Italy August 2012: Lowest August score since 1962, Fiat Panda at highest in 30 years, Punto at lowest ever
* NOW UPDATED with actuals for the Top 50 best-selling models: click on title to see *
The new car sales situation is getting critical in Italy, and with the price of petrol above 2 euros per litre in the first half of the month, sales are down 20% year-on-year in August to 56,868 units - the worst August score since the 49,766 registered in August 1962, exactly 50 years ago... This is also the worst monthly figure since December 1967 when 48,974 new vehicles were registered.
In this dark context, the Fiat Panda continues to kick goals, hitting 8.8% market share thanks to 5,011 sales, equalling the 8.8% the previous generation reached in April and May 2009 and the highest Panda nameplate's market share in Italy since the first generation’s very first years in 1981 and 1982 when the model was flirting with 10% of the market – albeit at that time not enough to be in pole position.
Illustrating the radical structural change the Italian car market is undergoing at the moment, the Fiat Punto on the other hand is down to its lowest ever market share in Italy at 4.6% and 2,639 units, only the second time in the nameplate's 18 year history that it falls below 5% share with September 2008 (4.7%). The gap between the Panda and the Punto, at 4.2 percentage points (meaning the Panda is currently selling almost at double the rate of the Punto) is the highest it's ever been.
The Ford Fiesta is back on the podium for the first time since last March with 1,959 sales and 3.4%, followed by the VW Golf up 2 spots to #4 and at its highest since last March also. Below the Fiat 500 (-2) and Lancia Ypsilon (-1) we find the Peugeot 208, confirming its newly acquired Top 10 status in 7th place with 1,465 units and a record 2.6% share. The Nissan Qashqai resists at an excellent 11th position while the Fiat Freemont (in actual fact a rebadged Dodge Journey) lodges its highest ever ranking at #13 thanks to 849 sales and a best-ever 1.5% share.
Further down, notice the Audi Q3 also hitting its highest ever position at #24 and breaking the 1% market share barrier for the first time, the Kia Rio up 10 ranks to #28, the Fiat Sedici up to #30, the Kia Sportage up 2 to #31 vs. #63 year-to-date, the Opel Zafira up 5 to #35, the the Ford Ka up 10 to #39 and the Range Rover Evoque ranking within the Top 40 for the 2nd consecutive month at #40. Finally, the Fiat 500 L makes its very first appearance in the ranking with 96 units sold this month.
Full August 2012 Top 50 Ranking Table below.