The midsized MPV segment in Europe slows down its decline in the second quarter of 2017, to a loss of 5%. The first half figure now stands at 416.044 sales, down 9% from a year earlier. The race for the segment lead is getting tighter, with the top-3 within 3.700 sales, while the #3 outsold both its rivals by a margin of 3.600 sales or more. Still, 7 out of the 12 remaining models show double digit declines in Q2 as MPVs are losing terrain from increased rivalry by crossovers. The Volkswagen Touran holds on to the #1 position it acquired in 2016, but the gap to the #2 Citroën C4 Picasso is only 1.500 sales. What’s more worrying for the Touran is the new generation Renault Scenic, which was the best seller in Q2 and is closing in quickly. The Scenic was only in 6th place in Q1 as it was hampered by supply issues but is now at full strength for the rest of the year, ready to reclaim the segment lead it last held in 2013. Fair enough, both the C4 Picasso and the Scenic are available in 2 sizes, while the Touran is one size only, and Volkswagen also offers the slightly smaller Golf Sportsvan. When combined, the Touran and Sportsvan hold almost a quarter of the segment volume in the first half.
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In fourth place we find the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, combined with its 7-seater version Gran Tourer, one of the biggest losers in the segment with sales down 16% year-over-year. In Q2 the biggest loser was the Ford C-Max, down 24% and now also down 16% for the first half. Surprisingly, the C-Max has a very low take rate for the Grand C-Max version, at less than 10% while that figure is much higher for the other models that are available in two sizes. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class can’t keep up with the rest of the segment, and so does the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira, which will remain on sale next to the new crossover Grandland X, as opposed to the Peugeot 5008 which has been killed now that Peugeot has launched a crossover with the same name on the same platform as the Grandland X, just like its little sibling the 3008.
The Dacia Lodgy is making a surprise revival with a 17% increase in Q2, undoubtedly helped by the Stepway version, moving past the Toyota Verso which appears to be forgotten by Toyota as well as the customers. The Kia Carens is surprisingly stable albeit at a low point, while the Toyota Prius+ seems to benefit from the controversion design of the regular Prius liftback which may scare away some buyers to the more conservatively styled MPV.
For 2017 we can expect a slight facelift for the the VW Sportsvan, but besides the disappearing of the 5008 from this segment, there won’t be much news this year. Ford could surely do with a new generation C-Max, but logically it prioritizes the new Focus and a crossover below the Kuga which will be specially developed for Europe as opposed to the only moderately successful EcoSport.
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