At +4% in the first three quarters of 2016, sales of compact cars in Europe grew faster than the minicar and subcompact segments, but slower than the overall market. The traditional leader Volkswagen Golf is feeling the competition from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra, but its top spot is in no way threatened. In fact, VW feels so confident about the strength of the Golf nameplate, its upcoming facelift will keep exterior design updates to a minimum. The Golf will be made up-to-date on in-car technology, with gesture control for its multimedia system and semi-autonomous features. Meanwhile, the Astra is the biggest winner of the segment in volume terms and is now the only other compact car with a double digit share of the segment. After narrowly edging out the Ford Focus for 3rd place in the first half of 2016, the Skoda Octavia firmly consolidates that position in Q3, as the Focus is the biggest loser in the top-10.
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
Now that deliveries of the new generation Renault Megane are getting up to speed and the station wagon version has been launched as well, the model reclaims 7th place from the Toyota Auris, but remains far behind its French rival Peugeot 308 and even the Seat Leon. The all-new Fiat Tipo took a 10th place in Q3 and has entered the top-12 year-to-date, a position it is likely to hold until the end of the year. In 14th place, the Mazda3 has leapfrogged the Honda Civic to become the #2 Japanese car in the segment again, while the Nissan Pulsar continues to lose ground as the model hasn’t lived up to Nissan’s expectations. The Toyota Prius is the big winner of the segment in terms of relative growth, thanks to the new generation. The hybrid liftback has outsold the all-electric Nissan Leaf in Q3 and is poised to overtake it by year end. By that time, the Suzuki Baleno will have entered the top-20 as well, after moving ahead of the VW Scirocco and Citroën C-Elysee in Q3. The latter has more than doubled up on last year now that it’s become available in a larger number of countries. The Hyundai Ioniq is still in start-up mode and won’t form a real threat to the Prius until next year.
Also check out the compact car segment in the US, where the Nissan Sentra jumps from sixth to third place behind the traditional leaders Civic and Corolla to make it an all-Japanese podium for the first time ever.
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.
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