European sales 2017 first half: Midsized car segment

Midsized_car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Volkswagen_Passat-Skoda_Superb-Ford_MondeoThe midsized car segment in Europe is in continuous decline as it is in the US. A 19% drop in sales in Q2 leads to a 16% loss in the first half of the year. With 286.049 sales, the segment now accounts for just 3,4% of total European volume. Only 2 nameplates manage to improve year-over-year and all but one of the other models show double digit declines. In Q2, the entire top-4 lost 13% or more, of which the segment leader Volkswagen Passat did the least bad and therefore improves its already high share of the segment to 33,2%, which means one in three midsized cars sold are a Passat. Count in the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Group holds a whopping 48,8% share of the segment. The Superb has fallen into the red as well in Q2 after growing in the first quarter. But its second place of the segment is not under threat as its nearest two rivals drop even harder. The Ford Mondeo holds on to its 3rd place despite a 28% loss in Q2, as the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia loses 29% as customer deliveries of the new generation are only just starting. Expect the Insignia to finish 2017 ahead of the Mondeo again, as it has done ever since its launch.

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

Opel_Insignia-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAlthough the Renault Talisman is a welcome success for the French brand after the failed third generation Laguna, it’s unable to fight for a podium position and remains stuck in 5th place, ahead of the Toyota Avensis. A facelift hasn’t helped the latter as it still loses 19% in Q2, but at least that has allowed it to overtake the Peugeot 508 for the first half, as the French sedan (and station wagon) is down by almost half in the second quarter. That means it barely outsells the Mazda6 in Q2, even though the Japanese model is down 21%. At the bottom end of the top-10 we find the two South-Korean models, with the Hyundai i40 down 30% in the second quarter while the Kia Optima more than doubles up thanks to the addition of a station wagon version. It’s almost level with its sibling now, and combined sales of the two models are up 4% in Q2 and 11% in the half. The Subaru Levorg has officially flopped, with sales already down by more than 50% in the second quarter and by 46% in the half, meaning it’s likely to sell less than 3.000 copies this year, down from its peak of just 4.600 sales in 2016.

The Insignia has just been renewed and Ford will give the Mondeo a facelift. The i40 is expected not to be replaced after the current generation reaches the end of its life cycle, and so were rumors about the Avensis, but there have been spy shots of a Toyota sedan testing in Europe which was too large to be the next generation Auris. Still, considering the volume potential of this model which is almost exclusively sold in Europe is way to small to justify the investment, as buyers are shifting towards the premium brands and crossovers. Therefore Citroën will replace its C5 sedan and station wagon with the C5 Aircross SUV. Peugeot is still planning a sedan to replace the 508, but promises it will be different than the rest of the segment.

Also check out the midsized car segment in the US, where the #5 Subaru Outback is the only model in the top-8 to add volume.

Midsized segment 2017-H1 2016-H1 Change Share
1 Volkswagen Passat 95.109 110.909 -14% 33,2%
2 Skoda Superb 44.341 47.554 -7% 15,5%
3 Ford Mondeo 30.877 40.594 -24% 10,8%
4 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia 29.860 41.127 -27% 10,4%
5 Renault Talisman 19.303 13.518 43% 6,7%
6 Toyota Avensis 14.516 19.062 -24% 5,1%
7 Peugeot 508 13.622 21.771 -37% 4,8%
8 Mazda6 12.893 16.281 -21% 4,5%
9 Hyundai i40 8.390 11.113 -25% 2,9%
10 Kia Optima 7.991 3.586 123% 2,8%
11 Citroën C5 3.913 5.593 -30% 1,4%
12 Subaru Legacy / Outback 3.709 4.570 -19% 1,3%
13 Subaru Levorg 1.514 2.786 -46% 0,5%
14 Honda Accord 8 40 -80% 0%
15 Renault Laguna 2 117 -98% 0%
16 Suzuki Kizashi 1 0 0%
Segment total 286.049 338.934 -16%  

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.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.

