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Italy January 2019: Fiat tumbles down 29.1% to lowest ever share, Lancia, Dacia, VW and Opel up in market down 7.9%

The Dacia Duster shoots up to a record 6th place in Italy in January.

The Italian new car market starts 2019 in a rather paltry way: down 7.9% year-on-year in January to 165.536 units. New car sales in Italy this month offer a starkly contrasting picture: for once private sales (+3.7%) swim upstream at 106.416 and a splendid 64.3% share vs. just 57.1% a year ago in January 2018. Rental sales freefall down 17.8% to just 33.665 and 20.3% share vs. 22.8%, with both short-term rentals (10.768) and leases (19.754) down 20% on January 2018 while “other rentals” are up 13.2% to 3.143. Company sales are hit the hardest at -29.7% to 25.455and 15.4% share vs. 20.2% a year ago.

Petrol sales surge 27.8% to spectacularly outsell diesel registrations at 74.722 and 45.1% vs. 68.116 and 41.1%, this is noteworthy because Italy was one of the latest European markets to still prefer embattled diesel over petrol. Note diesel sales held a 55.3% market share just one year ago in January 2018 vs. 32.5% for petrol. GPL for its part leaps up 8.2% to 12.162 and 7.3% share, one percentage point above its level of a year ago. Hybrids soar 17.8% to 8.520 and 5.1% vs. 4% in January 2018 but pure EVs are still a rarity in Italy: only 282 sales this month (+9.3%) or a minuscule 0.2% market share. Unsurprisingly, crossovers (+6%) are the only main segment in positive at 52.071 registrations and 31.5% share vs. 27.3% a year ago, while sedans/hatchbacks (-6.7%) hold 50.2% of the market at 83.117 units, 4x4s (-10.4%) are at 9.3% with 15.455 and station wagons (-34.1%) implode to 7.259 sales and 4.4% share vs. 6.1% in January 2018.

The Fiat Tipo station wagon is down 76.1% year-on-year in January.

Over in the brands ranking, Fiat (-29.1%) continues its catastrophic descent to hell, January marking its 14th double-digit decline in a row and, more worryingly, a new record-low market share at just 14.8%, only months after lowering that sad record to 16% (in June 2018), then 15.5% (August 2018) and 15% (September 2018)Fiat places just two nameplates in its home Top 20 in January with only the Panda (+30.3%) – still the overall best-seller – managing a satisfying score, whereas the Tipo (-67.7%), 500L (-60.4%), 500 (-58.5%) and 500X (-40.5%) all disappearing into oblivion. Up until last month the best-seller in this segment, the Tipo station wagon is smashed down 76.1% year-on-year… Overall the Fiat Group stumbles down 21.7% to 24.3% share vs. 28.6% in January 2019, just as PSA (+5.2%) advances to 18.3% vs. 16.1% and finds itself only 6 percentage points of market share below the once-unassailable fortress that was Fiat at home.

Volkswagen (+11.1%) on the other hand posts a diametrically opposed performance, managing a splendid double-digit gain and compensating for particularly poor post-WLTP scores towards the end of last year. Opel (+10.8%), Peugeot (+4.3%) and Citroen (+2.1%) are also in positive in the remainder of the Top 8 but Renault (-13.6%) and Ford (-11%) struggle. Lancia (+55.4%) and Dacia (+26%) round up the Top 10 in spectacular fashion, while further down DR Motor (+370.6%), Mahindra (+200%), Lamborghini (+155.6%), Mitsubishi (+84.5%), Volvo (+55.6%), Jaguar (+51%), Ferrari (+42.9%), Lexus (+28%), Smart (+14.1%) and Kia (+9.5%) excel whereas Porsche (-58.4%), Infiniti (-49.5%), Alfa Romeo (-45.3%), Audi (-37.1%), Nissan (-36.3%) and, quite uncharacteristically, Jeep (-16%) would rather forget January 2019.

The VW T-Roc is up to #4.

Model-wise, below the Fiat Panda (+30.3%), the only ray of sunshine for the embattled manufacturer, the Lancia Ypsilon (+55.4%) is trying to make us believe that its brand isn’t bound for deletion, while the Citroen C3 (-11.2%) drops by the double-digits but rallies back up 6 spots on December to snap the last spot on the podium. The VW T-Roc (+307.6%) is the brand’s best-seller in Italy, up 15 ranks on last month to equal its Italian ranking record at #4, also hit last September. The Toyota Yaris (+10.4%) shines anew at #5 but it’s the Dacia Duster (+15.8%) that delivers the performance of the month, smashing its all-time Italian ranking record from #10 in both July 2011 and August 2014 directly to #6, also this 2nd generation’s first incursion in the Italian Top 10 after raking #11 in August and December 2018… The Dacia Sandero (+36.1%) slips down one spot on last month to #11, meaning Dacia just misses out on placing two nameplates in the Italian Top 10 for the first time in history. Other great Top 50 performers include the Ford Ecosport (+99.2%), Mercedes A-Class (+76%), Citroen C3 Aircross (+65%), Kia Picanto (+64.8%), Opel Crossland X (+50.3%), VW Up (+39.4%), Toyota Aygo (+30.8%), Peugeot 3008 (+28.6%), Opel Karl (+25.9%), Opel Corsa (+24%) and Smart Fortwo (+23.2%) as well as the Hyundai Kona at #45.

Previous post: Italy Full Year 2018: Fiat falls 19.7% to 60-year low share, Renault Clio (#2) and Jeep Renegade (#5) break records

One year ago: Italy January 2018: Fiat 500X repeats at #2, Jeep Compass soars to #11

Full January 2019 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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