Sales of large MPVs in Europe were down in each quarter of 2018 and the segment was down by 30% over the course of the year. As a result, European families and rental companies bought fewer than 100.000 large MPVs, or 0,6% of the total market, down from 0,8% in 2017 and 1% in 2016. This is the lowest segment volume in at least two decades and 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. All of the six remaining players in this segment show double digit losses and only three sell over 20.000 units. The Ford S-Max holds on to the segment lead but loses one third of its sales compared to 2017. Its less dynamic and more roomy sibling Ford Galaxy does slightly better with a loss of “just” 23% and an increase of share, but nonetheless this is the worst year for both Fords since 2015 when their current generations were just about to be launched.
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
VW Group dominates this segment as well, with two dinosaurs in 2nd and 3rd place. Together, the Volkswagen Sharan and Seat Alhambra hold 46,6% of the segment, 0,6 percentage points up from 2017 and 5 percentage points up from 2016. And all this despite the fact that these two models are by far the oldest in the segment, having been launched in 2010 and last updated in 2015. Still, each sells about twice the number of the Renault Espace, which is the biggest loser in the segment for the second year in a row, both times with losses of 32% or more. The inventor of the MPV in Europe barely managed to stay ahead of the Galaxy, with less than 55 sales between them. In sixth place we find the nameplate that outperforms all others in the segment in 2018 but still remains a niche player at just 1,6% share: the SsangYong Rodius, aka Stavic. For 2019 we don’t expect any big news, except for some technical updates with new engines for the Espace, but Volkswagen hasn’t revealed any plans about the future of its models, when they will be replaced, and if so at all. Ford is planning to kill off the S-Max and Galaxy in the future.
Also check out the minivan segment in the US, where a decade-old budget MPV still rules and 3 of the only 5 remaining players each by themselves sell more than the entire segment in Europe.
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