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

Jeep sales are up 77% but that doesn’t compensate for Fiat and Lancia drops.

* See the Top 45 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market drops 5.7% year-on-year in March to 214.774 units, the second yoy decline in a row after 9 consecutive months of gains. The year-to-date volume switches to negative at -1.5% to 578.113 registrations after three months. Once again it is private sales that darken the overall picture significantly: they fall heavily at -14.8% to 107.108 units and 49.9% share vs. 55.2% in March 2017, leading to a year-to-date tally down 11.3% to 302.408 and 52.3% share vs. 58.1% over the same period a year ago. In contest, rental sales are up 5.1% to 65.772 and 30.6% share vs. 27.5% in March 2017, with short term rentals down 0.4% to 33.154 and long term rentals, or leases, up 11.4% to 32.618. Year-to-date, rental sales are up a blooming 12.1% to 160.972 (27.8% share vs. 24.5% in 2017), with short terms up 9.8% to 75.863 and long terms up 14.3% to 85.109. Company sales also shine in March at +5.9% to 41.895 (19.5% share vs. 17.4%), leading to a year-to-date volume up 12.3% to 114.733 (19.8% share vs. 17.4%).

DR Motor sales are up 81% in March. The dr4 is a Chinese JAC S3 assembled locally. 

This time diesel sales fall faster than petrol but remain dominant at -9% to 116.994 (54.5% share vs. 56.4%) with petrol sales down 3.9% to 72.876 (33.9% share vs. 33.3%). Year-to-date, diesel is down 2.5% to 319.826 (55.3% vs. 55.9%) and petrol down 3.2% to 189.843 (32.8% vs. 33.4%). Hybrid sales are up 28.5% to 7.516 this month and up 33.1% to 21.292 so far in 2018. Looking at body types, sedans/hatches crumble 12.6% to 107.699 (50.1% share vs. 54.1% in 2017) and station wagons drop 15.6% to 14.117 but crossovers gain 13.1% to 54.770 (25.5% vs. 21.3%) and 4WDs surge 25.6% to 21.022 (9.8% vs. 7.3%).

The Fiat 500X ranks #2 at home for the third time in the past 4 months, and ever.

It’s another painful month for brands leader Fiat, crumbling down 20% year-on-year to just 18.8% share. This is Fiat’s 6th consecutive year-on-year decline, 4th double-digit decline in the past 5 months and 8th month in a row below 20% share. Year-to-date, Fiat is now down a heavy 15% to 18.7% share. In contrast like last month, #2 Volkswagen is the healthiest in the Top 6 with a 9% gain leading to 8.5% share. The German carmaker is up 10% to 8.3% so far in 2018. Ford (-8%) remains third while Renault reclaims the 4th spot overall off compatriot Peugeot (-0.2%) despite dropping a harsh 16%. Similarly, Opel (-10%) is back above Citroen (+19%) despite a heavy loss. Up 2 spots on February to #8, Jeep tries to compensate for Fiat’s disappointing results by surging 77% on March 2017 to a round 4% share – but FCA is down 13% overall to 28% share vs. 30.3% in March 2017. Other great performers include Jaguar (+88%), DR Motor (+81%) and Seat (+33%) but steep drops are a lot more frequent, such as Infiniti (-74%), Ferrari (-40%), Lancia (-37%), Porsche (-32%), Lamborghini (-30%), Mahindra (-26%), Subaru (-25%), Maserati (-23%) and Mini (-23%).

First Top 25 ranking for the VW T-Roc in Italy…

Over in the models ranking, the Fiat Panda signs a 5th consecutive double-digit year-on-year decline at -23% to 6.3% share, yet this is still more than double its nearest competitor: the Fiat 500X going against the grain at +11% to a best-ever 2nd place overall, also hit last December and January. The Fiat Tipo tumbles down 31% to #3 with 43% of its March sales going to the station wagon selling 2.5 times the #2 in the segment, the Ford Focus. The Fiat 500 is down 10% to #4, meaning Fiat monopolises the podium for the 2nd straight month, doing so YTD also, in the same order. The Ford Fiesta rallies back up 5 spots on February and is the best-selling foreigner for the 2nd time in the past 3 months despite a 10% year-on-year drop. The Lancia Ypsilon continues to disintegrate at -37% but gains 3 ranks on last month to #6.

…and first Top 30 ranking for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Picture

The VW Golf surges 70% to #7, distancing the Renault Clio (-17%) and Citroen C3 (+17%) while the Jeep Renegade (+4%) climbs back into the Top 10 for the first time this year. The Jeep Compass is up two spots on February to #14, clearing dominating recent launches (<12 months) ahead of the VW T-Roc, again improving on its record ranking by a sizeable 9 steps on February to #24, the Citroen C3 Aircross down two to #32 and the Opel Crossland X down 1 to #42. Other heroes of the Top 50 include the Toyota Yaris (+21%), Ford Ecosport (+33%) equalling last month’s all-time record #19, its second ever Top 20 ranking in Italy, the Dacia Sandero (+67%), Peugeot 3008 (+83%), the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+327%) breaking into its home Top 30 for the first time at #30, and the Opel Karl (+79%).

