After a strong rebound in 2016, the large MPV segment is back down again by 7% to just under 36.000 sales in the first quarter of 2017. Interestingly, it’s the oldest models in the segment that improve, while the relatively fresh models lose volume. Still, nobody can touch the Ford S-Max, the least practical car of the segment in terms of interior room. The S-Max is the only nameplate to sell over 10.000 units this quarter, even though it loses 2% of its volume. Its closest rivals are the VW Group twins Volkswagen Sharan and Seat Alhambra, both up by 6% and increasing their share of the segment to 41,9% (from 36,9% in Q1-2016). That’s now more than Ford’s combined share of the S-Max and Galaxy, which is down to 41,3% as the latter lost 17% of its volume when compared to the same period last year.
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 Renault Espace is the big loser, despite being the newest model in the segment. It’s down by 30% on Q1 of 2016, when it had just been launched a few months before. As a result, the Espace is responsible for 91% of the segment decline this quarter, all by itself. The #6, low volume SsangYong Rodius is the biggest relative gainer of the segment, without any significant product news or updates. If we would include the Mercedes-Benz V-Class as a large MPV, it would be in third place, just 150 units off the #2 spot. The V-Class will be featured in the passenger van segment together with its less luxurious twin Vito and other van-derived MPVs. Why mention it here? Because even though its higher price point it may be a great alternative for families needing maximum interior room for 6 or 7 passengers and it’s amazing to see it’s right up there with the other MPVs in terms of sales, even if it’s much pricier. Why not feature it here as standard? Because most of its sales are to taxi- and limousine businesses, much like the rest of the passenger van segment.
For 2017 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, if at all.
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