  1. So the Talisman is the only positive news of this segment… And even then, not that great news. I mean, the Giulia with only a sedan sells more than the Peugeot 508!!!
    I think the only thing that justifies the Talisman are its sales in South Korea as the Samsung SM6.

    That’s crazy. This segment is truly dead in Europe. It’s impressive that Opel will still launch an Insignia.

    1. Hi Pedro,
      I agree, if it wasn’t for the SM6, I’m sure Renault wouldn’t have bothered to develop the Talisman.
      The Insignia is also sold in the US and China as a Buick, and in Australia as a Holden, so that helps of course. For the next generation, that won’t be possible anymore as GM won’t likely buy a PSA product, so PSA will probably develop that based on the new 508, to spread development costs.

    2. Re. “I think the only thing that justifies the Talisman are its sales in South Korea as the Samsung SM6”:.

      * Seen the SM6 decline since the beginning of 2017? The Hyundai Grandeur stole the thunder and catapulted to #1.
      It’s on top of the charts for 8 month now. Huge. Hopefully the Talisman Phase II can recoup some of the lost ground.

      * Wonder if Renault-NIssan ever contemplated to re-badge the Talisman to a Nissan for the US of A.
      Of course the Altima is top 10 / top15 in N-America and a Nissan Talisman would compete directly but it could help the group to recover development costs. Something it already does via Espace sales.

      * Whether or not the Talisman is a commercially viable, imagine the current line-up without it.
      The Talisman self assured stance profoundly contributes to the positive brand image of Renault. It has added street credibility to the whole range.

      1. @RickM,

        I didn’t knew that sales of the Samsung SM6 had dropped. :/
        I think the Talisman is a well justified vehicle even if sales are small. Maybe they can bring it to China?
        Or rebadge it as Mitsubishi for Southeast Asia and Japan…

  2. It’s always sad when a small number of interchangeable models claim a large piece of the pie. Even more so when you consider VAG reaches these numbers with mostly artificial tools. The European market needs to get rid of this asap, because it’s harmful to the level of competition and customer choice/freedom.

    Talisman is doing fine considering it’s not available in GB (and Ireland). As a result Renault can never challenge the Ford Mondeo which British people almost consider their own. I think the French can be satisfied and it’s well-deserved looking at the quality of the Talisman.

    Nice jump for the Optima. Recently, I saw the Optima SW and it’s without a doubt in my mind one of the most beautiful D segment station wagons ever. Maybe a bit Alfa-esque, but overall very distinctive and smooth. A comfortable, great driving car for people who are fed up with the (boring) everyday midsized cars.

    1. I agree that Renault should be proud of the Talisman. They really did a good job with it. The problem is that this is a dying segment. And yes, it also annoys me to see the VW group being so dominant over the european market.
      Lets hope that PSA+Opel put up a good fight. And Renault/Nissan are becoming stronger and stronger.

  3. Nice to see the praise and admiration for the Talisman. Imo well-deserved.
    Laurens van den Acker considers, among the models his team produced, the Talisman design is his “piece de resistance”

    Too bad the D segment (except the German ABM trio) struggles like hardly ever before.
    And as such the Talisman, in only its 2nd full year, will mirror the Kadjar’s decline.
    Speaking of which: in July the TSMN sold only 110 units in Europe’s biggest market (GER).

  4. There are many Europeans, like me, that would ever never buy a French car regardless of what. Even PSA admits that themself in one of the press releases on the purchase of Opel/Vauxhall. That being said, I’m one of the the few that really hates the design of the Talisman and Megane. I really find it ugly and even more ugly. The crying woman with the running mascara. No no no.

    Here in DK you find the Passat as the 8th most sold car from January until 31st of July with 2969 cars. The Talisman has in the same period sold 429 despite endless free advertising like “Buisness car of the year” and so on and so on.

