European sales 2017 large MPV segment

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2017-Ford_S_Max-Seat_Alhambra-Volkswagen_SharanSales of large MPVs in Europe were down in each quarter of 2017 after a strong rebound in 2016. A loss of 15% means that sales are down to just over 131.000 units, or 0,8% of the total market, down from 1% in 2016. At least this is still a higher segment volume than 2014 and 2015, but the future of the segment looks bleak as fewer brands see profitability at these volumes and 7-seat crossovers continue to cannibalize their MPV rivals, even though the latter are still way more space efficient and practical. Four out of six remaining players in this segment show double digit losses and only one improves its volume (by a mere 45 units). The Ford S-Max holds on to the segment lead and even manages to increase its share of the segment to 26,9% as it is down by 14%. Its sibling Ford Galaxy is down by 25%, which means Ford’s share of the segment is down from 39,7% to 38,5%. The Volkswagen Group twins are by far the oldest models still on sale in this segment but manage to improve to 46,1% share, up 4,5 percentage point on last year. The Seat Alhambra is stable on 2016 thanks to a last-minute surge: it gained 19% in the fourth 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

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2014-Renault_EspaceThat allows the Spanish “mini”van to leapfrog its German sibling Volkswagen Sharan, knocking it down into third place with a loss of 11%. The biggest loser of the segment is the Renault Espace with a 32% decline this year, to drop below 20.000 sales after just 2 years above that figure. Hardly a sustainable figure for what’s essentially a Europe-only model. At least the Espace outsold the Galaxy again in the fourth quarter. That leaves the SsangYong Rodius to carry the red lantern with a share of just 1,4% of the segment. It can pride itself in being the only model in the class to actually improve on 2016, no matter how marginal its score was. For 2018 we don’t expect any big news, as Volkswagen hasn’t revealed any plans about the future of its models, when they will be replaced, and if so at all. Perhaps Ford will give the S-Max and Galaxy some minor updates.


Large MPV segment 2017 2016 Change
1 Ford S-Max 35.275 40.826 -14%
2 Seat Alhambra 31.646 31.695 0%
3 Volkswagen Sharan 28.800 32.429 -11%
4 Renault Espace 18.350 26.960 -32%
5 Ford Galaxy 15.309 20.472 -25%
6 SsangYong Rodius 1.845 1.800 2%
7 Lancia Voyager 11 94 -88%
Segment total 131.236 154.288 -15%

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. Yes. It’s a big fall in sales. I read some data, about Renault sells more Espace in high level trims and engines. So, maybe a 1.6 engine it could be a bit small for the perception of a premium product.

      Renault is gonna put a 2.0 dci engine in the Espace with more power in the next months. We’ll see if the model improves its sales or not.

      Anyway, this is a dead segment. Only a few competitors, all of them fall in sales… and in the future maybe it will be worse. Anybody knows something about new Sharan for example?. Probably some of these cars will have no replacement.

    2. In fact it’s perfectly expected since the Espace hasn’t a 2.0cc diesel and isn’t available in all the European countries. Despite this outsold its main rival, the Galaxy.

      Also this segment in heavy decline, unfortunately.

      In the D segment Renault looks for profit and not for volume, that’s the reason why.the Talisman and the Espace lacks so many engines and are not present in so many markets. The Talisman will receive a lot new engines and features this year.

  1. The Espace is not being sold everywhere in Europe, including countries where Renault/Dacia are number 1 and 2 by sales (Bulgaria). Also price is way too high and engines are lacking power.

  2. VW will probably keep on making the Alhambra and Sharan for as long as there are buyers, but with the Tigualn Allspace and the Tarraco ( from next year ) 7 seaters i’m pretty sure they don’t have much of a future. They certainly wont make it past 2022, when the Microbus / ID Buzz will arrive.
    There are already rumours that the next gen Espace will be fused with the next gen Koleos under one single 7 seater model ( an SUV )
    As for Ford, it will probably be a massacre. The standard Edge plus a 7 seater Edge ( that already exists in China ) will probably be the end of the ( Euro only ) S-Max and Galaxy, and a Focus CUV plus a ( rumoured ) 7 seater next gen Kuga will do away with the C-Maxes ( the electric Model E will make the US C-Max Energy pointless ).

  3. It’s so sad to see the heavy decline of this segment in Europe!! How is this even possible? In USA Minivans segment is very competitive and very crowded. The S-Max was the car of the year only 10 years ago and now this segment is almost dead.

    Greetings for Renault, VW/Seat and Ford for keeping this segment alive in Europe!

    1. Hi Bryan,

      I wouldn’t call this segment in the US crowded: there are just 5 models available: Grand Caravan, Pacifica, Sienna, Odyssey and Sedona.
      All other brands have left the segment because of too small volume. These five are only able to survive because the competition pulled out of this shrinking segment: 2017 sales were below 500.000, down 37% in the last decade. And a lot of these sales are to rental companies, especially those of the Grand Caravan.
      Sure, MPVs are much more practical than SUVs and offer much more interior space for their exterior dimensions, but people have stopped buying them because they’re just not cool.
      At least in Europe the S-Max and Espace at least look not so MPV-ish but still buyers prefer SUVs and crossovers.

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