* 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%.
The 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!
The 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.