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Italy May 2014: Now with the Top 170 best-selling models!

June 27th, 2014 No comments

Mercedes GLA Italy May 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deMercedes GLA

* See the Top 170 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Paolo *

As is now the tradition on BSCB I can now give you more detail on the Italian models ranking for the month. But first a few changes atop the sales charts: the Opel Mokka actually performs better than expected at a record #15 with 1,974 sales and 1.5%, only 4 units below the Peugeot 2008. The Mercedes GLA stays at an excellent #58 spot with 613 units, the new generation Jeep Cherokee breaks into the Top 100 at #82 with 319 units while both the Porsche Macan (#96) and BMW 4 Series (#100) keep their place among the country’s 100 favourite vehicles. The Ford Ecosport is up 9 ranks to #134 and the Maserati Ghibli down 8 to #145.

Previous post: Italy May 2014: Fiat 500L #2 again, Punto down to #6

Previous month: Italy April 2014: Now with Top 170 best-selling models

One year ago: Italy May 2013: Top 5 All-Italian for the first time in 16 years

Full May 2014 Top 170 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy May 2014: Fiat 500L #2 again, now 3rd most successful nameplate in last decade – Punto down to #6!

June 4th, 2014 5 comments

Fiat 500L Italy May 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frFiat 500L

* See the Top 50 best-selling models and Top 44 brands by clicking on the title! *

New car sales in Italy are back into negative in May at -4% to 132,555 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 633,065 units, still up 3% on 2013. Below the Fiat Panda faithful to its pole postion at 10,273 sales and 7.7% share, there is a LOT of significant events in the Top 6. Firstly the Fiat 500L manages a third consecutive month in 2nd place, making it only the third nameplate to have ranked #2 at least 3 times in the past decade along with the Fiat Panda and Punto. Nameplates managing a single #2 ranking over that period are the Toyota Yaris in December 2007, the Fiat 500 in September 2008 and the Ford Fiesta in March 2010.

Fiat Punto Europe 1995The good times are over for the Fiat Punto (1993 model pictured)

If we go back a further two years up to June 2002 when BSCB started following monthly rankings in Italy, only the Fiat Seicento delivers a better score than the Fiat 500L, ranking #2 five times: in January, February, April, May and August 2003. The Toyota Yaris was in 2nd place twice in June 2003 and December 2007 as was the Ford Fiesta in March 2003 and March 2010 while the Ford Focus (June 2002), Opel Corsa (December 2002) and Fiat 500 (September 2008) only did it once.

Renault Clio Italy May 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frEven the Renault Clio is above the Fiat Punto this month…

The Lancia Ypsilon is up two spots on April to rank third for the 7th time in the past 12 months with 5,175 sales and 3.9%. Nothing exceptional here, it outsells the Fiat Punto for the first time in the Ypsilon’s 18 year-history! But wait there’s more: at #5 with 4,402 units and 3.3%, the Renault Clio also overcomes the Punto this month, of course for the first time since the two models started selling alongside each other in November 1993. The Punto continues its descent into hell indeed: after dropping below 4% share for the very first time in March (3.7%) and to 4th place again for the first time and a new low of 3.6% share last month, it now sinks to a new lowest-ever 3.2% share…

Opel Mokka Italy May 2014First Italian Top 20 ranking for the Opel Mokka this month.

Reversely, a good list of models do extremely well this month: the Peugeot 2008 is back up 6 spots on April to #15, the Ford C-Max up 4 to #16, Dacia Duster up 10 to #17, the Opel Mokka breaks into the Italian Top 20 for the first time at #18, the Renault Mégane is up an impressive 32 ranks to #30 vs #56 year-to-date, the Renault Scénic up a further 7 to #35, the BMW X1 up 23 to #37 and the Peugeot 3008 holding itself inside the Top 50 at #47.

Previous post: Italy April 2014: Now with Top 170 best-selling models

Previous month: Italy April 2014: Fiat 500L confirms #2 spot, passes Punto year-to-date

One year ago: Italy May 2013: Top 5 All-Italian for the first time in 16 years

Full May 2014 Top 50 models and Top 44 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy April 2014: Now with Top 170 best-selling models

May 28th, 2014 No comments

Jeep CherokeeItalian flair? Under Fiat supervision, the new Jeep Cherokee is up to #120 in Italy.

