It’s been two years since our last Photo Report in Ventimiglia, at the border with France northwest of the country, so it’s time for our traditional update. You can also see the 2013 Photo Report here. See also our 2016 Photo Report on driving a Panda in Sardinia here. If last time the car parc seemed immobile compared to two years prior because of a particularly weak Italian market over the period, this year the differences are blatant and the renewed dynamism of Italian car sales shows. In 2017, it’s like all drivers of the small town on the Italian “Riviera” had given each other the word: Panda. It’s a total invasion I witnessed in the streets of Ventimiglia, the nameplate finally justifying its continued domination of the market – it has now been the local best-sellers for five straight years and is headed towards a 6th consecutive one in 2017. All Panda generations are well represented in the streets but the latest one clearly coming on top.
Fiat 500 in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017 Fiat Tipo in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017
The Fiat 500, overwhelmingly dominant at the time of my two previous Photo Reports, takes a step back in line with its receding towards the second half of the Italian Top 10 over the past couple of years. It is still the second most common vehicle in town though. My main element of curiosity coming here was to check the popularity of the new Fiat Tipo which has managed to climb up to 2nd place for a couple of months in 2017, currently stands at a stunning third position in the 2017 YTD ranking and totally obliterates the Station Wagon ranking. And the proof is in the pudding: I did spot five Tipos in a little more than one hour spent in town, two sedans, two station wagons and just one hatch. I would have expected the hatch to be more prevalent. Granted, the sample is tiny.
Also very frequent in Ventimiglia this year are the Renault Clio – logical, it will be the best-selling foreigner in the country for the 4th straight year in 2017, the Lancia Ypsilon – but less so than the two previous times I was here, the Renault Twingo, and a surprisingly high number of Dacia Duster.
Fiat Panda Cross in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017Fiat Tipo SW in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017
Smart Forfour and Fortwo in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017A valiant 1989 Fiat Uno surviving in Ventimiglia.