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Italy September 2018: Toyota Yaris, VW T-Roc, Ford Ecosport stun in market down 25.5%

The Toyota Yaris is up to #2 in Italy, a ranking it had not reached in almost 11 years.

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Even though the pre-WLTP August surge in Italy was muted compared to other main EU markets at just +9.3%, the hangover is real: sales dive 25.5% to 125.963 in September, pulling the year-to-date volume down 2.8% to 1.501.490. Rental (-38%) and company sales (-34.5%) are the main forces pulling the market way down on a year ago, logical as these were used last month to pad sales ahead of the WLTP changeover. In the detail, rental sales drop to 20.865 and 16.6% share vs. 19.9% a year ago with short-term rentals down 66.6% to 2.537, long-term rentals (aka leases) down 36.3% to 14.655 and “others” up 20.1% to 3.684. Company sales drop to 29.678 and 23.6% share vs. 26.8% a year ago with manufacturers self-registrations down 35.5% to 23.364. In contrast private sales (-16.3%) hold better at 75.420 and 59.9% share vs. 53.3% in September 2017. The year-to-date picture is vastly different with rental sales the only island of growth at +3.2% to 364.469 and 24.3% share vs. 22.9% over the same period in 2017 while company sales drop 4% to 314.942 and a stable 21% share and private sales sink 4.8% to 822.079 and 54.8% vs. 55.9%.

The VW T-Roc is up to #4, the highest it’s ranked anywhere in the world so far.

After gaining ground last month potentially due to the clearing of non WLTP-compliant inventory, diesel sales see a 38.3% drop in September to 60.375 sales and 47.9% share vs. 57.9% a year ago, a freefall more akin to the situation elsewhere in Europe but unheard of here so far, pulling the year-to-date down 9% to 799.637 and 53.3% share vs. 56.8% over the same period in 2017. Petrol sales are down 6.3% in September to 48.769 and 38.7% vs. 30.8% but up 2.1% to 504.486 and 33.6% vs. 32% a year ago, making Italy the only major European market where diesel still by far outsells petrol. But there is a vast disparity at play within the country among private buyers, the main force behind the diesel decline. According to UNRAE, after 9 months private diesel sales are down a much steeper 15.8% nationally to 323.750 with the drop being a lot more severe in the country’s main cities where diesel is clearly outsold by petrol already. In Roma diesel is down 22.3% to 11.052 and 29.9% share vs. petrol up 5.5% to 16.893 and 45.7%, in Milano diesel is down 28.6% to 4.041 and 26.7% share vs. petrol up 14.6% to 8.544 and 56.4% and in Torino diesel is down 37.4% to 2.758 and 20.7% share vs. petrol up 25% to 6.771 and 50.8%. Meanwhile, national GPL sales fall 24.2% year-on-year in September to 7.374 and drop 3.1% YTD to 60.968, outsold this month by Hybrid/PHEV sales up 28.2% to 7.736, gaining 33.2% to 64.443 YTD. Electric sales remain anecdotal at +168.7% to 489 and +150.9% to 3.588 YTD.

The Ford Ecosport breaks into the Italian Top 10 for the first time at #6.

It’s another catastrophic month at home for Fiat, which has quickly become the ugly duckling of an FCA Group now totally focused on Jeep and Ram. The carmaker implodes 43% year-on-year in September to 15% share, that’s a 10th consecutive double-digit year-on-year drop and the steepest so far, it is also Fiat’s lowest ever market share in Italy, only one month after lowering that “record” to 15.5% in August and three months after pulling it down to 16% last June. Volkswagen (-30%) also falls faster than the market but gains one spot on August to #3, taking advantage of Renault’s severe hangover (-48%) after grossly and artificially inflating its sales last month. Ford (-9%) and Peugeot (-6%) post very measured drops further down but it’s Toyota (+6%) that performs best, scoring the only year-on-year gain in the Top 13. Mercedes (-10%), Opel, Citroen and BMW (all at -15%) also beat the market in the Top 10. Other gainers below include DR Motor (+333%), Mahindra (+321%), Jaguar (+180%), Mitsubishi (+131%), Lamborghini (+67%), Ssangyong (+64%), Volvo (+39%) one of the first manufacturers to sport a WLTP-ready lineup earlier this year, Maserati (+20%), Subaru (+20%), Tesla (+15%), Kia (+12%) and Mazda (+1%).

A slew of new models (including the DR4 pictured) pushes DR Motor up 333%.

If you expected the Italian models ranking to return to some kind of normalcy after the pre-WLTP craze, you were wrong. The Fiat Panda (-21%) rallies back to the top spot after being spectacularly toppled in August by the artificially-boosted Renault Clio – now back down to #12, signing an 80th victory in 81 months and its highest share since October 2017 at 7.8% but enduring a 10th double-digit loss in the past 11 months. Reversely, the Toyota Yaris (+9%) leaps up 10 spots on August to hit its record ranking in Italy at #2, last hit in December 2007 and June 2003. The Yaris is the best-selling hybrid vehicle in Italy this month (77% of its mix) and year-to-date (70%) with a 44% uplift. The Lancia Ypsilon (-28%) is back up 18 ranks on last month to #3, helped by 1.053 GPL sales (30% of its mix) making it the best-seller for that type of fuel.

The KUV100 lifts Mahindra up 321%. Pictures

The VW T-Roc stuns at a new record 4th place with 2.6% share, up 17 spots on its previous ranking record established last May and doubling its previous record share! Italy is the 5th market where the T-Roc has cracked the Top 5 so far after Austria (April 2018), Switzerland (May 2018), Cyprus (July 2018) and Germany (August 2018) but the first major market where it climbed to #4, the only other one being Cyprus – still pending Germany results for September. The T-Roc is also the #1 diesel model at 2.288 sales (70% of its mix) ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (1.973), Jeep Renegade (1.941) and Peugeot 3008 (1.896). The Fiat 500 (-38%) is back up 34 ranks to #5 despite a discouraging fall, while the Ford Ecosport (+33%) gains 8 spots on last month’s ranking record to majestically break into the Italian Top 10 for the first time at #6. The Opel Karl (+124%), Peugeot 3008 (+47%), Ford Fiesta (+44%) and Kia Picanto (+38%) also impress in the Top 50 whereas the Fiat 500L (-74%), Tipo (-74%), VW Tiguan (-58%), Fiat Punto (-53%), Opel Corsa (-43%) and Renault Captur (-43%) are levelled.

Previous month: Italy August 2018: Renault Clio first foreigner #1, Jeep Compass on podium

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

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

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