* Now updated with the Top 45 All-brands, Top 215 models, Top 37 LCV brands and Top 10 LCV models *
New car sales in Italy register their fourth consecutive year of gains at +7.5% to 1.988.470 units, the largest annual volume since 2009 (2.157.791) and up 52% on the low of 1.310.949 hit in 2013. However under this stellar results hide pretty unhealthy evolutions. Private sales are actually down this year at -1.8% to 1.121.085 registrations, seeing their market share tumble down from 61.8% in 2016 to a record-low 56.4% this year. In fact, the Italian market is artificially pulled up in 2017 by both company sales and rental sales. Company sales shoot up 27.5% to 434.483 units or 21.9% share vs. 18.4% last year while rental sales surge 18.2% to 432.902 and 21.8% share vs. 19.8% a year ago. In the detail, short term rentals (one of the most artificial way to boost registrations) are up 20.9% to 173.840 deliveries while long term rentals are up 16.5% to 259.062.
Contrary to most other large European markets, diesel sales actually grow in Italy in 2017 at +6.2% to 1.128.211, yet losing some share at 56.7% of the market vs. 57.4% a year ago. Petrol sales are up 4.8% to 628.996 or 31.6 vs. 32.4%, GPL sales are up 26.5% to 129.812 and 6.5% share vs. 5.6% while hybrid sales are up 71% to 66.760 and 3.4% share vs. 2.1% and electric sales are up 38.6% to 1.945 vs. 1.403 in 2016. Once again crossovers boost overall sales at +30.3% to 444.643 units and 22.4% share vs. 18.5% last year while “berlines” (sedans/hatches) are up just 3.3% to 1.042.368 and 52.4% share vs. 54.6% a year ago and 4×4 sales are up 6.8% to 164.707. Station wagons are up 1.7% to 140.946 and 7.1% share, Cabriolets are up 27.9%, coupes up 16.9%, but Small MPVs are down 11.9% and compact MPVs down 7.8%.
Brand-wise, Fiat logically continues to dominate but trails the market at +4% and posts its lower annual share this decade at 20.2%, scoring sub-20% shares for the entire second half of the year and falling to a lowest-in-decades 16.5% in November. Volkswagen also gains 4% to see its share erode to 7.3% just as Ford evolves like the market at +8% to remain at 6.7%, threatened for third place by Renault up 13% to post the same market share for 2017. Peugeot also impresses with a 11% gain allowing it to overtake Opel (+4%) for 5th place overall. Toyota (+18%) and Citroen (+29%) deliver the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 10, the latter returning to the Top 10 at #8 for the first time since 2014. Audi reclaims the premium leadership off Mercedes thanks to sales up 5% vs. +2% to the Stuttgart carmaker. BMW comes in third like in 2016, edging up just 2%. Nissan for its part soars 14% and three spots to #11, Skoda is up 18%, Dacia up 21%, Jeep up 22%, Alfa Romeo up 25%, Suzuki up 37%, Lamborghini up 41%, Maserati up 42%, Chevrolet up 43%, Tesla up 100%, Aston Martin up 141% and Lada up 414%.
In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda is the best-selling vehicle in Italy for the sixth straight year but drops 2% to see its market share thaw from 8% in 2016 to 7.3% this year. For the second year in a row, the Panda outsells all brands in the Italian market bar Fiat and its 2017 volume is still almost 2.5 times the amount of the next best-seller, the Lancia Ypsilon also in difficulty at -8% to just 3% share. Helped by a complete lineup now including hatch, sedan and station wagon, the Fiat Tipo leaps up 77% to #3 for its second full year of sales, even snapping the #2 spot below the Panda five times this year (March, May, June, August and September). It is the first time in 27 years that the Tipo nameplate appears inside the Italian annual podium (since 1990 when it ranked #2). The Tipo obliterates the station wagon segment thanks to 17.936 sales (+380%) and 12.7% share above the Audi A4 (10.594), Renault Megane (9.838) and Skoda Octavia (9.138).
With the Fiat 500 at #4 (+19%), the Fiat 500L at #6 (-15%) and the 500X at #7 (-1%), there are six local nameplates in the Italian annual Top 7 for the second year in a row and only the third time since 1984. The Renault Clio is the best-selling foreign nameplate for the fourth consecutive year, dropping one spot to #5 despite sales up 6%. One of the heroes of the year is the Citroen C3 shooting up 76% to #8 and 2nd best-selling foreigner thanks to the new generation, even snapping its first monthly podium finishes in 13 years in October and December (#3). The Ford Fiesta (-5%) and VW Golf (-7%) round up the Top 10, with the latter hitting its highest monthly position in 24 years at #2 in November. The Peugeot 3008 (+239%), Renault Scenic (+170%), VW Tiguan (+89%), Nissan Micra (+61%), Ford Kuga (+58%), Renault Megane (+50%), VW Up (+33%), BMW 1 Series (+32%), Dacia Sandero (+31%), BMW X1 (+23%) and Mini (+21%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 50 while the Toyota C-HR (#32) and Audi Q2 (#47) both brilliantly manage to end their first full year of sales in Italy well inside the Top 50. The best-selling “new” nameplate is the Jeep Compass (#76) ahead of the Opel Crossland X (#91) and Citroen C3 Aircross (#135).
The Italian Light Commercial Vehicle market evolves in opposite direction this year, down 3.1% to fall back below the symbolic 200.000 annual unit-mark at 194.262. Fiat holds a much larger market share in this segment, even though it is in freefall at 31.4% vs. 36.1% a year ago. Ford (+0.1%) and Renault (-2%) follow like last year while Citroen (+21%) and Peugeot (+8%) swap rankings. Toyota (+38%), Dacia (+26%), Kia (+13%) and Mercedes (+10%) impress. Notice also Chinese Gonow at #31. As it has been the case for at least the past 11 years, the Fiat Ducato is the most popular light commercial in Italy, gaining 5% to sport a 10.2% market share whereas its immediate follower, the Fiat Doblo, drops 7% to 8.4%. The Ford Transit (+221%) storms back into the Top 10 directly on the third step of the podium, followed by the Iveco Daily (+3%) and Fiat Fiorino (-26%) in great difficulty. The Renault Trafic surges 63% and 12 spots to #6 while the Fiat Talento ends its first full year of sales at home directly at #7 with 2.6% share. The Fiat Panda Van implodes 66% from #3 to #8.
Previous month: Italy November 2017: Fiat hits lowest share this decade at 16.5%
Full Year 2017 Top 45 All-brands, Top 215 models, Top 37 LCV brands and Top 10 LCV models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.
Full December 2017 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.