The demise of the small MPV segment in Europe accelerates in the first quarter of 2016, as sales plunge by 20% after a 15% drop in 2015. Just one model shows an increase in sales (with the exception of the 3 sales of the Lancia Musa, a model that ended production in 2012), and two more lose single digit volume, while 7 models show double digit declines. This is partially due to a lack of new products, but also a result of cannibalization from small crossovers, the fastest growing mainstream segment in Europe. These are similarly priced and sacrifice a bit of practicality for less awkward design. The Fiat 500L gains market share with sales down “just” 15% and is now at 26% of the segment. The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva loses just 3% even though a replacement is due later this year. That new generation is being co-developed with PSA who will market a new C3 Picasso version of that same model. And to reflect the shift of interest by consumers from MPVs to crossovers, the new Meriva and Picasso will have a more SUV-like design, similar to the current generation Peugeot 3008 and the latest version of the Renault Espace.
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 Ford B-Max with its sliding rear doors climbs back onto the segment podium despite losing 14% of its volume, as the Nissan Note falls even harder, at -31%. That means the Citroën C3 Picasso is also closing in, being the only model in the segment to actually gain volume. The two South-Korean entries Hyundai ix20 and Kia Venga both lose sales but improve their share, though they remain stuck at the bottom of the ranking, ahead of a bunch of discontinued models.
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