Previous month: Italy February 2018: VW up 20%, Fiat (-17%) and Lancia (-42%) sink

One year ago: Italy March-April 2017: Fiat Tipo steps up

Full March 2018 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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

Fiat Tipo sales are up 39% but Fiat as a whole drops 17% at home in February. Picture

* See the Top 45 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market marks a pause in February with sales down 1.4% to 183.147, the first year-on-year decline in the country since April 2017, yet the YTD volume remains in positive at +1.1% to 362.735. But the picture would have been much worse without the efforts, again, of rental and company sales. Rental deliveries surges 18.9% to 54.216 or 29.6% share vs. 24.6% a year ago with short-term rentals up 15.1% to 26.283 and long-term/leases up 22.7% to 27.933. Company sales gain 7.8% to 36.501 or 19.9% share vs. 18.2% in February 2017 but for private sales, it’s a hell month: down an abysmal 13% to 92.430 units or 50.5% share vs. 57.2% a year ago. Year-to-date, private sales are down 9.5% to 194.888 (53.7% share vs. 60% in 2017), rental sales are up 17.4% to 95.137 (26.2% vs. 22.6%) and company sales up 16.1% to 72.710 (20% vs. 17.4%). Once again diesel sales resist better than petrol at -0.9% to 103.177 and 56.3% share with petrol sales down 5.4% to 58.459 and 31.9% share. Gpl sales are down 10.1% two 10.484, methane sales up 62.6% to 4.287, hybrid sales are up 18.6% to 6.249, plug-in hybrids up 65.5% to 245 and electric sales up 105% to 246. In terms of body types, sedans/hatches tumble down 12.4% to 89.070 units or 48.6% share vs. 54.8% a year ago whereas crossovers surge 34.1% to 51.110 or 27.9% share vs. 20.5% in February 2017, 4WDs are up 19.5% to 16.549 and station wagons are down 11.1% to 11.442.

Imminent death? The Lancia Ypsilon falls 42% to its lowest ranking in over 5 years.

In the brands ranking, leader Fiat once again posts very disappointing results at -17% to just 17.8% share, its 5th straight year-on-year decline and 7th consecutive month below 20%. Volkswagen on the other hand is very healthy at +20% to 8.9%, the brand’s highest share since August 2014 and its largest year-on-year gain since December 2016. Ford (-1%) rounds up the podium above Peugeot (+13%) and Renault (-4%). In the remainder of the Top 10, Jeep surges 80%, Dacia soars 49% to #9 (highest ranking since last July) and Citroen is up 24%. Further down, notice Jaguar (+38%), Seat (+34%), Alfa Romeo (+19%), Skoda (+15%), Maserati (+14%) and among smaller brands DR Motor (+97%), Lamborghini (+78%) and Lada (+50%). Reversely quite a few carmakers register steep declines, the highest profile being Lancia down a harsh 42%. Sold exclusively in Italy since 2015 and with just the Ypsilon to show for a lineup (we reported on this back in May 2014), the days of this once majestic brand founded in 1906 now truly look like they are counted, with Lancia to be added to Fiat’s atrocious track record at keeping marques alive after the deaths of Autobianchi in 1995 and Innocenti in 1996 after just 6 years of Fiat ownership. In 2013 we reported on rumours of an Autobianchi revival as Fiat’s low-cost brand in Europe but this never came to fruition. Other brands hit hard in Italy in February include Infiniti (-75%), Tesla (-63%), Smart (-32%), Mahindra (-30%), Volvo (-30%), DS (-27%) and Honda (-24%).

The VW T-Roc improves its best ranking to #33 while the Golf (+22%) and Polo (+14%) shine.

Atop the Italian models ranking, the Fiat Panda endures another difficult month at -35% to 5.6% share, yet that’s still double any other nameplate in market. With the Tipo up 39% to #2 (35% for the station wagon leader in its segment), the 500 up 2% to #3 and the 500X up 8% to #4, Fiat monopolises its home Top 4 for the first time since last June and also does so YTD. The VW Golf soars 22% to #5, becoming the best-selling foreign nameplate in Italy for the 2nd time in the past 4 months (it ranked #2 in November) above the Citroen C3 (+25%) and VW Polo (+14%) all very dynamic. As detailed above, the Lancia Ypsilon is down 42% to #9, its lowest ranking since December 2012, while last month’s foreign leader the Ford Fiesta (-13%) is down to #10 and last 4 years’ foreign leader the Renault Clio (-15%) is down to #11.

The new model propels the Ford Ecosport into its very first Italian Top 20. Picture

The Dacia Duster surges 89% to #12, its highest ranking since August 2014, and ranks #2 outright in diesel sales (+159%) below the Fiat 500X, the Ford Ecosport is up 68% to a record #19, the nameplate’s first incursion inside Italy’s Top 20, the Peugeot 3008 is up 150% to #22, also a record, the Ford Kuga is up 40% to an all-time high #23 also hit in August 2017, the Nissan Micra is up 49% and the Mercedes GLA up 102%. The Citroen C3 Aircross improves its best ranking by 8 spots to #30 and the VW T-Roc by 13 to #33.

