* NOW UPDATED with actuals for the Top 50 best-selling models: click on title to see! *
December car sales are down 15% in Italy at 111,962 registrations, bringing the final 2011 total to 1,757,649 units, down 11% and the weakest year since 1996. The Fiat Punto keeps the pole position for the 18th consecutive year with 122,287 sales, down 21%. Its 7% market share is the lowest in the Punto nameplate’s Italian career since its launch in 1993.
The Fiat Panda is #2 for the 8th year in a row at 115,863 units and 6.6%, down 17%. However Punto figures include both Grande Punto and Punto sales which would make the Panda the real best-seller. Both Punto and Panda were #1 6 times this year. This may well all change next year with the third generation Panda then at full capacity and 2012 may well be the year when the Fiat Panda officially becomes Italy’s best-selling model for the first time since the nameplate was launched in 1981…
The next 2 spots are unchanged vs. 2010: the Ford Fiesta is #3 (-33%) and the Fiat 500 #4 (-12%). Boosted by the new model launched during the year, the Lancia Ypsilon is up 18% with 54,813 sales and #5, its highest year-end ranking since 2006. For the first time since the Alfa 33 in 1990 (See the 1990 Italian Top 10 here), an Alfa Romeo ranks within the year-end Top 10 in Italy, and it’s the Giulietta, up 143% and 25 ranks on 2010 to #9 at 34,955 units and 2% share. It peaked at #6 and 2.5% in January.
Other big movers in the Top 50 are the Ford C-Max up 27 spots to #19, the Dacia Duster up 249% and 58 ranks to #22 with 19,209 sales and 1.1% share, the Nissan Juke up 72 ranks and 378% to #25, the VW Passat up 91% to #32, the Audi A1 up to #40, the Hyundai ix20 up to #46 and the BMW X3 up to #51. There is one all-new model: the Fiat Freemont landing directly in 45th place at 9,983 units.
In December, the Punto leads for the first time since August, the Toyota Yaris reintegrates the Top 10 for the first time since March at #7 thanks to the new generation now in dealerships and the Audi A3 is up to #30.
But the month’s big event is the 32nd place of the Great Wall Hover with 786 sales and 0.7% share! Probably due to strong end-of-year rebates (or special orders from the Police force), it is nevertheless the first time a Chinese model manages to break into the monthly Italian or any significant European market’s Top 50. So a massive benchmark, in a country that actually produces Chinese models under the brand DR Motor.
Previous month: Italy November 2011: Fiat Panda gets stronger
Full Year 2011 and December Top 50 Ranking Tables below.