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Italy November 2019: Smart Fortwo snaps first ever podium finish at #3, rental sales (+40.3%) lift market up 2.1%

The Smart Fortwo is artificially lifted to #3 in Italy in November.

The Italian new car market edges up 2.1% year-on-year in November to 151.573 registrations, yet the year-to-date volume remains in negative at -0.8% to 1.784.492. This month’s growth is artificial and entirely triggered by rental sales shooting up 40.3% to 35.257 and 23.3% share vs. 16.9% in November 2018, with short term rentals up 37.9% to 4.693 and long term leases up 43.7% to 26.662. Company sales are also in outstanding shape in November, surging 26.1% to 34.268 and 22.6% share vs. 18.3% a year ago including 26.281 self-registrations (+37.8%). In contrast, private sales implode -14.6% to 82.048 and 54.1% share vs. 64.7% a year ago. Year-to-date, the picture is rather different, with private sales still edging up 0.4% to 1.019.341 and 57.1% share vs. 56.5% over the same period in 2018, rental sales up 4.7% to 434.158 and 24.3% vs. 23% including 134.193 short-term (+4.7%) and 263.166 leases (+5.6%) but company sales (-10.2%) fall off a cliff at 330.883 and 18.5% share vs. 20.5% in 2018.

Petrol sales soar 15.1% year-on-year in November to 69.437 and 45.8% share vs. 40.7% in November 2018 whereas diesel is down -16.4% to 55.949 and 36.9% share vs. 45.1%. GPL is also down at -8.2% to 9.717 but hybrids surge 40.1% to 11.371 and 7.5% vs. 5.5% a year ago and EVs shoot up 130.2% to 1.068 but a still very discreet 0.7% share. Year-to-date, petrol is up 25.2% to 784.697 and 44% vs. 34.8% over the same period in 2018, diesel is down -22.6% to 721.165 and 40.4% share vs. 51.8%, GPL is up 8.2% to 127.318, hybrids up 30.7% to 106.412 and EVs up 109.9% to 9.722. In terms of car silhouettes, sedans and hatches are down -5% to 69.674 and 46% share vs. 49.4% in November 2018 whereas crossovers surge 11.3% to 52.040 and 34.3% share vs. 31.5% and year-to-date, sedans and hatches drop -4% to 836.738 and 46.9% vs. 48.5% and crossovers gain 15.1% to 595.696 and 33.4% vs. 28.8%.

The Dacia Duster is now #4 year-to-date in Italy.

Fiat (-1.5%) contains its loss to the single-digits for the 2nd month running and manages to bounce back above 14% share for only the 2nd time in the past 6 months. Volkswagen (+5.2%) remains strong at 9.3% share in 2nd place ahead of Ford (+8.5%), Renault (+4.5%) and Peugeot (-7.9%) replicating the YTD Top 5. Citroen (+6.2%) is also strong at #7, but not as much as Smart (+238.1%) filling up on artificial sales (self-registrations and rentals) and up 9 spots on October to break into the Italian Top 10 for what is believed to be the first time in history at #10. Below, Porsche (+367.5%), Tesla (+300%), DS (+135.3%), Mazda (+60%), Ferrari (+57.1%), Seat (+44.1%), Lamborghini (+35.7%), Lexus (+26.6%), Audi (+19.5%), Kia (+16.1%) and Alfa Romeo (+10%) all impress.

In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda (-13.3%) is once again head and shoulders above the competition at 7.1% of its home market and the only nameplate managing to reach at least 3% share. The Lancia Ypsilon (-3.2%) follows as per the YTD order but we have a surprise in third place: the Smart Fortwo (+222.1%) up 25 spots on October to break into the Italian podium for the first time in its 21-year career after cracking the Top 5 for the first time last August. The Dacia Duster (+36.8%) is up 5 ranks on last month to secure an outstanding 4th place, advancing to the same spot YTD. The Duster is the best-selling SUV in Italy for the month just above the Fiat 500X (+2.9%) at #5, the latter now up to #3 YTD like in 2018. This section of the YTD models ranking is very tight as only 832 sales separate the #3 from the #7.

The Jeep Cherokee breaks into the Italian Top 50 for the first time.

The Renault Captur (+45.4%) is boosted by discounts on the outgoing first generation, the Ford Fiesta (+27.5%) is strong despite being dearer than the last model and the Citroen C3 (+9.2%) remains sturdy at #6. The VW T-Cross is down again on last month but at #8 it is the best-selling Volkswagen in Italy for the third month in a row. Surprisingly as it is now ageing, the Peugeot 3008 (+23.8%) is up 6 spots on October to smash its Italian ranking record at #11 vs. #16 in September 2018, the VW T-Roc (+54.1%) puts an end to 10 consecutive Top 10 finishes at #12, the Fiat Tipo (+41.8%) and 500L (+63.9%) both get a breath of fresh air, the Opel Astra scores its first Top 50 since June 2017 at #25 thanks to its station wagon variant accounting for 66% of its November sales and snapping the #1 spot in the segment, the Volvo XC40 eclipses its ranking record for the 3rd straight month at #32 and the Jeep Cherokee (+900.9%) posts its first Italian Top 50 finish at #43.

Previous month: Italy October 2019: Volkswagen above 10% share for the first time this decade

One year ago: Italy November 2018: Fiat marks 12 consecutive months of double-digit losses, market down -6.8%

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

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