Previous month: Italy January 2018: Fiat 500X repeats at #2, Jeep Compass soars to #11

One year ago: Italy February 2017: Market up 6.2%, Suzuki Ignis breaks into Top 50

Full February 2018 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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

The Fiat 500X is the 2nd best-seller at home for the 2nd month running.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market is up 3.4% to 179.167 registrations in January, with company and rental sales the sole responsible for the year-on-year gain: private sales plunge 6.3% to 102.168 and 57% share vs. 63% a year ago whereas business sales shoot up 25.7% to 36.126 and 20.2% share vs. 16.6% in January 2017 and rental sales leap up 15.5% to 40.873 and 22.8% share vs. 20.4%. Short term rentals are up 26.2% to 16.379 and 9.1% share vs. 7.5% in 2017 while long term rentals, or leases, are up 9.3% to 24.494 and 13.7% share vs. 12.9%. Continuing a trend that goes against the rest of Europe, diesel sales are on the up in Italy at +3.8% to 98.988 units and 55.2% share whereas petrol sales are down 0.2% to 58.353 and 32.6% share. GPL is down 2% to 11.203, hybrids are up 51.1% to 7.154, methane sales are up 3.5% to 3.209 and electric vehicles are up 38.3% to a meagre 260 units. Sedans+hatches drop a harsh 8.1% to 88.885 and fall below 50% of the market at 49.6% vs. 55.8% a year ago whereas crossovers soar 39.7% to 48.988 and 27.3% share vs. 20.2% a year ago. 4x4s are up 21.8% to 17.185 and station wagons down 4.4% to 10.942.

The Jeep Compass ends January just 51 sales off a first Top 10 ranking in Italy.

Brand-wise, homegrown market leader Fiat records a 6th consecutive month below 20% share at 19.4% and a fourth year-on-year decline in a row at -8%. Volkswagen (+1%) and Ford (-1%) hang onto their FY2017 positions at #2 and #3 respectively, both lodging stronger market shares. Peugeot nudges up one spot to #4 thanks to sales up a very robust 15% on January 2017, distancing Renault (-5%) while Jeep (+108%), Citroen (+24%) and Audi (+17%) also post very impressive gains inside the Top 10. Below, Porsche (+55%), Suzuki (+45%), Tesla (+45%), Nissan (+34%), Skoda (+34%), Mazda (+33%), Alfa Romeo (+28%), DR Motor (+24%), Land Rover (+23%), Jaguar (+20%) are among the most dynamic brands for January but Infiniti (-66%), Lancia (-27%), DS (-26%), Honda (-25%), Maserati (-21%), Subaru (-21%) and Smart (-19%) are the hardest hit.

The Ford Fiesta and Citroen C3 are the best-selling foreign nameplates in Italy in January.

The Fiat Panda remains the best-seller at home but drops a steep 25% year-on-year to 6.3% share. The Fiat 500X surges 83% on January 2017 and manages to stay at a record 2nd place overall for the second month running and ever. In third position, the Ford Fiesta (+28%) reclaims the title of best-selling foreigner it used to hold annually until 2012. It is the first time since October 2016 that the Fiesta is the #1 foreign nameplate in Italy. It distances the Citroen C3 (+40%), itself outselling the foreign leader of the past 4 years, the Renault Clio (-27%), for the 4th consecutive month. The Fiat Tipo (+16%) ranks 5th overall thanks mainly to its station wagon variant representing 39% of its January deliveries.

First Italian Top 50 ranking for the VW T-Roc. All pictures 

After four months outside the Top 20, the Jeep Compass surges 22 spots to end January a mere 51 sales off a historical Top 10 outing at #11, distancing the Renegae (#13) for the first time. The Nissan Micra (+565%), Renault Kadjar (+102%), Dacia Duster (+65%), Peugeot 3008 (+61%), Ford Ka+ (+46%) and Opel Karl (+46%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 50, while the Toyota C-HR breaks its ranking record at #26, the Opel Crossland X equals its highest ranking at #35 (also hit last October), the Alfa Romeo Stelvio records a third Top 50 ranking ever (after last July and November) and both the Citroen C3 Aircross (#38) and VW T-Roc (#46) break into the monthly Italian Top 50 for the very first time.

Previous post: Italy Full Year 2017: Fiat Tipo on podium in largest market this decade

One year ago: Italy January 2017: Fiat 500 up to 2nd place, Toyota and Citroen shine

Full January 2018 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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Italy Full Year 2017: Fiat Tipo on podium in largest market this decade

The Fiat Tipo nameplate is on the year-end Italian podium for the first time in 27 years.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 60 years of Italian Historical Data here

New car sales in Italy register their fourth consecutive year of gains at +7.5% to 1.988.470 units, the largest annual volume since 2009 (2.157.791) and up 52% on the low of 1.310.949 hit in 2013. However under this stellar results hide pretty unhealthy evolutions. Private sales are actually down this year at -1.8% to 1.121.085 registrations, seeing their market share tumble down from 61.8% in 2016 to a record-low 56.4% this year. In fact, the Italian market is artificially pulled up in 2017 by both company sales and rental sales. Company sales shoot up 27.5% to 434.483 units or 21.9% share vs. 18.4% last year while rental sales surge 18.2% to 432.902 and 21.8% share vs. 19.8% a year ago. In the detail, short term rentals (one of the most artificial way to boost registrations) are up 20.9% to 173.840 deliveries while long term rentals are up 16.5% to 259.062.

