European sales 2017 Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q2-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_Polo-Ford_FiestaThe subcompact car segment in Europe increased by 2% to nearly 2,79 million sales in 2017. Europe’s largest segment by volume still accounts for 18% of the total market, down from 18,1% in 2016. The segment declined by 2% in Q4 as two of the top-3 players were in double digit declines due to model changeovers. This allowed the Renault Clio to extend its pole position to a 50.000 sales lead over the #2. The former traditional best seller Ford Fiesta remains stuck in third place behind the Volkswagen Polo, which was in a lowly 6th place in the fourth quarter even behind the Citroën C3 and Toyota Yaris. The former of these is the big winner in the top-10 thanks to its new generation, topping 200.000 sales for the first time since 2010. Its stablemate Peugeot 208 moved up one spot in the ranking after a strong finish of the year with a 2nd place in Q4, helping it to leapfrog the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa which takes a big hit in the second quarter after PSA took over the Opel/Vauxhall brand and decided to emphasize profit over volume, reducing discounts and sales to daily rental companies. Corsa sales declined 23% in Q4.

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

European-car-sales-figures-2017Behind the top-7, the Dacia Sandero extends its winning streak to 7 consecutive years of growth to set another annual record and finishes in a record 8th place with almost 200.000 sales, ahead of two VW Group models Skoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza. The latter is disappointingly down by 2% despite an all-new generation. Perhaps the loss of its station wagon and 3-door versions are hurting the Spanish subcompact. The Hyundai i20 sets a new volume record, topping 100.000 sales for the first time ever. Its predecessor Getz last sold six figures in 2005. The new generation Nissan Micra gives the nameplate a big boost with sales up 44% to the highest volume since 2006 but still far behind the figures it sold in the ’90s and early 2000s. The Kia Rio was also renewed but as the outgoing model finished on a strong note with 4 consecutive years of growth, the new model is unable to give it such a boost as the Micra did. Nonetheless the Rio also sets a new volume record for the nameplate. The Ford Ka+ enters the top-10 ahead of the antediluvian Fiat Punto, down to its lowest sales ever after 8 straight years of decline, and less than 10% of the volume it sold in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The new generation Suzuki Swift showed a 25% increase in Q4 to outsell the latter two models, but is still down by double digits for the year, while its stablemate Baleno goes the exact opposite: down 17% in Q4 but still up for the year. Volkswagen_Polo-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Renault Zoe electric car has connected with the mainstream part of the ranking at #20.

2018 sales in the subcompact segment are expected to grow slightly as the all-new versions of the Fiesta and Polo will fuel growth, and the C3, Ibiza, Micra and Rio are also still fresh, but a new Clio not available until 2019. The new Opel/Vauxhall Corsa was supposed to arrive in 2018, but the PSA takeover has delayed that project to 2019. The Fabia, i20 and Ka+ will be facelifted and Fiat may finally replace the Punto with a model based on the Brazilian Argo.

Also check out the subcompact segment in the US, which is in fast decline with double digit losses for the entire top-4 and only one model growing: the rebadged Mazda2 sedan sold as the Toyota Yaris iA.

Subcompact segment 2017 2016 Change
1 Renault Clio 321.472 310.944 3%
2 Volkswagen Polo 271.369 307.462 -12%
3 Ford Fiesta 255.602 298.999 -15%
4 Peugeot 208 242.589 247.379 -2%
5 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 231.434 262.939 -12%
6 Citroën C3 205.272 133.566 54%
7 Toyota Yaris 198.578 192.005 3%
8 Dacia Sandero 194.996 167.766 16%
9 Skoda Fabia 177.116 175.264 1%
10 Seat Ibiza 117.780 120.465 -2%
11 Hyundai i20 100.571 98.956 2%
12 Nissan Micra 86.489 60.212 44%
13 Kia Rio 70.309 67.622 4%
14 Dacia Logan 54.029 51.055 6%
15 Ford Ka+ 51.277 10.588 384%
16 Fiat Punto 49.688 62.654 -21%
17 Suzuki Swift 38.576 44.378 -13%
18 Honda Jazz 34.898 37.005 -6%
19 Mazda2 31.703 36.463 -13%
20 Renault Zoe 30.134 21.240 42%
21 Suzuki Baleno 18.518 14.523 28%
22 MG3 3.093 3.243 -5%
23 Lada Granta 998 616 62%
24 Lada Kalina 653 1.048 -38%
25 Chevrolet Aveo 3 37 -92%
26 Peugeot 207 2 21 -90%
27 Mitsubishi Colt 1 1 0%
Segment total 2.787.150 2.726.451 2%

