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Italy July 2018: Jeep (+103%), Alfa Romeo (+45%) stir FCA up despite Fiat (-10%), Lancia (-19%)

The Jeep Compass breaks into the Italian Top 5 for the first time in July.

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

The H1 2018 post has now been updated with a Top 180 models.

New car sales in Italy manage their third year-on-year gain of the year in July after January (+3.4%) and April (+6.4%) at +4.2% to 153.447 registrations. However the year-to-date volume remains in negative at -0.8% to 1.282.078 units. Local organisation UNRAE predicts an annual Italian market at -0.6% to 1.960.000 in 2018, with 2019 up 1% to 1.980.000 and 2020 up 1.4% to return above 2 million units for the first time since 2009 at 2.008.000. Meanwhile July sales were mainly propped up artificially with rental sales up a whopping 13.3% to 27.158 and 17.7% share vs. 16.3% in July 2017, solely pulled up by long term leases up 20.4% to 21.045 whereas short term rentals are down 35.9% to 2.765 and “other rentals” up 53.9% to 3.348. Company sales roughly match the market at +4.6% to 38.905 with self-registrations up 8.5% to 30.752 or a very worrying 20% share of the total market for the month. Private sales are the weakest at +1.5% to 87.384 or 56.9% share vs. 58.5% in July 2017. Year-to-date, private sales sink 4.3% to 693.480 and 54.1% share vs. 56.1% a year ago, company sales are up 0.6% to 262.872 or a stable 20.5% share including 199.044 self-registrations (+1%), and rental sales are the only engine of growth at +6.4% to 325.726 or 25.4% share vs. 23.7%, short-term down 7.8% to 113.129, long-term up 11.4% to 183.985 and “others” up 57.7% to 28.612.

The Giulietta (+53%) and Stelvio (+34%) pull Alfa Romeo up to its highest ranking in 6 years.

Diesel sales continue to refrain from freefalling in Italy: down just 5.2% year-on-year in July at 6.2% year-to-date to 78.303 and 686.766 respectively, all the while petrol sales gain 11.3% this month and 2.8% so far in 2018 to 50.810 and 428.609. This means diesel still represents 51% of the Italian market in July and 53.6% year-to-date vs. 53.6% and 56.6% last year, and petrol sales are at a low 33.1% in July and 31% so far in 2018 vs. 33.4% and 32.3% in 2017. GPL sales are strong in July at +8.5% to 12.460 but weak YTD at -2.8% to 81.405, Hybrid and Plug-in hybrid sales surge 47% to 7.911 in July and are up 33.1% to 52.418 this year, but pure EVs, although up a spectacular 342.1% this month only amount to 641 units and 2.906 year-to-date (+152.7%). Looking at segment sales, no surprises here: crossovers soar 43% to 47.815 and 31.2% share vs. 22.7% in July 2017 and 32.5% year-to-date to 359.563 and 28% share vs. 21% over the same period in 2017. 4WDs are the only other main segment in positive at +10.6% to 14.791 and +18.9% to 120.665 YTD with berlines (sedans and hatches) down 6.7% to 72.084 and down 10.6% to 620.095 YTD, station wagons down 17.4% to 7.966 and down 14.5% to 80.972 YTD, small MPVs down 20.3% to 3.213 this month and down 35.9% to 33.837 YTD and compact MPVs down 32.2% to 3.082 in July and down 17.9% to 32.554 YTD.

The Fiat 500X is up 64% to #2 in July.