* See the Top 170 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Paolo *

Thanks to Paolo and Quattroruote, I can now share with you much more detail about the Italian models sales charts for March. Beyond the Top 50 we already covered, the Mercedes GLA shines: up 52 spots on March to a splendid 58th place with 541 sales and 0.5% share, the Peugeot 508 is up 29 ranks to #65, Kia Carens up 18 to #72, Seat Ibiza up 27 to #75, Citroen DS3 up 15 to #77, BMW 4 Series up 16 to reclaim a spot in the Top 100 at #96 and the Ford Galaxy enjoying an impressive second wind, up 38 spots on March to #104.

Ford Ecosport Italy April 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frFord Ecosport

A few new models point their bonnet among the 170 most popular vehicles in Italy this month. Most impressive of all is the Porsche Macan, landing directly inside the Top 100 for its very first month of sales at #90 with 257 units finding a buyer. This makes the Macan Porsche’s best-seller in Italy already! The all-new Jeep Cherokee enables the nameplate to make a comeback in the ranking at #120 with 145 sales while the Ecosport makes its first appearance in the Top 150 at #143 with 94 units. Finally, let’s notice the Maserati Ghibli still very solid at #137 with 101 sales.

Previous post: Italy April 2014: Fiat 500L confirms #2 spot, passes Punto year-to-date

Previous month: Italy March 2014: Now with the Top 160 best-selling models

One year ago: Italy April 2013: Citroen C3 Picasso and VW Up! at highest ever

Full April 2014 Top 170 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Lancia reduced to one model and banished to Italy!

May 27th, 2014 18 comments

1985 Lancia Delta S4Harsh landing for Lancia… (1985 Lancia Delta S4 pictured)

According to Automotive News, Lancia has seen its last days outside of Italy. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will reduce the brand to just the Ypsilon that will be sold only in Italy. “Marchionne is performing Lancia’s final requiem,” said Gianluca Spina, dean of Milan Polytechnic’s business school. “It’s a rational decision for a global carmaker. The brand has no appeal outside Italy.” To end losses in Europe and boost profit globally, Marchionne is expanding the range of upscale Alfa Romeo and Maserati models and rolling out Jeep vehicles worldwide. Even with 55 billion euros ($75 billion) budgeted for investments in the five-year plan, there wasn’t money available to overhaul Lancia, which lacks name recognition outside Europe.

1964 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport1964 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport

Lancia was founded in 1906 by Fiat racecar driver Vincenzo Lancia and once produced curvy roadsters such as the Aurelia Spider that appeared with Bardot in the 1956 film “And God Created Woman.” In the fifties and sixties, its luxurious coupés such as the Flaminia (picture above) and Flavia went head-to-head with Jaguar and Maserati, no less! However, after being acquired by Fiat in 1969, Lancia models veered between sporty hatchbacks like the Delta and big-box sedans such as the Thema. An attempt to renew with its glamourous past by hiring actor Richard Gere and singer Carla Bruni to promote the brand in recent years  has fallen on deaf ears.

1985 Autobianchi Y101985 Autobianchi/Lancia Y10 

From 1985 to 1995, Fiat sold the small Y10 under the Autobianchi brand in Italy, France and Japan but under the Lancia brand elsewhere, contributing to a increasingly diluted brand image. Autobianchi was killed in 1989 but survived until 1995 in Italy after a 40 year history, at which point the Y10 became the Lancia Ypsilon, arguably bringing the brand down market.

2012 Lancia Flavia2012 Lancia Flavia. Rebadging Chryslers was a bad idea indeed.

The linkup with Chrysler provided Lancia with a (slim?) chance to widen its appeal. The merger of the two brands began in 2011, when Marchionne pulled the U.S. nameplate from continental Europe in favor of Lancia, which sold re-badged versions of the Chrysler 300 sedan, 200 convertible and Voyager minivan, respectively called Thema, Flavia and Voyager. Chrysler only survived in the UK where the Delta and Ypsilon were sold under that brand. Confusing? Indeed.

Lancia Ypsilon Italy August 20132011 Lancia Ypsilon in Ventimiglia, August 2013

All in all, Lancia’s decline is the result of an inconsistent strategy that hesitated between upscale and mass-market segments over the years. Lancia sales in Europe dropped 20% in 2013 to just 75,000 units, 76% of which in Italy alone, and sales outside Europe are non-existent. By 2016, Lancia will consist of just the 12,650 euro Ypsilon subcompact as sales of the Delta will end this year and all re-badges next year. The Italian carmaker intends to invest in restyling the Ypsilon next year as the model has been one of the top sellers in Italy over the past decade.

