Sales of subcompact cars in Europe are up just 2% in the first nine months of 2016, and they were flat in Q3. Europe’s biggest segment is in a low point of its product cycle, with a lot of new and updated models due in the coming months, including new generations for the two best sellers and a facelift of the #3. Still, only two models out of the top-12 are down year-on-year, with the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa less than one tenth of a percent. In each of the three quarters we’ve had a different leader this year: we started with the Ford Fiesta on top, then after six months the Renault Clio had taken over, and now in the third quarter the Volkswagen Polo has taken charge, even though the Fiesta outsold it in Q3 despite both being in the final stage of their life cycle. The Peugeot 208 is the big winner in the top-5 and the Dacia Sandero takes those honors for the top-10, even though it was passed by the Skoda Fabia this quarter.
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 Seat Ibiza outsold the Citroën C3 in Q3 but remains in 10th place year-to-date. The Hyundai i20 is back into positive territory after losing ground in the first half, while the Fiat Punto, Nissan Micra, Dacia Logan and Suzuki Swift keep increasing their losses. The latter is partially cannibalized by the Baleno, a less sporty but more practical hatchback, which we’ve constituded as a compact car for now. The big winner of the segment is still the all-electric Renault Zoe, but it still hasn’t been able to truely break through into mainstream territory of the segment. However, that may change soon when the updated version arrives in showrooms, with a proclaimed theoretical range of 400km. We expect new generations of the Citroën C3 and Nissan Micra in showrooms in the last quarter of the year, plus the already mentioned replacements to the segment’s top sellers, so 2017 promises to be a dynamic year for this segment.
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