Italy 2017 – monthly sales by channel. Source UNRAE

Contrary to most other large European markets, diesel sales actually grow in Italy in 2017 at +6.2% to 1.128.211, yet losing some share at 56.7% of the market vs. 57.4% a year ago. Petrol sales are up 4.8% to 628.996 or 31.6 vs. 32.4%, GPL sales are up 26.5% to 129.812 and 6.5% share vs. 5.6% while hybrid sales are up 71% to 66.760 and 3.4% share vs. 2.1% and electric sales are up 38.6% to 1.945 vs. 1.403 in 2016. Once again crossovers boost overall sales at +30.3% to 444.643 units and 22.4% share vs. 18.5% last year while “berlines” (sedans/hatches) are up just 3.3% to 1.042.368 and 52.4% share vs. 54.6% a year ago and 4×4 sales are up 6.8% to 164.707. Station wagons are up 1.7% to 140.946 and 7.1% share, Cabriolets are up 27.9%, coupes up 16.9%, but Small MPVs are down 11.9% and compact MPVs down 7.8%.

The Fiat Panda has now topped the annual sales charts in Italy for 6 straight years.

Brand-wise, Fiat logically continues to dominate but trails the market at +4% and posts its lower annual share this decade at 20.2%, scoring sub-20% shares for the entire second half of the year and falling to a lowest-in-decades 16.5% in November. Volkswagen also gains 4% to see its share erode to 7.3% just as Ford evolves like the market at +8% to remain at 6.7%, threatened for third place by Renault up 13% to post the same market share for 2017. Peugeot also impresses with a 11% gain allowing it to overtake Opel (+4%) for 5th place overall. Toyota (+18%) and Citroen (+29%) deliver the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 10, the latter returning to the Top 10 at #8 for the first time since 2014. Audi reclaims the premium leadership off Mercedes thanks to sales up 5% vs. +2% to the Stuttgart carmaker. BMW comes in third like in 2016, edging up just 2%. Nissan for its part soars 14% and three spots to #11, Skoda is up 18%, Dacia up 21%, Jeep up 22%, Alfa Romeo up 25%, Suzuki up 37%, Lamborghini up 41%, Maserati up 42%, Chevrolet up 43%, Tesla up 100%, Aston Martin up 141% and Lada up 414%.

The Citroen C3 hit a best-ever #3 monthly ranking twice in Italy this year.

In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda is the best-selling vehicle in Italy for the sixth straight year but drops 1% to see its market share thaw from 8% in 2016 to 7.3% this year. For the second year in a row, the Panda outsells all brands in the Italian market bar Fiat and its 2017 volume is still almost 2.5 times the amount of the next best-seller, the Lancia Ypsilon also in difficulty at -8% to just 3% share. Helped by a complete lineup including hatch, sedan and station wagon, the Fiat Tipo leaps up 77% to #3 for its second full year of sales, even snapping the #2 spot below the Panda five times this year (March, May, June, August and September). It is the first time in 27 years that the Tipo nameplate appears inside the Italian annual podium (since 1990 when it ranked #2). The Tipo obliterates the station wagon segment thanks to 17.936 sales (+380%) and 12.7% share above the Audi A4 (10.594), Renault Megane (9.838) and Skoda Octavia (9.138).

The Renault Clio is the best-selling foreigner in Italy for the fourth time in a row. 

With the Fiat 500 at #4 (+19%), the Fiat 500L at #6 (-15%) and the 500X at #7 (-1%), there are six local nameplates in the Italian annual Top 7 for the second year in a row and only the third time since 1984. The Renault Clio is the best-selling foreign nameplate for the fourth consecutive year, dropping one spot to #5 despite sales up 6%. One of the heroes of the year is the Citroen C3 shooting up 76% to #8 and 2nd best-selling foreigner thanks to the new generation, even snapping its first monthly podium rankings in 13 years in October and December (#3). The Ford Fiesta (-5%) and VW Golf (-7%) round up the Top 10, with the latter hitting its highest monthly position in 24 years at #2 in November. The Peugeot 3008 (+239%), Renault Scenic (+170%), VW Tiguan (+89%), Nissan Micra (+61%), Ford Kuga (+58%), Renault Megane (+50%), VW Up (+33%), BMW 1 Series (+32%), Dacia Sandero (+31%), BMW X1 (+23%) and Mini (+21%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 50 while the Toyota C-HR (#32) and Audi Q2 (#47) both brilliantly manage to end their first full year of sales in Italy well inside the Top 50.

Previous month: Italy November 2017: Fiat hits lowest share this decade at 16.5%

Previous year: Italy Full Year 2016: 6 Italian nameplates in the Top 7 for the first time in 32 years

Two years ago: Italy Full Year 2015: Panda leads, Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade superstars

Full Year 2017 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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Italy November 2017: Fiat hits lowest share this decade at 16.5%

The Tipo (-22%) is pulling Fiat down 13% to its lowest share at home this decade.