Si a Lancia No a Marchionne Facebook pageSi a Lancia No a Marchionne Facebook page

Lancia’s demise has angered fans. More than 3,000 of the so-called Lancisti signed an online petition to save the brand, a Facebook page titled “Yes to Lancia, No to Marchionne” received almost 9,000 likes, while on Twitter “Occupy Lancia” sends messages to Fiat such as “Lancia will end Delta production: shame on you.”

Lancia Delta Italy June 2012The 2008 Lancia Delta never convinced, even in Italy.

Reducing a carmaker to a single vehicle line in a single country is a veiled death sentence, as even ultra-luxury brands such as Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce have multiple models. But putting Lancia on life support rather than shutting it down outright helps Fiat keep its options open until other models hit the market to fill the gap, according to Ian Fletcher, an analyst with IHS in London. “It looks like a tactical short-term move, Marchionne may wait for Alfa Romeo’s strategy to yield its first results before killing the Lancia brand.”

Categories: Italy, World

Italy April 2014: Fiat 500L confirms #2 spot, passes Punto ytd

May 7th, 2014 4 comments

Fiat 500L Italy April 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Fiat 500L is up to #2 in 2014 at home in Italy.

* NOW UPDATED with actuals for the Top 50 best-selling models & Top 45 All-brands! *

The Italian new car market is up a very shy 2% year-on-year in April to 119,803 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 499,720 units, up 5% on 2013. Below the Fiat Panda faithful to its pole position, the Fiat 500L confirms the 2nd spot it grabbed for the first time ever last month, thanks to 5,885 sales and 4.9% share. It even passes the Fiat Punto year-to-date to also rank #2 so far in 2014 at 21,442 units vs. 21,372.

Fiat Punto Italy April 2014The Fiat Punto is slowly but surely slipping down the Italian sales charts.

More bad news for the Punto, soon to be killed as a nameplate and replaced by a 5-door version of the 500: overtaken by the Fiat 500 itself in April, it drops to #4 for the first time in the nameplate’s 20 year history, meanwhile hitting (like last month) its worst share yet at 3.6%. Not that there is anything surprising about it, but these are historical times in the Italian sales charts: the death of a best-selling nameplate, like the Uno back in 1994. Perhaps the Punto will be reborn as ‘retro-chic’ in 2043 to celebrate its 50th anniversary? Just saying…

Hyundai i10 Italy April 2014Hyundai i10

Further down the ranking, the Nissan Qashqai is up one further spot on March to #9, the VW Up seems to slowly gel with Italian carbuyers: spending a 2nd consecutive month inside the Top 20 and reaching its best-ever ranking to-date at #17 (also reached in June 2013), while the Hyundai i10 is up a beautiful 13 spots to #19, the BMW 1 Series up 17 to #34, Peugeot 308 up 15 to #41, Renault Scénic up 17 to #42, VW Passat up 18 to #43 and Peugeot 3008 up 22 to #49. Finally the Porsche Macan blasts onto the Italian sales charts with 257 sales or 58% of the brand’s total, pushing it up 122% year-on-year.

Previous post: Italy March 2014: Now with the Top 160 best-selling models

Previous month: Italy March 2014: Fiat 500L up to #2, above Punto for the first time

One year ago: Italy April 2013: Citroen C3 Picasso and VW Up! at highest ever

Full April 2014 Top 50 models and Top 45 All-brands Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy March 2014: Now with the Top 160 best-selling models

April 30th, 2014 1 comment

Skoda Yeti Italy March 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Yeti

* See the Top 160 best-selling models by clicking on title! Thanks Paolo *

Thanks to Paolo and Quattroruote, I can now share with you much more detail about the Italian models sales charts for March. Beyond the Top 50 we already covered, let’s salute the performances of the Opel Adam up 17 spots on February to #52, Skoda Yeti up 51 to #70, Mercedes C-Class up 37 to #72 and Volvo V60 up 32 to #75. The Mercedes GLA lands directly at #110 thanks to 204 sales while the Maserati Ghibli is down 4 spots to #141 with a still very impressive 104 sales.

Previous post: Italy March 2014: Fiat 500L up to #2, above Punto for the first time

Previous month: Italy February 2014: Now with Top 160 best-selling models!

One year ago: Italy March 2013: Fiat 500L up to #4, outsells 500!

Full March 2014 Top 160 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy March 2014: Fiat 500L up to #2, above Punto for first time

April 5th, 2014 7 comments

Fiat 500L Italy March 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frThe Fiat 500L is up to an all-time high #2, a level the 500 has never reached.

