The large MPV segment in Europe continues to rebound from its year-long slump after the fresh product drought has ended. In the first three quarters of 2016, sales are up 47% compared to the same period in 2015, as five out of six remaining models gain double or triple digit volume. Ford is the king of the segment with a share of more than 40% for its two models, both redesigned in the past year. Of these two models, the sporty S-Max sells just about twice as much as its functional sibling Galaxy, and the former is on top of the leaderboard, followed by the two entries of Volkswagen Group, which remain popular despite now being the oldest remaining models in the class. Combined sales of the Volkswagen Sharan and its clone Seat Alhambra are up by 4,1% but there’s a big internal shift, with the former down 11% and the latter up 26%, which means the gap between the two almost identical models has shrunk from more than 8.000 in 2015 to less than 170 so far this year.
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
Where does that leave the Renault Espace, the promising new entry of the segment’s oldest nameplate? It is harmed by its absence from the UK market and an unwillingness from carbuyers in non-Mediterranean countries to consider a large French car. The Espace started this year promising with a 2nd place in Q1, but dropped to #3 for the first half and has now relegated another spot for the three quarters of 2016, kicked off the podium by the Alhambra. The Espace was even narrowly outsold by the Galaxy in Q3, placing it 5th for the quarter, but the French MPV is far enough ahead to keep its 4th place by year end.
Also check out the Minivan segment in the US, where the aging Dodge Grand Caravan retakes the lead with a 54% increase and the Chrysler Pacifica is gaining traction.
Large MPV segment
SsangYong Rodius / Stavic
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