European sales of subcompact cars, Europe’s largest segment by volume, were down 25% in 2020 to 2.24 million units, which means the segment now makes up 18.7% of the European car market, down from 19.7% in 2019.
The top-4 players all gain market share, as the Renault Clio stays on top of the charts and adds half a percentage point of share despite a 22% decline in deliveries. Part of this decline is a result of the brand not launching a station wagon version of the new generation Clio. In 2021, the newly launched hybrid version of the Clio should help it defend its crown once more. The PSA twins Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 hold on to their podium places and both add about 1.5 percentage points of share. The French hatchback leapfrogged its German sibling in Q4. The Toyota Yaris moves up 3 spots into 4th place thanks to the new generation which has a 80% take rate for the hybrid version (up from 50-55% at the outgoing generation). In Q4, the Yaris was even the #2 seller of the class.
Biggest losers in the top-10 are the former top-3 players Volkswagen Polo with sales down 34% to #5 and the Ford Fiesta with sales down 32% to #7. The Fiesta may be killed in favor of a crossover by the end of the lifecycle of the current model in 2025. Both the Polo and Fiesta were outsold in Q3 and Q4 by the Dacia Sandero, a model about to be redesigned. The new generation Sandero that arrived in showrooms in January 2021 has moved a bit upmarket in design and platform but has kept its budget pricing, which could help it move up further in the ranking this year.
The Citroën C3 loses share of the segment at -29%, while the Renault Zoe moves up 9 spots to an overall 10th place and of course best selling EV with nearly 100,000 sales, more than double the volume of 2019. The Skoda Fabia is down 37% and out of the top-10, while its sibling Seat Ibiza also declines by that same percentage. In 2021 we can expect an all-new Fabia on the same platform as the Polo and Ibiza, which will be facelifted this year. Meanwhile, VW Group’s share of the segment drops to 17.3%, down from 19.8% in 2019. Renault-Nissan improves from 23.9% to 26.5% and PSA is up from 22 to 24.4% share.
The Hyundai i20 had a stable market share and was renewed late in 2020, with the new generation taking up the majority of sales only in November and December. An added mild hybrid version should help the model gain share in 2021. The Suzuki Swift also had a strong finish of 2020 thanks to the mild hybrid version added in the second half, with sales down just 15% for the year. The Nissan Micra is down 39%, ahead of the Renault Logan, down 37%. The next generation Micra will not only be built by Renault but also designed by it. The Mazda3 is down by more than half as a new generation based on the Toyota Yaris is due in 2021. We welcome back Honda to the class with the all-electric Honda e, selling just over 4,000 units in its first seven months of deliveries. MG will redesign the MG3 and add an all-electric version as well.
The luxury part of the segment accounts for 9.5% of subcompact car sales in Europe, up from 9.3% in 2019. The Mini stays firmly in control, taking a 9th place overall with sales down 18%, helped by the electric version. The hardtop, 4-door and convertible as well as the electric version will be updated in 2021. The Audi A1 keeps its share stable with sales down 25% while the Lancia Ypsilon is down 27% as its sole market Italy has suffered more from lockdowns than the rest of Europe. It will receive another facelift and a mild hybrid version in 2021. The DS3 and Alfa Romeo MiTo have been killed, leaving this subsegment with just 3 players.
|Subcompact segment||2020||2019||Change||2020 share||2019 share||2020-Q4|
|31||Alfa Romeo MiTo||0||669||-100%||0,0%||0,0%||0|
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.