* Now updated with the Top 180 models and Top 45 brands – click on title to see *
After gaining 17% in January, the Italian new car market accelerates its growth further, galloping up 28% year-on-year in February to 173.883 registrations. This lifts the year-to-date total to 331.339 units, up 23% on the same period a year ago. All sales charts display euphoric figures: 18 of the Top 20 car brands post double-digit gains, with 8 out of the Top 12 even clocking up gains of 30% or more. Fiat is among them at 36.573 sales, up 34% on February 2016. After years of positioning hesitation, it seems as if everything is starting to click together now for the Italian manufacturer.
The process has been convoluted because Fiat is not replacing its range model by model, rather moving it around in clusters. Fittingly, this month marks the first time in its history that all three members of the newly formed Fiat 500 family fit within the Top 5, led by the 500L at #3 (+3%), ahead of the 500 (+10%) and the 500X (+184% as it launched a little more than a year ago). The 500 family adds up to 8.4% share this month – roughly what the Panda commands on its own – and could see this growing further as each model now has its own, well recognised space within the Fiat range.
The rest of the Fiat lineup is being regrouped around two main models: the Panda, flying off at +51% to 14.788 sales, and the Tipo, a value-for-money compact car that launched a few months ago as a sedan (and as the Egea in Turkey where it is manufactured) with station wagon and hatchback variants coming shortly: it is up 7 spots on January to reach #24 with 2.014 sales. The Punto (#10) should progressively be replaced up by the Tipo hatchback and, potentially, the 500X as an upgrade option. Lancia, discontinued in the rest of Europe and restricted to the sole Ypsilon, has also found its place as a reasonably posh small car that’s cheaper but larger than the Fiat 500. It also beats the market this month at +31% and 6.769 sales and places #2 overall.
Ford (+34%) overtakes Volkswagen to snap a very rare 2nd spot in the brands ranking: it’s only the second time in the past 3 years along with last September that Ford ranks #2 in Italy. Peugeot (+30%), Citroen (+37%), Audi (+38%) and Mercedes (+33%) also frankly outpace the market. Further down, let’s notice Jeep (+48%), Smart (+35%), Land Rover (+63%), Skoda (+38%), Mazda (+148%), Honda (+112%), Ssangyong (+213%) and Jaguar (+331%). In the models ranking, great performers include the Opel Corsa (+80%), Toyota Yaris (+36%), Jeep Renegade (+68%), Citroen C3 (+75%), Peugeot 308 (+55%), Hyundai Tucson all-new at #26 and the Smart Fortwo up 121%.
Previous month: Italy January 2016: Fiat 500 back on podium, Punto out of Top 10
Full February 2016 Top 45 brands and Top 180 models below.