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Italy March 2018: Fiat (-20%), Lancia (-37%) dive, Jeep (+77%) soars

Jeep sales are up 77% but that doesn’t compensate for Fiat and Lancia drops.

* See the Top 45 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market drops 5.7% year-on-year in March to 214.774 units, the second yoy decline in a row after 9 consecutive months of gains. The year-to-date volume switches to negative at -1.5% to 578.113 registrations after three months. Once again it is private sales that darken the overall picture significantly: they fall heavily at -14.8% to 107.108 units and 49.9% share vs. 55.2% in March 2017, leading to a year-to-date tally down 11.3% to 302.408 and 52.3% share vs. 58.1% over the same period a year ago. In contest, rental sales are up 5.1% to 65.772 and 30.6% share vs. 27.5% in March 2017, with short term rentals down 0.4% to 33.154 and long term rentals, or leases, up 11.4% to 32.618. Year-to-date, rental sales are up a blooming 12.1% to 160.972 (27.8% share vs. 24.5% in 2017), with short terms up 9.8% to 75.863 and long terms up 14.3% to 85.109. Company sales also shine in March at +5.9% to 41.895 (19.5% share vs. 17.4%), leading to a year-to-date volume up 12.3% to 114.733 (19.8% share vs. 17.4%).

DR Motor sales are up 81% in March. The dr4 is a Chinese JAC S3 assembled locally. 

This time diesel sales fall faster than petrol but remain dominant at -9% to 116.994 (54.5% share vs. 56.4%) with petrol sales down 3.9% to 72.876 (33.9% share vs. 33.3%). Year-to-date, diesel is down 2.5% to 319.826 (55.3% vs. 55.9%) and petrol down 3.2% to 189.843 (32.8% vs. 33.4%). Hybrid sales are up 28.5% to 7.516 this month and up 33.1% to 21.292 so far in 2018. Looking at body types, sedans/hatches crumble 12.6% to 107.699 (50.1% share vs. 54.1% in 2017) and station wagons drop 15.6% to 14.117 but crossovers gain 13.1% to 54.770 (25.5% vs. 21.3%) and 4WDs surge 25.6% to 21.022 (9.8% vs. 7.3%).

The Fiat 500X ranks #2 at home for the third time in the past 4 months, and ever.

It’s another painful month for brands leader Fiat, crumbling down 20% year-on-year to just 18.8% share. This is Fiat’s 6th consecutive year-on-year decline, 4th double-digit decline in the past 5 months and 8th month in a row below 20% share. Year-to-date, Fiat is now down a heavy 15% to 18.7% share. In contrast like last month, #2 Volkswagen is the healthiest in the Top 6 with a 9% gain leading to 8.5% share. The German carmaker is up 10% to 8.3% so far in 2018. Ford (-8%) remains third while Renault reclaims the 4th spot overall off compatriot Peugeot (-0.2%) despite dropping a harsh 16%. Similarly, Opel (-10%) is back above Citroen (+19%) despite a heavy loss. Up 2 spots on February to #8, Jeep tries to compensate for Fiat’s disappointing results by surging 77% on March 2017 to a round 4% share – but FCA is down 13% overall to 28% share vs. 30.3% in March 2017. Other great performers include Jaguar (+88%), DR Motor (+81%) and Seat (+33%) but steep drops are a lot more frequent, such as Infiniti (-74%), Ferrari (-40%), Lancia (-37%), Porsche (-32%), Lamborghini (-30%), Mahindra (-26%), Subaru (-25%), Maserati (-23%) and Mini (-23%).

First Top 25 ranking for the VW T-Roc in Italy…

Over in the models ranking, the Fiat Panda signs a 5th consecutive double-digit year-on-year decline at -23% to 6.3% share, yet this is still more than double its nearest competitor: the Fiat 500X going against the grain at +11% to a best-ever 2nd place overall, also hit last December and January. The Fiat Tipo tumbles down 31% to #3 with 43% of its March sales going to the station wagon selling 2.5 times the #2 in the segment, the Ford Focus. The Fiat 500 is down 10% to #4, meaning Fiat monopolises the podium for the 2nd straight month, doing so YTD also, in the same order. The Ford Fiesta rallies back up 5 spots on February and is the best-selling foreigner for the 2nd time in the past 3 months despite a 10% year-on-year drop. The Lancia Ypsilon continues to disintegrate at -37% but gains 3 ranks on last month to #6.

…and first Top 30 ranking for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Picture

The VW Golf surges 70% to #7, distancing the Renault Clio (-17%) and Citroen C3 (+17%) while the Jeep Renegade (+4%) climbs back into the Top 10 for the first time this year. The Jeep Compass is up two spots on February to #14, clearing dominating recent launches (<12 months) ahead of the VW T-Roc, again improving on its record ranking by a sizeable 9 steps on February to #24, the Citroen C3 Aircross down two to #32 and the Opel Crossland X down 1 to #42. Other heroes of the Top 50 include the Toyota Yaris (+21%), Ford Ecosport (+33%) equalling last month’s all-time record #19, its second ever Top 20 ranking in Italy, the Dacia Sandero (+67%), Peugeot 3008 (+83%), the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+327%) breaking into its home Top 30 for the first time at #30, and the Opel Karl (+79%).

Previous month: Italy February 2018: VW up 20%, Fiat (-17%) and Lancia (-42%) sink

One year ago: Italy March-April 2017: Fiat Tipo steps up

Full March 2018 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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