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Italian new car sales are up 5.7% year-on-year in November to 158.203 units, meaning the year-to-date tally is now up 8.4% to 1.863.941, and marking an impressive 46 months of gains out of the past 48 (four years). The only declining months over the period were May 2014 and April 2017. The November score was made possible by strong company sales up 12.4% to 36.190 or 22.9% share vs. 21.5% a year ago, and even more so by rental sales shooting up 29.7% to 30.709 or 19.4% share vs. 15.8% in November 2016. Short term rentals are up 41.6% while long-term are up 26.4%, so strong all around. In contrast, private sales are actually down this month at -2.6% to 91.304 units or 57.7% share vs. 62.7% a year ago. Year-to-date, the evolutions are similar, with company sales up a stunning 29.3% to 401.893 or 21.6% share vs. 18.1% over the same period in 2016, rental sales are up 18.6% to 413.748 or 22.2% vs. 20.3% (short term up 20.5% and long term up 17.5%) and once again private sales are down by 1.1% to 1.048.300, seeing their share thaw from 61.6% to 56.2%.

The VW Golf is at its highest in Italy in… 24 years! 

In the brands ranking, market leader Fiat posts a particularly weak score this month: down 13% to just 16.5% share vs. 20.4% year-to-date, the brand’s lowest share at home in over five years. In fact, Fiat has seen its market share decline continuously in the past six month: from 22.4% in May to 21.5% in June, 20.1% in July, 19.9% in August (the first time below 20% in two years, since August 2015), 19.5% in September and 17.8% in October… Reversely, Renault shoots up 21% to 2nd place with 7.6% share but remains at #4 year-to-date. It distances Volkswagen (+6%), Ford (+9%) and Peugeot (+11%) while Toyota (+24%) and Citroen (+45%) post the largest gains in the Top 10. Volvo (+20%), Alfa Romeo (+21%), Mini (+23%), Smart (+30%), Skoda (+36%), Suzuki (+36%), Dacia (+43%) and Jeep (+49%) also impress further down.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio smashes its ranking record to #36.

The Fiat Panda remains in control of the Italian models ranking in spite of a 19% drop to 6.7% share but the event is in 2nd place: thanks to deliveries up 18%, the VW Golf is up a further two spots on October to hit its highest ranking ever in Italy. According to BSCB records, the last time the Golf ranked #2 in Italy was in February 1993. However these were different times and 13.340 sales were necessary to hit that level back then, for a 6.9% market share. Extreme market fragmentation and the proliferation of nameplates since means only 3.918 sales and 2.5% are enough for the Golf to be #2 this month… Below the Lancia Ypsilon down 11%, the Toyota Yaris is the other nameplate hitting a high at #4, its second consecutive month inside the Top 5 after a five year-drought and its best ranking in Italy since December 2012 (#3).

The Toyota Yaris is at its highest in five years.

The Citroen C3 is down two ranks on last month but up 61% year-on-year to a very robust 5th place, distancing the Renault Clio (-14%), Fiat 500X (+3%) and Jeep Renegade (+7%). The Fiat 500 is back up 22% but down to #10, the Renault Captur is up 29% to #11, but the Fiat Tipo continues to worry the carmaker with sales down 22% year-on-year and its station wagon variant freefalling down 36% to #4 in the segment vs. #1 YTD. The VW Tiguan is up 17%, the Dacia Sandero up 49%, the Dacia Duster up 25%, VW Up up 122%, Renault Kadjar up 48% to #23 (highest since June 2016), Peugeot 3008 also up 48%, Ford Kuga up 168%, Renault Scenic up 236% and the Mini Countryman up 81%. The Jeep Compass leads recent launches at #26 ahead of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio up 16 spots to a record-breaking 36th place. The Opel Crossland X is the third new nameplate in the Top 50 at #47 (-12).

Previous month: Italy October 2017: Citroen C3 hits highest ever ranking at #3

One year ago: Italy November 2016: Fiat Tipo back up to 4th place

Full November 2017 Top 43 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Italy October 2017: Citroen C3 hits highest ever ranking at #3

The last time the Citroen C3 nameplate ranked that high in Italy was over 13 years ago. Picture

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The Italian new car market is up 7% year-on-year in October to 159.835 registrations, a slightly lower rate than the year-to-date 8.6% improvement to 1.705.053 units. Once again private sales slow down the market with a meagre 4% gain to 92.707 and 58% share vs. 59.7% a year ago. In contrast, rental sales are up 13% to 29.743 units and 18.6% share vs. 17.6% a year ago, with short term rentals up 10.6% and long term up 13.8%. Company sales are up 10.1% to 37.385 and 23.4% share vs. 22.7% in October 2016. Year-to-date, company sales clearly pull the market up at +31.2% to 365.532 and 21.4% share vs. 17.8% over the same period a year ago, with rental sales also aggressively up at +17.8% to 382.957 and 22.5% share vs. 20.7% in 2016. Short term rentals are up 199% to 154.715 while long term are up 16.4% to 228.242. Private sales are actually in negative so far this year at -1% to 956.564 and 56.1% share vs. 61.5% a year ago.