    1. Just like many Europeans would never buy a(n) Asian, German or Italian car. Although I do believe lots of Europeans think ‘teutonically’, preferences are not the problem. The European artificial market, that’s the problem. I’m starting to think even China, with its protected industries, has a less conservative car market compared with Europe. German mainstream and luxury brands are too dominant in Europe and for a great deal this was the result of corruption (e.g. VAG emissions scandal), bribery (e.g. BMW-Merkel) and collusion (recent story concerning VW, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz). And what does the EU/EC do? Not much, to put it mildly.

    2. “There are many Europeans, like me, that would ever never buy a French car regardless of what”.

      You will not be missed.
      What did the French car manufacturers do – or do not – to have you publicly state your dislike “no matter what”?

  5. “Here in DK you find the Passat as the 8th most sold car from January until 31st of July with 2969 cars. The Talisman has in the same period sold 429 despite endless free advertising like “Buisness car of the year” ”

    What’s your point?

    McDonald’s is packed, jammed with junkfood craving hooligans, that fine restaurant has 2 dozen happy guests.
    For many ignorant’s, the VW PR works dazzling.

    1. The Talisman was launched as the “Passat killer!” It would outsell Passat and Superb in just a few months. Every review and every article on the car had that as basic. My point is even how hard you try, and how much free advertising you give a product. If the buyers doesn’t wan’t it they don’t buy it regardless of all the experts talking it up.

      And who said I drive a Passat?

      1. “The Talisman was launched as the “Passat killer!” It would outsell Passat and Superb in just a few months. Every review and every article on the car had that as basic”

        There’s one brand, currently rolling from scandal into another, that potentially could utter such “Uber” BS.
        Never ever would Renault claim this “killer” nonsense.
        Maybe you read the post from a drunk, but not from a Renault official.
        Better not to exaggerate in such a bizarre fashion, nor mix up YOUR opinion with the vox populi.

  6. This segment is still there due to corporate/fleet sales.. He who has strong connections there holds the segments top spots..
    It would be interesting to see the private/corporate sales ratio of the nameplates in this segment.. Maybe there will be some surprises.

  7. Talisman is only Viable because they will also sell it in China and they are selling it in the Middle East, and it is not selling bad at that. Same goes for Koleos, it was 4th in Saudi Arabia in June. I love the design of Talisman but we will most probably not be replacing our Laguna 3 with it. Laguna was reliable but Talisman isn’t shaping up to be such a great car in that aspect, also length and lack of hatch push it even further from us, lack of manual with more than 130HP is too much for us. Istill think Renault knows well what they are doing with Talisman, it never was a plan to be the best in sales, you can’t beat Passat, nor can you Superb because of bussines. It is French and it is competing in a market that is strongest in Germany, it will have hard time.

    1. Nice to see someone else realize the Laguna 3 was a reliable car. Only shame is the year 2007 model already looked outdated, the facelift did change that but it had lost so many customers. I think just if the facelifted laguna 3 were launced at 2007 and not 2010 then it could have faced some sucess.

  8. Next year the new Peugeot 508 will take its place at least on the podium in its category with the Passat and the Superb.

  9. If this is Mid-sized car segment of Europe, what is full-sized car segment, since we here do not have cars like Impala, Avalon, Taurus and so on?

    1. Hi Todor,
      that’s right, we don’t have any full-sized mainstream cars anymore in Europe. We do have a full-sized/large luxury segment, with the A6, 5-Series, E-Class etc.

    1. I’m looking forward to hear about the Renault diesel scandal, or is it something we don’t talk about? 25 years of cheating!

  10. Well tell me more about this cheating? I still don’t care about this but if we can get rabates like you get in Germany for buying new VW on a Renault I’m in, I want it now.

    1. “They found on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times above regulatory limits – for some GM, Renault and Fiat Chrysler models – and widespread use of devices that reduce exhaust treatment in some conditions.”

