost premium pricing to differentiate it from the practical but uninspiring value-for-money Celerio.
There won’t be a lot of news in the minicar segment for 2017, with only the Kia Picanto getting a complete overhaul. Furthermore the Opel/Vauxhall Adam will be facelifted and Smart will launch electric versions of its Fortwo and Forfour.
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