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Italy Full Year 2012: Fiat Panda ends 18 years of Punto domination in worst market since 1979

The Fiat Panda put an end to 18 consecutive years of Fiat Punto domination in Italy

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 best-selling models actuals and Top 46 All-brands! Click on title to see *

After losing a sizeable 15% in 2011 to fall to 1,749,739 registrations, the Italian new car market falls further into recession in 2012, down another 19% to just 1,410,824 units. This is the lowest annual figure since 1979! For the first time since World War II, the car population in Italy may even have decreased this year with more cars being scrapped than new cars being bought! Historical times indeed, and for the first time since 1994 there is a new leader in the models ranking: the Fiat Panda. Helped by the third generation of the model launched in late 2011, the Panda puts an end to 18 consecutive years of Fiat Punto domination with sales up 2% to 117,775 units and 8.3%. It even broke the 10% share barrier for the first time since 1989 in October and for the first time for any model in Italy since December 2007 when the Fiat Punto hit 10.5%.

Lancia Ypsilon

Reversely, the Fiat Punto, in effect not truly renewed since the Grande Punto launched back in 2005, dives to its lowest ever level at home. For the first time ever in a full year, it sells less than 100,000 units: down 35% on 2011 to just 80,011 units and 5.7% share. It even fell below 5% market share 3 times this year: in November 4.8%October (4.7%), and August when it hit its lowest-ever market share in the country at 4.6%… Thanks to a strong start of year, the Lancia Ypsilon climbs onto the podium for the first time ever at #3 with 44,410 sales and 3.1%, down 19%. It passes the Fiat 500 (-28%) and Ford Fiesta (-36%) but has not ranked in the monthly Top 3 since April.

Peugeot 208

Panda-Punto-Ypsilon-500: for the first time since 2000 when the Fiat Punto led the way ahead of the Fiat Seicento, Lancia Y and Fiat Panda, the Top 4 models are 100% Italian this year. The first Alfa Romeo to rank within the year-end Italian Top 10 since 1990 last year, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta confirms in 2012, up one spot to #8 with 29,878 units and 2.1% (-15%). With the Panda, the only other 3 models to not lose ground in the 2012 Top 20 are the Toyota Yaris stable at #10, the all-new Peugeot 208 landing directly at #15 with 19,451 sales and 1.4%, peaking at #5 in October, and the VW Tiguan up 28% and 18 ranks to #19.

Mercedes B-Class

Other great performers in the Top 50 include the Fiat Freemont up 44% and 23 spots to #22, the Hyundai ix35 up 28% and 19 ranks to #23, the Mercedes B-Class up 51% and 40 spots to #25, BMW 3 Series up 18% and 24 ranks to #32 and the Audi Q3 and VW Up! up to #40 and #44 for their first full year of sales.

Previous post: Italy December 2012: Fiat 500L up to #6, Renault Clio at 10-year high

Previous year: Italy Full Year 2011: An Alfa Romeo in the Top 10 for the first time since 1990

Full Year 2012 Top 50 models, Top 46 All-brands and each monthly Top 30 Ranking Table below.

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