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. I see 49 688 people in Europe woke up in the morning and said to theirself “Hey, I need brand new car, which is 12 years old and has 0 stars in crash test ratings! I’m going to spend 12-13 000 euro today for a moving coffin!!!”

    1. 0 stars is nonsense of course. This is a logical result of testing an old car and applying new standards. It doesn’t make the Punto unsafe.

      The Punto is a very popular rental car. I even know people who are leasing a Punto for almost two years now. They are very happy with the car.

    2. Hi Jonny,
      I wouldn’t necessarily call a car a moving coffin for a 0 star EuroNCAP rating. The reason for its zero star rating is its lack of active safety measures (crash avoidance technology). In terms of actual protection during a crash, I’d still rather be in a new Punto than in any other car from this class that’s 10 years old. It had a 5 star rating when tested new in 2005.
      But I agree with you that in terms of safety, design, fuel efficiency etc the Punto is lacking way behind. Let alone in terms of value-for-money, in which the Sandero is a much better option. Time for Fiat to move on and keep up with the market.

  2. Segment growth, but the new Ibiza and especially the new Swift are failing.

    Really enjoy seeing the C3 on such a high level. Credit to Renault as well for their electric Zoe.

  3. The Clio is thriving, and Renault take the lead in 3 segments: the Captur, Zoe, and Clio. However I expect the top 3 to be changed to the following: at first fiesta, polo, then followed by the Clio.
    The Clio and 208 sales will most likely decrease by a big amount this year due to model changeovers for 2019. As both models are expected to be launched at the Paris motor show this year.Also tough competition from the fiesta and polo will also affect them too.

    Fiat used to dominate this segment with the aging Punto, I believe they don’t have enough money as yet for a major product line renewal, why? Well fiat are focusing on jeep and new cars in emerging car markets, e.g the Argo.
    Once this has been successful I would expect a new Punto. This new Punto would easily take the crown of the panda in Italy, however would it of been too long of a wait that fiats punto(Argo) wont be an all round good seller in
    Europe( apart from Italy). I can’t see it becoming a huge success like it was.
    Also they need new SUVs.

  4. But the article fails to mention that the new Ibiza is only recently on sale, at least in some markets such as here in the UK. Looking at your own figures for the Ibiza, the new model sold more in the last four months of 2017 than the old model did in the same period in 2016. I am not sure why this was overlooked?
    Anyway, we will see what January shows.

    1. Hi AndyT,
      thanks for your comment. I haven’t really overlooked that fact, but a 7% increase in the last quarter is just not really a great performance for a completely new model. The new generation has been available since Q2 so one would expect a much bigger jump by Q4. As said, the loss of the station wagon and 3-door version (although the latter was a low volume version anyway) may be part of the explanation why it’s not enjoying such a jump as for example the Micra (+39% in Q4).
      As you say, we will see what happens in Q1 of 2018.

      1. Thanks Bart. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be critical. You have an amazing site here which I do appreciate. Maybe the Arona also played a part?

      2. No offense taken! But thanks for the compliment anyway 😉
        I think you may have a point that the Arona could have had a negative effect on the performance of the Ibiza as well, even though it has arrived quite late in the year.

  5. Nice to see the new C3 and Micra growing.

    Does Fiat really want to abandon the B segment?

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