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Italy March 2019: Dacia Duster breaks into Top 5 in market down 9.7%

Dacia Duster sales surge 127.7% year-on-year in Italy in March.

Italy endures a 6th year-on-year drop in the past 7 months at a steep -9.7% in March to 194.428 units, pulling the year-to-date volume down 6.9% to 538.938. Once again though, despite the harsh fall the Italian market is getting healthier, with private sales down just 1.6% to 105.824 and 54.4% share vs. 49.9% a year ago, leading to a YTD tally up 4.4% to 316.389 and 58.7% share vs. 52.3% over Q1 2018. Rental sales on the other hand drop -13% to 57.189 and 29.4% share vs. 30.5% in March 2018 leading to a YTD volume down 15.5% to 135.960. Short-term rentals are down -19.2% in March and -20.2% YTD while long-term leases drop just -7.2% this month nd -13.9% YTD. Finally company sales completely implode at -25.3% to 31.415 and 16.2% share vs. 19.5% a year ago, behaving similarly YTD at -24.7% to 86.589 and 16.1% share vs. 19.9% in Q1 2018.

This month diesel volume (-25.2%) is back above petrol (+9.9%) at 87.811 vs. 80.151, the same situation happening YTD with diesel (-26.1%) at 236.651 and petrol (+21.6%) at 230.940, making Italy one of the last European markets where diesel is still dominant. GPL sales edge up 2.7% to 12.848 and up 3.4% YTD to 35.425, hybrid sales soar 35.1% to 10.254 this month and up 32.3% to 28.296 YTD and EV sales are up 42.1% to a still minuscule 621 units for March, up a more measured 22.7% to 1.155 so far in 2019. Absolutely all segments are down except crossovers (+17.5%), reproducing this situation YTD (+10%). The hardest hit are large MPVs (-48.8%), compact MPVs (-47.5%) and cabriolets (-42.8%). Station wagons (-28.6%), a peculiarity of the Italian market, are struggling also YTD (-26.9%).

In the brands ranking, if Fiat (-21.4%) endures an incredible 16th consecutive month of double-digit decline, at 16.3% share the carmaker is stepping away from the lowest-ever shares it fell to in January (14.8%) and February (14.9%), reaching its highest level since last July. Opel (-1%) and Volkswagen (-3.2%) outpace the market in the Top 5 but Ford (-20.7%) and Renault (-12.1%) struggle. Dacia (+81.2%) majestically posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 (and Top 30!), stepping up to #8 overall. Toyota (-0.1%), Citroen (-2.6%) and Peugeot (-5.3%) hold well but for Jeep (-8.2%) it’s a disappointing month, down 3 spots to #10, even though the brand improves its share year-on-year. Further down, Mitsubishi (+45.5%), Lexus (+26%), Lancia (+15.5%), Seat (+14%) and Volvo (+12%) stand out in the Top 30 while among smaller brands Mahindra (+372%), DR Motor (+250.6%), Tesla (+249.4%) and Lamborghini (+71.4%) are the most impressive.

Model-wise, the best-sellers Fiat Panda (+2.6%) and Lancia Ypsilon (+15.5%) continue to buck the trend and top the ranking, followed by the Renault Clio (-6.5%) and Fiat 500X (-25.1%). The Dacia Duster (+127.7%) brilliantly breaks into the Italian Top 5 for the first time in history, eclipsing its previous ranking of #6 established last January. The VW T-Roc (+77.2%), although dropping three spots on February, manages a third consecutive Top 10 finish and outsells the Polo to become the best-selling Volkswagen in Italy for the 2nd time in the past 3 months. The Dacia Sandero (+49.2%), Toyota Yaris (+14.5%), Jeep Compass (+6.1%) and Fiat 500L (+2.1%) also score solid results in the remainder of the Top 20. Further down, the Audi Q3 (+87.4%), Opel Crossland X (+58%), Toyota C-HR (+32.9%), Citroen C3 Aircross (+28.5%), Peugeot 3008 (+23.6%), Renault Kadjar (+23.6%), Hyundai Kona (#39) and Opel Grandland X (#46) confirm the SUV fashion is here to stay in Italy. Finally, notice the Tesla Model 3 easily taking the lead of a sluggish EV charts with 232 sales in March and 312 YTD vs. 96 and 195 for the Nissan Leaf, 68 and 135 for the Renault Zoe, 39 and 49 for the Audi e-Tron, 29 and 55 for the Jaguar i-Pace and 25 and 147 for the Smart Fortwo.

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

One year ago: Italy March 2018: Fiat (-20%), Lancia (-37%) dive, Jeep (+77%) soars

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

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