One segment is pushing Italian sales into positive this month: crossovers up a striking 38.5% to 39.486 sales and 24.7% share vs. 19.1% in October 2016. “Berlines” (sedans and hatchbacks) are up just 0.4% to 80.902 and 50.6% vs. 53.9% a year ago. SUVs are up 7.4%, station wagons down 11.6%, small MPVs down 10.3% and compact MPVs up just 0.8%. Brand-wise, homegrown market leader Fiat is the only carmaker in negative in the Top 12 at -4% to 17.8% share, a full three percentage points below the 20.8% it holds so far this year. Volkswagen is up a timid 2% to 7.3% while Renault shoots up 28% to 6.5%, ahead of Ford down 0.03% to 6.3%. Hyundai (+17%), Peugeot (+18%), Toyota (+24%) and Citroen (+44%) all beat the market in the Top 10. Below, Seat (+21%), Skoda (+21%), Land Rover (+29%), Suzuki (+40%), Jeep (+48%) and Dacia (+48%) shine.

First Italian Top 5 ranking in almost five years for the Toyota Yaris. Picture 

In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda manages to double the market growth at +14% to 8.3%, that’s three times the amount of the #2, the Lancia Ypsilon in difficulty at -18% but breathing a little better at #2 spot year-to-date now that the Fiat Tipo dives down to #14 overall in October (-13%) below the Punto… The Citroen C3 soars 80% on October 2016 and 10 spots on last month to land at an outstanding third place, the nameplate’s best ever monthly ranking in Italy, last hit over 13 years ago in July 2003, October 2003, May 2004 and June 2004. Although the C3 ranked #2 overall in the annual 2003 Italian charts, it never ranked higher than #3 in the monthly tables. Below the VW Golf up a strong 19% to #4, the Toyota Yaris posts the other high performance in the Top 10, up 17% to #5 which is its first Top 5 month in almost five years, since the #3 hit in December 2012. Over the past decade, this is only the 9th time the Yaris ranks among Italy’s five best-sellers, the others are: #2 in December 2007, #3 in December 2008 and December 2012, #4 in April 2008, #5 in July 2008, September 2008, March 2009 and October 2009.

Further down the ranking, notice also the Peugeot 208 up 20% to #7, the Renault Captur up 33% to #12, the Dacia Duster up 29% to #17, the Dacia Sandero up 65%, the VW Up up 107%, the Peugeot 3008 up 222%, the Ford Kuga up 109%, the Hyundai i10 up 43%, the Nissan Micra up 118%, the Renault Kadjar up 62%, the Renault Scenic up 4714%, the Ford B-Max up 65% and the Mercedes GLA up 35%. The Jeep Compass is up one spot to #23, comfortably leading all recent launches, ahead of the Opel Crossland X up 12 spots to #35 and the Toyota C-HR up  9 to #36. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is back up to #52, missing a second Top 50 ranking for 37 sales.

Previous month: Italy September 2017: Nissan Micra shines in market up 7.9%

One year ago: Italy October 2016: Rental sales spruce market up 10%

Full October 2017 Top 43 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Italy September 2017: Nissan Micra shines in market up 7.9%

The Nissan Micra breaks into the Italian Top 20 for the first time in 5 years.

* See the Top 42 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market is up 7.9% year-on-year in September to 168.531 units – the best score for the month since 2009, pushing the year-to-date total up 8.8% to 1.544.701. This means we have now seen 15 consecutive positive quarters and 44 positive months out of the past 46, the only exceptions being May 2014 and April 2017. However as it was the case last month, September’s gain is purely artificial with private sales actually down 3.9% to 89.798 units and 53.3% share vs. 59.8% a year ago. Year-to-date, private sales are now down 1.5% to 863.565 and 55.9% share vs. 61.7% over the same period in 2016. In contrast, rental sales are up a stunning 26.8% to 33.618 and 19.9% share vs. 17% in September 2016, with short term rentals taking off at +93.4% to 10.225 and long term rentals up 10.2%. Year-to-date, rental sales are up 18.2% to 353.176 units or 22.9% share vs. 21% last year. Company sales are almost as impressive this month at +24.3% to 45.115 and 26.8% share vs. 23.2% a year ago, bringing the year-to-date total up 34.1% to 327.960 units and 21.2% share vs. 17.2% over the first 9 months of 2016.

The VW Golf is the best-selling foreign nameplate in Italy this month.

Looking at sales by bodytype, hatch/sedans are down 1.9% to 84.685, crossovers are up 44% to 39.704 and up 29% year-to-date to 331.327, SUVs are up 11% to 15.424 and station wagons up 7.1% to 12.015 mainly due to the arrival of the segment’s new best-seller the Fiat Tipo SW (1.614) which accounts for one-third of the nameplate’s sales at home this month. Over to the brands ranking, with Fiat once again trailing the market growth at just +3% to 19.5% share, well below the 21.1% it commands year-to-date. Volkswagen remans at #2 with 8.2% share, one full percentage point above its YTD level while Renault manages to stay on the podium thanks to deliveries up a whopping 26%, keeping Ford (-0.4%) at bay, the latter being handicapped by a second consecutive counter-performance of its star nameplate the Fiesta (-55% to #27). In the Top 10, Toyota (+10%), Peugeot (+13%), Citroen (+20%), Audi (+23%) and most strikingly Nissan (+58%) all outpace the market. Below, notice Alfa Romeo (+14%), Dacia (+16%), Suzuki (+34%), Jeep (+44%), Seat (+61%) and Ferrari (+81%) while Maserati (-26%), Mitsubishi (-27%), Subaru (-29%), Infiniti (-32%), Ssangyong (-46%) and Jaguar (-51%) struggle.

