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Italy February 2019: Fiat (-18%) down to 2nd lowest ever share, Lancia, Jeep, Opel strong in market down 3.2%

The Jeep Compass scores its 2nd ever podium finish in Italy.

It’s a 5th decline in the past 6 months for new car sales in Italy in February at -3.2% to 177.847 units, bringing the year-to-date tally down 5.4% or almost 20.000 sales to 343.758. Encouragingly, this decline is occurring in a healthier market, with private sales soaring 11.4% to 103.420 and 58.2% share vs. 50.5% a year ago, adding up to 210.097 (+7.5%) and 61.1% share vs. 53.8% so far this year. In contrast, rental sales tumble down 17.3% to 44.904 and 25.2% share vs. 29.5%, almost the same decline rate as YTD at -17.5% to 78.593 and 22.9% share vs. 26.2%. Short-term rentals are down 21.7% while long-term/leases are down 16.7% this month. Company sales are hit the hardest at -19.4% to 29.523 and 16.6% share vs. 19.9% and -24.4% YTD at 55.068 and 16% share vs. 20% over the same period in 2018. After historically outselling diesel sales in January, petrol deliveries continue to soar at +29.3% but this time return below diesel at 75.674 vs. 80.215 (-22.6%) or 42.6% vs. 45.1% share compared to 31.9% and 56.4% in February 2018. Petrol is ahead YTD at 150.506 (+28.6%) vs. 148.523 (-26.8%) for diesel, translating into 43.8% and 43.2% shares vs. 32.2% and 55.8% in 2018. GPL edges down 1.4% to 10.351 but is up 3.6% to 22.541 YTD. Hybrid sales gain 42.7% to 9.363 and are up 30% so far this year at 17.941 but EVs are panting at just +1.6% to 250 units and +5.8% to 533 YTD.

Excellent recovery for the Lancia Ypsilon up 39% at #2.

Brand-wise, Fiat (-18%) remains in hell, signing a 15th consecutive double-digit decline and falling to its second-lowest ever market share at home at 14.9%, only the second time in history it drops below 15% after last month. After placing only two nameplates in the Top 20 in January, Fiat has 5 in the Top 16 this month, but apart from the Panda (+22.5%) they all still post paltry results: the 500X (-20.2%), 500L (-31.8%), 500 (-40.2%) and Tipo (-47.3%) all imploding way faster than the market. Thanks to strong performances by Jeep and Lancia (see further down)m the Fiat Group limits its fall to -7.9% this month at 25% share leading to a YTD volume down 15% to 24.6%. The entire Top 5 brands is in negative this month, with Volkswagen (-1.6%) and Ford (-11%) completing the podium ahead of Peugeot (-1.6%) and Renault (-0.2%). Opel (+15.1%) and more strikingly Jeep (+37.9%) both lodge very impressive results in the remainder of the Top 10, with Toyota (+3.8%) and Citroen (+0.4%) also in positive but Dacia (-11.7%) struggling. Below, Mitsubishi (+113.2%), Volvo (+64.5%), Jaguar (+54.4%), Lancia (+39%), Land Rover (+20.3%), Seat (+20.1%) and Suzuki (+18.2%) all post stunning gains in the Top 30 while further down Tesla (+540%), Mahindra (+457.9%), DR Motor (+357.4%), Lamborghini (+81.3%), Ferrari (+70%), Ssangyong (+26.3%) and DS (+19.6%) are among the most dynamic.

The Panda (+22.5%) goes agains the grain of the rest of the Fiat lineup.

Over in the models ranking, the Top 6 best-seller all consistently ignore the surrounding gloom and post year-on-year gains, 5 of them at least double-digits. The Fiat Panda (+22.5%) is the only ray of sun for the brand, also climbing 26.5% YTD, same goes for the Lancia Ypsilon up 39% in February and 47.3% YTD while the Jeep Compass (+49.2%) leaps up 9 spots on January to score its second ever podium ranking after last August (also #3). The VW Polo (+10.1%) and Citroen C3 (+2.3%) follow but it’s the VW T-Roc (+156%) that posts the largest year-on-year improvement, managing a fantastic 6th place this month and ranking #5 so far this year in Italy. The Renault Captur (+34.7%), Toyota Yaris (+12.1%) and Jeep Renegade (+10.4%) also shine in the remainder of the Top 20 while further down, the Opel Crossland X (+65.1%), Renault Kadjar (+48.2%), Toyota C-HR (+36.8%), Hyundai Kona (#45) and Opel Grandland X (#48) confirm the SUV craze is here to stay in Italy. Finally, the Tesla Model 3 sells its first 80 units here this month, instantly taking the lead of the EV charts above the Nissan Leaf (46), Smart Fortwo (28), BMW i3 (20) and Jaguar i-Pace (12).

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

One year ago: Italy February 2018: VW up 20%, Fiat (-17%) and Lancia (-42%) sink

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

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