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Italy September 2017: Nissan Micra shines in market up 7.9%

The Nissan Micra breaks into the Italian Top 20 for the first time in 5 years.

* See the Top 42 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market is up 7.9% year-on-year in September to 168.531 units – the best score for the month since 2009, pushing the year-to-date total up 8.8% to 1.544.701. This means we have now seen 15 consecutive positive quarters and 44 positive months out of the past 46, the only exceptions being May 2014 and April 2017. However as it was the case last month, September’s gain is purely artificial with private sales actually down 3.9% to 89.798 units and 53.3% share vs. 59.8% a year ago. Year-to-date, private sales are now down 1.5% to 863.565 and 55.9% share vs. 61.7% over the same period in 2016. In contrast, rental sales are up a stunning 26.8% to 33.618 and 19.9% share vs. 17% in September 2016, with short term rentals taking off at +93.4% to 10.225 and long term rentals up 10.2%. Year-to-date, rental sales are up 18.2% to 353.176 units or 22.9% share vs. 21% last year. Company sales are almost as impressive this month at +24.3% to 45.115 and 26.8% share vs. 23.2% a year ago, bringing the year-to-date total up 34.1% to 327.960 units and 21.2% share vs. 17.2% over the first 9 months of 2016.

The VW Golf is the best-selling foreign nameplate in Italy this month.

Looking at sales by bodytype, hatch/sedans are down 1.9% to 84.685, crossovers are up 44% to 39.704 and up 29% year-to-date to 331.327, SUVs are up 11% to 15.424 and station wagons up 7.1% to 12.015 mainly due to the arrival of the segment’s new best-seller the Fiat Tipo SW (1.614) which accounts for one-third of the nameplate’s sales at home this month. Over to the brands ranking, with Fiat once again trailing the market growth at just +3% to 19.5% share, well below the 21.1% it commands year-to-date. Volkswagen remans at #2 with 8.2% share, one full percentage point above its YTD level while Renault manages to stay on the podium thanks to deliveries up a whopping 26%, keeping Ford (-0.4%) at bay, the latter being handicapped by a second consecutive counter-performance of its star nameplate the Fiesta (-55% to #27). In the Top 10, Toyota (+10%), Peugeot (+13%), Citroen (+20%), Audi (+23%) and most strikingly Nissan (+58%) all outpace the market. Below, notice Alfa Romeo (+14%), Dacia (+16%), Suzuki (+34%), Jeep (+44%), Seat (+61%) and Ferrari (+81%) while Maserati (-26%), Mitsubishi (-27%), Subaru (-29%), Infiniti (-32%), Ssangyong (-46%) and Jaguar (-51%) struggle.

The new Jeep Compass shoots up to #24.

In the models ranking, after falling to a five-year low last month at 5.6% share, the Fiat Panda returns to its YTD level in September at 7.4% but trails the market with a timid +1%. The Fiat Tipo (+62%) ranks #2 for the fourth time in the past five months and is now 562 sales below the Lancia Ypsilon (-13% this month) for the #2 YTD spot. Below the Fiat 500 up a robust 18% to #4, the VW Golf is the most popular foreign nameplate at #5 thanks to deliveries up 22%. It is the first time in one year – since September 2016 when the VW Polo was #1 – that the Renault Clio isn’t the best-selling foreigner in Italy. Just outside the Top 10, the Citroen C3 (+35%) and VW Tiguan (+30%) continue to shine thanks to new generations. It’s also a radically new model that propels the Nissan Micra (+205%) inside the Italian Top 20 for the first time in five years (since September 2012) at #18. The new Jeep Compass shoots up to #24, with the Renegade (#12) making it two Jeeps in the Italian Top 25 for the first time in history. Notice also the BMW X1, Ford B-Max (both up 51%), Ford Kuga (+87%), Peugeot 3008 (+695%) and Renault Scenic (+1283%) posting spectacular gains. The Nissan X-Trail (#38) and Opel Crossland X (#47) both sign their very first Italian Top 50 ranking. Finally, in the bad news aisle, the Fiat Punto (-34%) falls to #21 this month, the first time the once-dominant nameplate ranks outside its home Top 20 since it was originally launched in November 1993.

Previous month: Italy August 2017: Fiat Tipo hits record share in market up 15.8%

One year ago: Italy September 2016: Fiat 500L and VW Polo shine in market up 17%

Full September 2017 Top 42 brands and Top 50 models below.

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