The momentum shift out of Fiat towards Jeep continues in Italy and catastrophic results pile up again for Fiat, recording an 8th consecutive double-digit drop at -10% to 17.4% share – albeit an improvement on the ghastly 16% hit last month – . and now down 18% YTD. In contrast Jeep once again doubles its sales YoY at +103% to 4.7% in 7th place only 20 units below Opel, the marque’s second highest ever market share below the 5% hit last May. With Alfa Romeo (+45%) up to its highest ranking in over 6 years at #12 and Lancia (-19%) headed for discontinuation, the big question is: are Jeep gains enough to offset Fiat’s deep decline at FCA? The answer is: not really. Including Ferrari (+12%) and Maserati (-4%), the Fiat Group is up 3.4% in July to 42.463 sales, that’s less than the market resulting in a share down to 27.9% vs. 28.1% a year ago, but the year-to-date picture is much worse: -7.7% to 347.094 and 27.2% share, more than two percentage points below the 29.3% hit over the same period in 2017. Solely focusing on Jeep and Alfa Romeo and neglecting Fiat even at home (no Punto replacement!) was a terrible idea indeed.

Italian Renault Clio sales are up 49% year-on-year this month.

Apart from Jeep and Alfa Romeo, Renault (+39%) and Volkswagen (+37%) are the other heroes of the month in Italy, ranking 3rd and 2nd respectively with only Toyota (+7%) and Citroen (+2%) managing a year-on-year gain in the Top 10 and Audi (-0.4%), Ford (-3%), Opel (-4%) and Peugeot (-5%) in negative. More surprising is the 16% drop by Dacia, a brand that has got us used to strong uplifts. Subaru (+94%), Mitsubishi (+78%), Lexus (+73%), Jaguar (+68%), Porsche (+55%), Volvo (+26%), Smart (+25%), Ssangyong (+23%) and Hyundai (+15%) defy the challenging conditions to post very robust gains, while among smaller brands Lada (+1100%), Mahindra (+500%), DR Motor (+289%) and Lamborghini (+217%) stand out.

The VW Tiguan (+81%) misses out on a first Italian Top 10 ranking for just 74 sales.

In the models ranking, despite still being comfortably in the lead the Fiat Panda (-17%) endures an 8th double-digit drop in the past 9 months whereas the Fiat 500X gives the brand a (rare) big smile with a 64% surge to 2nd place, the nameplate’s 4th ever such ranking after last December, January and March. The Renault Clio (+49%) is also in excellent shape in third place which means the podium is identical to the YTD order. In 4th place, the Fiat Tipo (+4%) posts its first gain since February despite station wagons only representing 36.6% of its July sales vs 41.4% YTD. But the real performer of the month is just below: after cracking the Italian monthly Top 10 for the first time last May (#7) and repeating this feat in June (#10), the Jeep Compass gains 429% on its launching score a year ago to break into the Top 5 for the very first time, outselling the Jeep Renegade (+23% to #9) for the third time after last January and February. This also means Jeep places two nameplates in the Italian Top 10 for the third consecutive month – and ever.

Adding a crossover-looking variant (the Rock) boosts Opel Karl sales up 108% in July.

The Toyota Yaris (+22%) and VW Polo (+14%) also shine below while the Fiat Punto (-31%) although in steep decline and on the death row, returns to its home Top 10 for the first time since August 2017 (#8) after falling to a lowest-ever ranking of #31 in February. The VW Tiguan (+81%) misses out on a first ever Top 10 finish by just 74 sales but hits a new record at #11 (previous best: #13 in August 2017). The Opel Karl (+108%), Ford Ecosport (+86%), Renault Kadjar (+72%), Kia Picanto (+62%), Audi Q2 (+61%), Alfa Romeo Giulietta (+53%), VW Up (+50%), Renault Captur (+44%), Fiat 500L (+42%), Peugeot 3008 (+37%) and Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+34%) all post outstanding results. There are 3 new launches in the Top 50: the VW T-Roc (#25), Citroen C3 Aircross (#36) and for the first time the Hyundai Kona (#50).

Previous post: Italy First Half 2018: Fiat and Lancia sink, Jeep doubles sales

Previous month: Italy June 2018: Fiat skids to lowest ever share at 16%?

One year ago: Italy July 2017: Fiat 500 and Punto on podium

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

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