Minicars continue to outperform the overall European car market in 2021, with sales up 5% in a market down 2%. In Q4 of 2021, the minicar segment is down 20% while the overall market is down 24%. This segment now makes up 7.3% of the total European car market, up from 6.8% last year. However, their share is expected to return to a decline in coming years, as manufacturers are pulling out of this segment or switching their models to EV-only. This is a result of increasing costs to comply with stricter safety and especially emissions standards, which makes minicars nearly unprofitable, especially considering that for most models from European brands this is their only market.
Traditional minicar leader Fiat consolidates its leadership of the class, as its two models have been the top-2 best sellers since 2008, right after the Panda’s relaunch in 2007. Thanks to the addition of Mild-hybrid technology and the EV version of the 500, the Italian brand improves its share of the segment to 35.9%, up from 35.2% in 2020. Especially the Fiat 500 is scoring well again, reclaiming the top spot from its sibling Panda thanks to sales up 25%, making it the best performer in the top-10. Keep in mind that these figures are now the combined sales of two different cars under the 500 name: the well-known retrostyled model that was launched in 2007, now available as a mild hybrid, and the slightly larger EV-only New 500. The Toyota Aygo maintains its podium place, despite trailing the rest of the class with stable sales. It still holds a comfortable lead over the Volkswagen Up! and Kia Picanto. The Up! improves 16% and outsold the Aygo in Q4, while the Picanto gains 22%. The Renault Twingo and Hyundai i10 are respectively down by 21% and up by 12% as the French hatchback had a very slow second half of the year with sales down 44% in Q4. The Suzuki Ignis is up 12% to finish the year just 1,500 deliveries of the annual sales record of the current generation. The Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108 complete the top-10 but are losing share as the brands are preparing to leave the minicar segment in 2022, having stepped out of the production joint venture with Toyota.
The Mitsubishi Space Star is down 9% as the brand announced its withdrawal from the European market, a decision that it later overturned, but the Space Star is unlikely to be continued much longer anyway. Still, it outsold the Stellantis twins in Q4. The next five models are all EVs. The Smart Fortwo is up 37% but still far off the annual sales record for the nameplate. Its sister model Smart Forfour is up 15%. The Dacia Spring lands at #13 in its first full year of sales, with demand outstripping supply. The Spring was in third place in Q4 with over 17,500 deliveries. The Seat Mii improves 21% while its sister model Skoda Citigo is down 63%.
|Minicar segment||2021||2020||Change||2021 share||2020 share||2021-Q4||2020-Q4||Change|
|11||Mitsubishi Space Star||32.662||35.703||-9%||3,8%||4,4%||7.566||6.293||20%|
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.