Sales 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
That 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.
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