The new Jeep Compass shoots up to #24.

In the models ranking, after falling to a five-year low last month at 5.6% share, the Fiat Panda returns to its YTD level in September at 7.4% but trails the market with a timid +1%. The Fiat Tipo (+62%) ranks #2 for the fourth time in the past five months and is now 562 sales below the Lancia Ypsilon (-13% this month) for the #2 YTD spot. Below the Fiat 500 up a robust 18% to #4, the VW Golf is the most popular foreign nameplate at #5 thanks to deliveries up 22%. It is the first time in one year – since September 2016 when the VW Polo was #1 – that the Renault Clio isn’t the best-selling foreigner in Italy. Just outside the Top 10, the Citroen C3 (+35%) and VW Tiguan (+30%) continue to shine thanks to new generations. It’s also a radically new model that propels the Nissan Micra (+205%) inside the Italian Top 20 for the first time in five years (since September 2012) at #18. The new Jeep Compass shoots up to #24, with the Renegade (#12) making it two Jeeps in the Italian Top 25 for the first time in history. Notice also the BMW X1, Ford B-Max (both up 51%), Ford Kuga (+87%), Peugeot 3008 (+695%) and Renault Scenic (+1283%) posting spectacular gains. The Nissan X-Trail (#38) and Opel Crossland X (#47) both sign their very first Italian Top 50 ranking. Finally, in the bad news aisle, the Fiat Punto (-34%) falls to #21 this month, the first time the once-dominant nameplate ranks outside its home Top 20 since it was originally launched in November 1993.

Previous month: Italy August 2017: Fiat Tipo hits record share in market up 15.8%

One year ago: Italy September 2016: Fiat 500L and VW Polo shine in market up 17%

Full September 2017 Top 42 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Italy August 2017: Fiat Tipo hits record share in market up 15.8%

The Fiat Tipo hits a record 3.9% share just as the Fiat Panda is at its lowest in 5 years.

* See the Top 45 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market leaps up 15.7% in August to 84.104 registrations, the highest result for the month since 2009. The Italian market has now been in positive for 43 of the past 45 months (only May 2014 and April 2017 showed a decline). However this month the growth is entirely artificial: company sales are up a whopping 50.2% to 21.331 and 25.4% share vs. 19.5% a year ago and rental sales are up 41.8% to 13.492 and 16% vs. 13.1% in August 2016. Short term rentals are even up 76% to 3.194. In contrast, private sales only edge up 0.6% to 49.281 and 58.6% share, tumbling down from 67.4% in August 2016. Year-to-date, Italian sales are up 8.8% to 1.375.637 but private sales are actually down 1.2% to 773.502 and 56.2% share vs 62% over the same period in 2016. Company sales are up 35.7% to 282.680 and 20.5% share vs. 16.5% in 2016 and rental sales are up 17.4% to 319.445 and 23.2% share vs. 21.5% a year ago…

The Ford Kuga is up 64% year-on-year in August. Picture

Fiat remains of course the preferred brand in Italy but trails the market at +13%, resulting in a weaker 19.9% market share compared to the 21.4% it commands year-to-date. Volkswagen (+12%) is back in 2nd place above Renault up a whopping 42% to #3 and Ford up just 8% to #4. Peugeot (+20%), Citroen (+32%), Toyota (+35%), Audi (+39%) and Nissan (+50%) all post spectacular gains within the Top 10. Below, notice Mercedes (+22%), Jeep (+23%), Seat (+26%), Alfa Romeo (+36%), Suzuki (+36%), Volvo (+37%), DS (up an unusual 55%) and Mahindra (+180%). Dacia (-1%) and Kia (-7%) are the only Top 20 brands in negative while further down, Lexus (-30%), Ssangyong (-31%) and Infiniti (-34%) struggle.

The Audi Q2 hits a record 34th place in August. 

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda remains unsurprisingly on top, but with sales only edging up 2% year-on-year, it slumps to its lowest market share in over five years (since July 2012) at 5.6%. The Fiat Tipo for its part gains 50% to 3.9% share – a record for this new generation – and returns to the 2nd place for the third time ever after last May and June. The Tipo is now only 634 sales below the Lancia Ypsilon in the race for the #2 spot YTD. The Renault Clio shoots up 92% to cement its #1 foreigner title at #4, distancing the Fiat 500L (+21%) and Fiat 500 (+26%) while the Citroen C3 (+69%) stays at #7. Excellent performances of the VW Tiguan (+47%), Nissan Qashqai (+38%) and Ford Kuga (+64%), The Toyota C-HR (#27) dominates recent launches (<12 months) just as the Audi Q2 jumps 16 spots on July to hit a best-ever #34. Notice also the Audi Q5 up 169% to #39 and the Renault Megane up 104% to #47.

