This post has been updated with the Top 150 models.
2018 puts an end to four consecutive years of gains in Italy with registrations down 3.3% to 1.923.718, the first annual decline since 2013. This hiccup was predictable as last year’s growth was artificial and propped up by tactical sales. This time business sales (-9.3%) sink the market at 394.253 units and 20.5% share vs. 21.9% in 2018. The private component of Italian sales fares better this year with actual private sales (-2.4%) falling slightly slower than the market at 1.094.337 units and 56.9% share vs. 56.4% a year ago. Rental sales (+0.4%) pull the market up at 435.128 and 22.6% share vs. 21.8% in 2017, with tactical short-term rentals (-7%) down to 128.909 but long-term leases (private) up 1.2% to 265.276. UNRAE has an “other rentals” section up 26.1% to 40.943. Business sales (-9.3%) deflate this year to 394.253 and 20.5% share vs. 21.9% a year ago. Like in the rest of Europe, diesel sales (-12.3%) are in trouble but Italy is unique in the act that they are still overly dominant at 990.235 and 51.5% share vs. 56.7% in 2017. Petrol sales gain 7.9% to 678.675 and 35.3% share vs. 31.6%, GPL sales (-3.5%) are down to 125.327 and hold a stable 6.5% share, methane sales gain 30% to 87.032, non-rechargeable hybrids soar 28.7% to 82.463 and 4.3% share, PHEVs surge 59.4% to 4.569 and EVs are up 148.5% to 5.010. Traditional hatches and sedans (-10.5%) drop below the symbolic 50% share mark at 48.5% or 933.183 units – they held 52.4% of the Italian market in 2017, while crossovers (+25.4%) leap up to 557.824 sales and 298% share vs. 22.4% last year, 4x4s gain 11.8% to 184.219 and 9.6% share vs. 8.3% and station wagons drop 21.3% to 111.143 and 5.8% share vs. 7.1%.
2018 is the year of the descent in hell by homegrown brand leader Fiat (-19.7%), freefalling 6 times faster than its home market to fall to a ghastly 16.9% share, believed to be Fiat’s lowest market share at home since records began in 1956 and the first time since we have followed the Italian market in the 80s that the carmaker falls below 20% share annually. It hit rock bottom in September (14.98%), November (15.01%) and December (15.08%), the brand’s lowest-ever monthly shares at home. Volkswagen (+12.3%) energetically swims upstream at 8.5% share in 2nd place, distancing Ford (-3.4%), Renault (-6.4%), Peugeot (+4%), Opel (-3.7%) and Toyota (+3%) in a Top 7 unchanged on 2017. Jeep soars 70.8% to slice its 2017 ranking in two and break into the annual Italian Top 10 for the first time at #8. FCA’s legendary brand even broke into the monthly Top 5 for the first time in August, hitting a record 6.2% share. Does the Jeep surge compensate Fiat’s imploding? No, as further losses by Lancia (-19.5%), Maserati (-5.3%) and Alfa Romeo (-4.9%) means FCA is down a hefty 10.4% to 502.707 sales and 26.3% share vs. 28.4% a year ago. Seat (+13.8%), Volvo (+12.4%), Skoda (+9.7%), Dacia (+6.2%), Citroen (+5.9%) and Suzuki (+5.9%) also impress with positive results inside the Top 25, while among smaller brands DR Motor (+260.8%), Mahindra (+218%), Jaguar (+74.1%), Mitsubishi (+60%), Lada (+66.7%), Lamborghini (+59.4%) and Ferrari (+16%) stand out.
The Fiat Panda (-14.5%) once again sees its market share thaw from 7.3% to 6.5% – even posting a 15-year low of 4.1% in August – but remains comfortably in the lead, selling 2.4 times the amount of the #2 and snapping a 7th consecutive annual win. But the main event of the year is the pre-WLTP-fuelled overall pole position of the Renault Clio in August, the first time since records began in 1956 that the best-selling model in Italy is not a Fiat. This helps the Clio (-1.9%) leap up three spots on 2017 to a record annual 2nd place overall, its previous best was #4 in 1992 and 2016. The Clio is therefore the best-selling foreign nameplate in Italy for the 5th year in a row. The Fiat 500X (+9%) is one of a handful of Fiats to actually improve year-on-year in 2018, climbing onto its very first podium finish at home, its previous annual ranking being #5 in 2016. Below the Lancia Ypsilon (-19.5%), the Jeep Renegade (+11.5%) brilliantly breaks into both the annual Top 10 and Top 5 for the first time, when its previous ranking record was #12 last year. The Renegade scores a record #3 monthly ranking in May and December. The Citroen C3 (-1.8%) nudges up two spots to #6, the VW Polo (+4%) is up four to #7 but the Fiat Tipo (-28%) and 500 (-26.1%) both sink five ranks to #8 and #9 respectively, with the Ford Fiesta (-3.9%) down one to round up the Top 10. The Jeep Compass (+407.2%) ends its first full year of sales at #12, peaking at #3 in August. Other new models breaking into the Italian monthly Top 10 in 2018 include the VW T-Roc at #4 in September, the Dacia Sandero (+6.5%) at #6 in August and November) and Ford Ecosport (+48.2%) at #8 in October. The Citroen C3 Aircross ranks #31 for its first fill year in market, with other great performers including the Opel Crossland X (+158.5%), Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+68.4%), Peugeot 3008 (+45.6%), Kia Picanto (+34.3%), Ford Ka+ (+14.3%) and Dacia Duster (+12.5%).
Looking at models sales by fuel, the Jeep Compass (+367%) spectacularly takes control of the diesel charts with 3.6% share, the Fiat 500X (-9.4%) remains at #2 while the Renegade (-4%) makes it two Jeeps on the diesel podium, with the Renault Clio (-5.4%) and VW Tiguan (+1.7%) rounding up the Top 5. Leader in 2017, the Fiat Tipo (-32.6%) dives to #6 while the Peugeot 3008 (+41.6%) and Renault Captur (-7.5%) break into the Top 10. The Fiat Panda (-11.5%) continues to dominate the petrol sales charts, distancing the Lancia Ypsilon (-17.7%) and Fiat 500 (-28.3%) while the VW Polo (+2.8%), Citroen C3 (-0.8%) and Ford Fiesta (+103.6%) follow. The Fiat Panda (+13.8%) is also the dominant force in GPL sales ahead of the Lancia Ypsilon (+12.9%) and Opel Corsa (-7.5%). Toyota is the king of hybrids with the Yaris (+30.1%), C-HR (+21%), RAV4 (+15.6%) and Auris (-16%) in charge above the Kia Niro (+64.2%), Suzuki Swift (+166.7%) and Ignis (+36.6%). Methane sales are dominated by the VW Golf (+24.1%) and Polo (+927.6%) while the best-selling EVs in Italy this year are the Nissan Leaf (+217.5%), Smart Fortwo (+470.7%), Renault Zoe (+220.6%), Tesla Model S (-14.3%) ad Model X (-11.1%) while the Jaguar i-Pace lands at #10. Finally, the Fiat Tipo (-10.6%) manages to be the most popular station wagon at home for the second year running, even improving its market share to 14.4% or double the #2 the Audi A4 (-25.3%) at 7.1%, just above the Skoda Octavia (-16.5%) at 6.9% and Peugeot 308 (-2.9%) at 6.8%.
Full Year 2018 Top 45 brands and Top 150 models vs. Full Year 2017 figures below.
Full December 2018 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.