Sales of small MPVs in Europe are up by 10% in the first three months of 2014, continuing to outperform the overall market. But the success is not shared equally between the models. In fact, only 4 out of the 13 models in this segment were able to increase their sales compared to the first quarter of 2013. Besides that, the segment’s growth of just over 11.000 units can be wholly attributed to the new generation Nissan Note, up 11.236 sales compared to the outgoing model last year. As a result, the Note has jumped into second place of the segment, coming out of nowhere (well, 6th position) in 2013.
The Fiat 500L keeps the lead of the segment, growing another 46% on its first quarter of 2013 sales. With the Note moving into second place, the Ford B-Max is pushed down to third, but can feel the Citroën C3 Picasso and Opel/Vauxhall Meriva breathing down its neck. In fact, both the C3 Picasso and the Meriva outsold the B-Max in February. This may be a result of the relatively heavy dependence of the B-Max on the UK market, where March is traditionally the best month of the year thanks to the license plate changeover. As a result, February sales in the UK are relatively cool, hurting models that sell well across the Channel.
Nonetheless, the B-Max has been introduced around the same period as the 500L, and it Ford should be worried that its Romanian-built model is already down in sales, while their Serbian-built Italian competitor is still on fire. The only other model in the segment to increase sales is the Skoda Roomster, despite no major updates for the model since 2010.
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