The subcompact segment in Europe as a whole saw a small decline of 8% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Despite sales down 7%, Ford Fiesta has reclaimed the crown in the segment, after Renault Clio (+20%) was the leader after six months this year. Obviously, the Aston Martin-style front end has struck a chord with European carbuyers, especially in the UK, where 43% of all European Fiestas are sold (+8%).
Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has fallen off the podium to fifth place (-11%), being overtaken by both French refreshed models Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. This is not very surprising, with Corsa desperately longing for a model change as well, with a design that was already out of fashion at its introduction in 2006, something two facelifts in 2010 and 2011 can’t disguise. It has become a rental company favorite, since private buyers looking to spend their hard-earned cash on a subcompact car know other models offer more style and sophistication for the money. In its home market Germany, only 18% of Corsa sales were to private buyers!
Dacia Sandero is taking advantage of the model change, rising 62% and passing Seat Ibiza (-11%), Fiat Punto (-24%), Citroën C3 (-34%) and its budget-competitors Hyundai i20 (+10%) and Kia Rio (-19%). Will it pass Skoda Fabia by year end? Hyundai i20 is especially popular in Austria, where it reaches a 6th position overall and 3rd in the subcompact segment (+38%). Kia Rio suffers from the phenomenon that seems to hit most Kia models: peaking for a short period after a model change, but then dropping just as quickly when the model gets older.
We also see Citroën C3 losing market share due to a 4-month strike at the factory just north of Paris, with its premium sister DS3 gaining ground at +7%, only 26.212 units behind, compared to 70.463 last year.
From 16th place onwards we find models at the end of their current lifecycle, with the exception of Chevrolet Aveo, which just suffers from a lack of focus by GM, Korean cheapness and outdated technology.
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