      “Engineers responded by programming the EGR to shut down outside a narrow range of air intake temperatures, 17-35 degrees Celsius (63-95 degrees Fahrenheit). While passing regulatory tests carried out near room temperature over short periods, the protocol sends NOx emissions sky-high on the road.”

      1. Some people really have a hard time accepting VW (and other German brands) goes from one scandal to the other…

        As expected you are completely biased and therefore selective in your response, because these quotes describe the EU legal (!) loophole which all manufacturers have used to meet NEDC emissions standards. VW Group took illegal (!) measures to sell millions of faulty diesel engines, and thus faulty cars, from the start. They knowingly……..I shall repeat myself……..kno-wing-ly……..committed worldwide fraud. That means they intentionally tried to fool governments and customers by receiving unfair subsidies to acquire unfair market share with the result they fooled the competition and had to fire employees. When you think the German corporate culture couldn’t have been worse, now they (i.e. VW, Daimler and BMW) offer money to Germans who want to hand in their old and dirty diesel engine provided that these ignorant patriots buy a new car. The EU should not allow this, because this would mean that these brands, again, receive unfair market share and make a profit out of fraudulent actions. Think about the innocent VAG workers who lost their job because of the scandal reading about this…

        For some reason, Europe still has a Teutonic orientation. Fortunately, I’ve read a lot of articles and seen a lot of TV reports in which (former) German politicians think the German car companies, especially VW Group, should change their corporate culture, because it hurts the (image of) German industry in the long run.

  11. Then why is Renault the absolute most polluting brand in a 15.000 car investigation in Sweden? Results published on Swedish TV4 June 29 2017. Both in Euro 5 and Euro 6? And how differs a cheating piece of equipment in a Renault from a cheating equipment in a VW? Just wondering. You guys sounds like “Precious” in The Lord of the Rings.

    The Times writes:

    “Renault diesel cars emit the highest levels of toxic nitrogen oxides of all the big manufacturers and the French company’s recent models produce nine times the legal limit, tests have found.”

    The Independent writes:

    “The agency says documents it has obtained show that the “entire chain of management”, including chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn, were involved in the suspected fraud.

    The document reportedly shows investigators believe suspicious practices may have been in place since as far back as 1990.”

    So that’s ok because it’s Reanult? And no. I’m not driving a German car. I’m just wondering how it’s ok to “cheat” based on where the cars comes from?

    1. It has been more than two years after the VAG scandal emerged and you still don’t understand what’s going on. Just read Pedro’s post at 16:20. VW knowingly committed fraud by developing cheating software to let their faulty engines pass lab emission tests. The reason why all manufacturers exceed emission standards is because the lab tests ALLOW them to adjust the cars (taking out the ac and other parts which lowers the weight, changing the tires etc.). This resulted into different emission levels in the real world. Still VW Group needed to cheat to meet the lab standards. Do you get the point? Even when all conditions are the same for all companies, VAG needed to implement cheating software.

      Keep in mind, suspicion is not enough. In the real world you need facts to accuse someone of malpractice. They should know this in Sweden.

      This wasn’t the point I was trying to make. When company X cheats, they should be fined big time.
      My point is the EU/EC needs to do something about companies trying to benefit from malpractice. In short: VW Group cheated company-wide, gets punished, are forced to give American customers money, neglects European customers, fires employees worldwide, tries to earn money by offering European owners of faulty cars money when they BUY a new VW Group car.

      I’m all for a unified Europe, but as a European citizen I expect at least one member of the EU/EC to think: “Uhmmm, this is not right! We shouldn’t allow fraudulent behaviour to be rewarded”.

      As long as multinationals, politics and unions are intertwined, the lazy EU/EC can expect more Brexits to happen.

    1. MC: I must have seen >100 links about Toxic Gate. One manufacturer OFFICIALLY is proven guilty, Volkswagen Group.
      Penalty to date: >E20 bn. VW’s (quasi pathetic) claim its recent Euro 6 is among the less polluting engines (to downplay the criminal act of selling millions of heavily polluting E5’s) seems not correct, according to ….. German sources.

