* NOW UPDATED with the Top 45 brands and Top 150 models *
After seven consecutive years of decline ended in 2014 with a shy 3% improvement, the Italian new car market returns to dynamic growth with sales up 15% or 114.000 units over the First Half of 2015 to 872.951 registrations. Fiat flies slightly under the market at +13%, resulting in a reduced 20.9% market share (21.3% a year ago) while Volkswagen drops to 7.6% due to sales up just 8%. The entire Top 7 brands are unchanged vs. last year with Ford, Renault (+19%), Opel (+18%) and Peugeot (+17%) all registering similarly above average year-on-year gains whereas Toyota is up just 10% at #7. Nissan shoots up 23% and 3 spots to #8, while Dacia (+30%), Kia (+26%), Jeep (+269%), Smart (+49%), Seat (+31%), Porsche (+33%), Mitsubishi (+47%) and Lexus (+108%) all out-perform the market by a wide margin.
In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda is comfortably headed towards a 4th consecutive year at #1, even outpacing the market with sales up 18% to 66.177 units, now accounting for more than double the sales of any other nameplate: the Fiat 500L follows at 32.391 above the Lancia Ypsilon (+2) at 31.751, the Fiat Punto at 31.164 and the Fiat 500 at 26.808. The Renault Clio (+11%) remains the most popular foreigner ahead of the Ford Fiesta (+13%), VW Golf (+2%), VW Polo (+16%) and Toyota Yaris (+10%).
Even though they are absent from the YTD Top 10 for now, the most significant long-term trend at play in Italy this year is the intensifying of the SUV/crossover shift. From just 3 a year ago, the number of SUV/crossovers inside the Italian Top 20 shoots up to 7 in 2015 so far. The Nissan Qashqai (#12) and Opel Mokka at +69% (#14) lead the way year-to-date but will be soon overtaken by the all-new Fiat 500X, #15 for now but breaking into the monthly Top 10 in April (#10) and leading the SUV/crossover charge ever since. The Renault Captur at +43% (#16), Jeep Renegade new at #18, Dacia Duster at +40% (#19) and Peugeot 2008 (#20) complete the picture, but let’s not count out the Kia Sportage at +41% (#24) and Ford Ecosport (#36).
Other nameplates making themselves noticed in Italy over the First Half of 2015 include the Peugeot 308 doubling its sales year-on-year to land at #23 with 9.783 units, the Toyota Aygo up 56% to #28 thanks to its new generation, the Hyundai i20 up 147% to #35, the Renault Twingo up 91% to #38, the Mini up 3-fold to #40 thanks to the new 5-door variant and Mercedes C-Class up 130% to #46. Finally, let’s notice the all-new Citroen C4 Cactus (#52) and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (#56) stopping short off a Top 50 ranking for now, but chances are this will change by the time 2015 comes to an end.
FY 2014 update: Italy Full Year 2014: Podium 100% Fiat for 2nd time in 15 years
Full H1 2015 Top 45 brands and Top 150 models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.