Sales of subcompact cars in Europe are back in positive territory in the first three months of 2014, up 5% after a similar decline in 2013. Surprisingly, over 25.000 units of the segment’s growth of 30.573 units is accounted for by Dacia, thanks to the very successful model changeovers of the Sandero and Logan, and the equally successful market introduction of the brand in the United Kingdom. Adding the sales increases of the other Renault-Nissan group B-segmenters Renault Clio and Zoe and Nissan Micra, we can conclude that the rest of the segment combined shows a net loss. What an amazing performance for the French-Romanian Dacia brand!
Also impressive is the fact that the Ford Fiesta is increasing its lead over the Renault Clio, although sales of the latter may be slightly cannibalized by its small crossover sibling Captur. The same can be assumed for the Peugeot 208, already down on last year, probably due to the successful introduction of the 2008 small crossover.
No position changes in the segment top 6 compared to the full year 2013, as the aging Skoda Fabia is surpassed by the Dacia Sandero charging up the charts (it was in 13th position in 2012) and the Citroën C3, rebounding after strikes in its factory near Paris hurt the model’s performance in 2013, causing a shortage of supply.
The Fiat Punto continues its decline, as Fiat’s future product plans show the model to be replaced by a 500 five-door in 2016.
There will be no all-new subcompact models this year, but the Volkswagen Polo, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will be updated. It will be the Corsa’s third facelift, while it really needs an all-new generation. But Opel’s financial struggles in Europe have caused the expensive development of a new subcompact to be postponed in favor of the Adam minicar.
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