  12. Dear Martin C, the consequences of fooling the european regulatory bodies were, until now, almost zero. This for VW Group.
    If you are bitter that VW suffered strongly, that’s because they commited fraud in the US. Over there the consequences are serious. So cry me a river. No other manufacturer was stupid enough to mess with the american regulators.

    Also, all manufacturers resorted to calibrating their engines to go through the european emissions testing and then in real world conditions, where those test conditions are rarely met emissions are much higher. However, you CAN emulate those emissions done in the test. Except VW who had to resort to developing a software that actively cheated the tests.

    As for Renault, FCA and others they did not fool the american regulatory agency. in fact, a court dismissed the lawsuit against FCA because it was proven that the software regulating emissions in the 3.0 V6 was supplied by Bosch without knowledge from FCA.

  13. As I see it: other manufacturers found a way thats accepted as legal, to make their diesel cars pass the test while those cars have real world NOx emission comparable to VW-s. VW did it in an illegal way.

    And if we look at this, we can see that all the diesel cars, that got an A, are from the three german groups:

    1. @xx_yy_zz

      You should mention these ‘A diesel cars’ are Euro6 diesel engines from recent model years. The faulty diesel engines were Euro5 diesel engines.

      Unfortunately, some people are not aware of this false comparison and still try to make the Germans look better, but if you look at the entire list, all companies have diesel engines with label ‘H’. This doesn’t change the fact VW Group developed cheating software for Euro5 (!) diesel engines (that of course don’t meet Euro6 standards) to pass a laboratory setting. Keep in mind the US standards were more strict so it was very naïve of VW Group to think they could get away with it. Their focus on diesel in the US simply got out of hand.

      1. Yes, those are Euro 6 engines. And I brought that link just because it had been questioned here in a comment, that Euro 6 diesels from VW are amongst the cleaner ones. I wanted to show, that according to this real world tests only germans (who are being criticized here) made some cars that way, that those emit less NOx, than the Euro 6 limit.

        Of course, it doesn’t change the fact, that VW was cheating (and the Euro 6 Cayenne might still have the cheating software). (And the different ratings (A and G) for BMW 3 series and 4 series with the same Euro 6, 2 liter, 184 PS, diesel engine and manual gearbox makes me think, that that’s why cars are tested in laboratory. So I don’t say, that those results are the Holy Writ of diesel emission testing.)

  14. My story. I like D-segment, for me it’s a right size and right shape of the car. Last month I had to buy a new car right now (tax problems). I think – hmmm, large combi will fit very well. So I did the tour around local dealers.
    My conversation look like this. Everywhere.
    – I’d like to buy a new large combi, I don’t care colour and equipment. I cn consider both dieseland petrol. I asked
    – hmmm, I have only this one but I can’t sell. You have to wait 3-6months – replied salesman
    – so what have you got on stock?
    – we have right now a lot of Kuga/Tiguan/Kadjar/Tucson/Sportage/3008/Rav4/CX5/etc in any colour, engine and equipement you need but no large family cars at all, sorry.
    It’s sad but true.
    Maybe it’s a additional problem of decline of sales

  15. Question:

    In July Renault sold 3713 Talisman’s in Europe.
    But, worldwide the number – and this addition only occurred recently – is much higher: 6357 (!!!)
    Bear in mind 6357 is independent from the 3716 South-Korean Talisman’s, named SM6.

    Which markets might have “absorbed” these 2644?
    Maybe a few to the UAE and to China, but >2600 units?
    BTW, the Espace is bound for China (as well). Locally produced that is.

  16. @sqaure626
    Which country you live in? The described situation sounds bizarre, and – no offence – but a bit unreal.
    In most of countries manufacturers base their sales on two pillars: stock cars for customers in rush (your case) and personally configured cars. Of course, stock for D segment may be limited, but I don’t believe that none cars are available within 1-2 weeks.

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