* NOW UPDATED with actuals for the Top 50 best-selling models and Top 44 All-brands! *

After 44 consecutive months of year-on-year decline, the Italian car market seems to now have got its mojo back: March marks the third time in a row sales are growing year-on-year at +5% and 140,115 registrations. The year-to-date total now stands at 379,157 units, up 6% on 2013. Brand-wise, Fiat evolves like the market at +4% and 29,565 sales, above Volkswagen (stable) and Ford (-2%). Renault is up a spectacular 58% on March 2013 in 4th place, Opel up 23%, Dacia up 22%, Volvo up 27% and Skoda up 43%.

Fiat Seicento Italy March 2014The Fiat Seicento was #2 in August 2003.

This month the Italian models ranking steps into another dimension: below traditional leader the Fiat Panda, the Fiat 500L beats the Punto for the very first time, and not by a little margin: 7,076 sales and 5.1% (both records) vs. 5,142 and 3.7% for the Punto – its new lowest ever market share and first time ever below 4%. After dropping to #2 for the first time ever in September 2005 and to #3 in September 2008 this is only the 2nd time ever the Punto is down to #3 since the nameplate’s launch in November 1993!

Fiat 500 Italy March 2014. Picture courtesy of www.autobild.deThe Fiat Nuova 500 only ranked #2 once: in September 2008.

In fact, in the last 10 years, only 3 times did a model other than the Fiat Panda/Punto managed to rank inside the Italian monthly Top 2: in December 2007 (Toyota Yaris), September 2008 (Fiat 500) and March 2010 (Ford Fiesta). Which means a #2 ranking is rare even for a Fiat, with the Nuova 500 only reaching it once (Sept 08) in its 7 year-history, and before that, the last time another Fiat reached that level being August 2003 (Seicento).

The analysis continues below.

Previous post: Italy February 2014: Now with Top 160 best-selling models!

Previous Photo Report: Italy March 2014: Napoli Photo Report

Previous month: Italy February 2014: Fiat Panda hits highest share in one year

One year ago: Italy March 2013: Fiat 500L up to #4, outsells 500!

Full March 2014 analysis, Top 50 models and Top 44 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy February 2014: Now with Top 160 best-selling models!

April 1st, 2014 No comments

Toyota Verso Italy February 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frToyota Verso is up 74 spots on January to land at #61 this month.

* See the Top 160 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Paolo *

Thanks to Paolo and Italian car magazine Quattroruote I can share with you the Top 160 best-selling models in Italy for February, just in time before the March 2014 figures pop up. We’ve already covered the Top 50, so let’s look below at what surprises this month offers us: boosted by the new model, the Toyota Verso is up a spectacular 74 spots on last month to #61 with 484 sales, the Kia Picanto is up 20 ranks to #72, the BMW 4 Series up 33 to break into the Italian Top 100 for the first time at #77, the Citroen C4 up 48 to #83, Skoda Rapid up 53 to #102 and the BMW 2 Series breaks into the Top 150 for the first time at #132 with 108 units.

Previous post: Italy March 2014: Napoli Photo Report

Previous February post: Italy February 2014: Fiat Panda hits highest share in one year

Previous month:  Italy January 2014: Now with the Top 160 best-selling models!

Full February 2014 Top 160 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy

Italy March 2014: Napoli Photo Report

March 22nd, 2014 9 comments

Fiat Panda Napoli March 2014Fiat Panda in Napoli, Italy

* See the Full Photo Report by clicking on the title! *

Last time I visited Italy was in August 2013 in Vintimiglia, and there the Fiat 500 was so omnipresent in the streets that I called the Photo Report  “a Fiat 500-mania”. This weekend I have the honour of visiting Napoli, in the South of the country, and the car landscape is totally different. For once, there are nearly no Fiat 500s to be seen! This struck me as soon as I came out of the airport and continued the entire day. In 24 hours, I only managed to spot nine (9!) new generation Fiat 500 in the whole of Napoli, and two old gens! This is extraordinary, given the new 500 has now been on sale (and very successfully so!) in the country for almost a decade.

Previous Italy Photo Report: Italy August 2013: It’s a Fiat 500-mania – Photo Report

Fiat 500L Napoli March 2014bFiat 500L and Vesuve in Napoli, Italy

I can venture a few reasons for this absence, and the main one could simply be a practical one. Yes the streets of Napoli can sometimes be as tiny as they were in Ventimiglia, and that should be a boost, however cars are way more battered here than they were close to the French border. In fact it is a challenge to, pardon the pun, spot a spotless car. Whether they are new or old, cars in Napoli ‘have lived’ and you can witness it by the amount of scratches that adorn their robe. Would you want to throw a (relatively) overpriced Fiat 500 in this wilderness? Me neither… In the same vein, the 500L is very rare here: I only spotted 4 of them all day, including one taxi.

Lancia Ypsilon Napoli March 2014Lancia Ypsilon

The second observation that hit me as soon as I started driving around in Napoli was the very high occurrence of the last two generations of Fiat Panda. If in Vintimiglia I was surprised at how few Panda I saw, in Napoli they are ruling the streets and I would say have ruled the sales charts since the introduction of the 2nd generation of the model in 2004, judging by the constant flow of them in circulation. Finally an Italian city that is faithful to the country’s models ranking I report every month!

Smart Fortwo Napoli March 2014Smart Fortwo

Napolitano observation #3: the Smart Fortwo is everywhere. I will even go as far as saying it could threaten the Fiat Panda for the Napoli pole position some months! Yep, that much. There were some streets where 3 or 4 Smart Fortwo parked next to each other were a normal occurrence today… And it’s fair to say that sadly none of them has survived without a dent so far… The smaller the better seems to be the mojo for Napolitano car buyers!

Peugeot 208 Napoli March 2014Peugeot 208

Ok I’ll say it, the third best-selling model in Napoli after the Fiat Panda and Smart Fortwo should not be the Fiat Punto but be the Lancia Ypsilon. I saw comparatively way more of them here than I did in Vintimiglia, and all generations of the model which indicate its success has been going on for a while. Now here’s a paradox: you can argue the Lancia Ypsilon is almost as ‘pretty’ as the Fiat 500 and should shy away from getting its hands dirty in Napoli. Not so.

Napoli street 2 March 2014Napoli street scene

Another fascinating observation when it comes to the Napoli car landscape is the clearly higher proportion of foreign cars, notably French ones. Easy explanation here: Napoli is relatively far away from the ‘heart’ of the Italian car production world in Torino and Milano, and the moral attachment to buying national could be less strong here. The Peugeot 208 is a strong favourite, which is somewhat surprising given its national ranking. I would have expected the Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio instead. Another very successful foreigner is, astonishingly, the Ford C-Max, which I saw everywhere today in its latest generation.

Fiat Punto Napoli March 2014Three generations of Fiat Punto in Napoli, Italy

The Punto heritage (#1 nationally from 1998 to 2011) is clearly visible in Napoli, with various generations of the model still very present in the streets as pictured above, but it is also clear that this heritage is fading out and giving way to the Panda.

Napoli street March 2014Smiling locals and a Smart Fortwo, two of the local staple in Napoli.

Fiat 500 Napoli March 2014This is my biggest surprise in Napoli. This is one of only 9 Fiat 500 spotted in 24 hours!

The Napoli Photo Report continues below.

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Categories: Italy

Italy February 2014: Fiat Panda hits highest share in one year

March 7th, 2014 2 comments

Fiat Panda Italy February 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frFiat Panda

* See the Top 50 best-selling models and Top 44 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

The Italian new car market enjoys a third consecutive month of year-on-year gain in February, up a splendid 8% to 119,117 registrations, which bring the year-to-date total to 238,223 units, up 6% on 2013. The entire Top 5 best-selling models are unchanged vs. January, led by the Fiat Panda at 9,963 sales and 8.4%, its strongest share since the 8.8% it reached exactly one year ago in February 2013. The Fiat Punto follows at 5.2% ahead of the Lancia Ypsilon, Fiat 500L and Fiat 500. The VW Golf is up one spot to #6 and the VW Polo is up two to #7.

Hyundai i10 Italy February 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frHyundai i10

It’s below that we can witness more movement in the sales charts: the Peugeot 2008 loses the SUV crown to the Nissan Qashqai by dropping 3 spots on January to a still very impressive #16, the Audi A3 is up 5 ranks to #17, passing its archenemy the Mercedes A Class in the process, the Dacia Duster is back inside the Top 20 for the first time since June 2012, the Mini Countryman is up two spots to an excellent 22nd place, the Hyundai i10 up 7 to #23 thanks to the new model, the Toyota Aygo in runout mode and up 30 ranks to #25 and the Citroen C4 Picasso smoking hot at #34, up 12 spots on January.

Previous post: Italy January 2014: Now with the Top 160 best-selling models!

Previous month: Italy January 2014: Lancia Ypsilon and Fiat 500L shine

One year ago: Italy February 2013: VW Golf up to #3 in worst February in 34 years

Full February 2014 Top 50 models and Top 44 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Italy