Previous post: Photo Report: The cars of Ventimiglia, northern Italy

Previous month: Italy July 2017: Fiat 500 and Punto on podium

One year ago: Italy July 2016: Hatchback lifts Fiat Tipo to 7th place

Full August 2017 Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Photo Report: The cars of Ventimiglia, Northern Italy

Fiat Panda x 2 in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017

It’s been two years since our last Photo Report in Ventimiglia, at the border with France northwest of the country, so it’s time for our traditional update. You can also see the 2013 Photo Report here. See also our 2016 Photo Report on driving a Panda in Sardinia here. If last time the car parc seemed immobile compared to two years prior because of a particularly weak Italian market over the period, this year the differences are blatant and the renewed dynamism of Italian car sales shows. In 2017, it’s like all drivers of the small town on the Italian “Riviera” had given each other the word: Panda. It’s a total invasion I witnessed in the streets of Ventimiglia, the nameplate finally justifying its continued domination of the market – it has now been the local best-sellers for five straight years and is headed towards a 6th consecutive one in 2017. All Panda generations are well represented in the streets but the latest one clearly coming on top.

Fiat 500 in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017 Fiat Tipo in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017 

The Fiat 500, overwhelmingly dominant at the time of my two previous Photo Reports, takes a step back in line with its receding towards the second half of the Italian Top 10 over the past couple of years. It is still the second most common vehicle in town though. My main element of curiosity coming here was to check the popularity of the new Fiat Tipo which has managed to climb up to 2nd place for a couple of months in 2017, currently stands at a stunning third position in the 2017 YTD ranking and totally obliterates the Station Wagon ranking. And the proof is in the pudding: I did spot five Tipos in a little more than one hour spent in town, two sedans, two station wagons and just one hatch. I would have expected the hatch to be more prevalent. Granted, the sample is tiny.

Renault Clio in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017 

Lancia Ypsilon x2 in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017

Also very frequent in Ventimiglia this year are the Renault Clio – logical, it will be the best-selling foreigner in the country for the 4th straight year in 2017,  the Lancia Ypsilon – but less so than the two previous times I was here, the Renault Twingo, and a surprisingly high number of Dacia Duster.

Fiat Panda Cross in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017Fiat Tipo SW in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017
Smart Forfour and Fortwo in Ventimiglia, Italy – August 2017A valiant 1989 Fiat Uno surviving in Ventimiglia.

Italy July 2017: Fiat 500 and Punto on podium

The Fiat 500 is up 111% to 2nd place at home this month. 

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Italian new car market is up 5.7% year-on-year in July to 146.563 registrations, leading to a year-to-date tally up 8.3% to 1.290.744 units. It is a clear slowdown of the market gains Italy has shown over the past three months, and the culprit is private sales, down 1.8% nationwide and hit hardest in South Italy (-6.8%). The overall market owes its growth to company sales up a whopping 25.7% and rental sales up 8.7%, driven by short term rentals. Over the first seven months of the year, private sales lose 5.5 percentage points to 56.1% share.

After falling to the bottom of the Top 20 in recent months, the Fiat Punto is back on the podium.

Fiat continues to dominate the brands ranking head-and-shoulders but gains just 0.5% this month to 20.1% share. Ford (+9%) gains two spots on June to #2 and is with Fiat the only carmaker to post a five-digit sales figure in July. Volkswagen (-3%) remains in third place, Peugeot impresses with a 32% year-on-year improvement in 4th position, overtaking Opel (+11%) to now rank 5th year-to-date. Renault (-8%), #2 in June, is down to #5 this month. Toyota surges 37% to #7, Dacia continues to gallop ahead at +31%, up two spots on last month to #8, Citroen is up 27%, Nissan up 19%, Kia up 10%, Jeep and Alfa Romeo up 27%, Suzuki up 39% Porsche up 50% and Maserati up 99%.

The Citroen C3 is now threatening the Renault Clio for the title of best-selling foreigner. 

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda stays comfortably on top despite a 14% drop, but the hero of the month is the Fiat 500 up a formidable 111% year-on-year to land in 2nd place. This is only the fourth time – the second time this year – in the decade-long career of the “Nuova 500” that it ranks as high as #2 after September 2008June 2014. and last January. The ageing Fiat Punto (+5%) is showing great form this month, climbing onto the podium for the first time in a year and after falling as low as #19 last April. The Lancia Ypsilon is back up four spots on June to #4 but drops 5% and the Fiat Tipo is down three but up 13% to #5. Still the best-selling foreigner, the Renault Clio loses 14% and is now threatened by the Citroen C3 boosted up 116% by the new generation.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio breaks into the Italian Top 50 for the first time this month. 

Last month the Dacia Sandero broke into the Italian Top 10 for the very first time, and in July it reiterates this feat thanks to deliveries up 29% lifting it to #10 once again. The Toyota Yaris (+14%) and Peugeot 208 (+15%) also shine close to the Top 10. Further down, the Nissan Qashqai (+21%), Dacia Duster (+34%) and Opel Mokka (+23%) make themselves noticed while the Peugeot 3008 is up 11-fold on the previous generation to #22, its highest ranking yet in Italy. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio breaks into its home Top 50 for the very first time at #42.

Previous post: Italy First Half 2017: Fiat Tipo lands in third place, teases Ypsilon for #2

Previous month: Italy June 2017: Dacia Sandero breaks into Top 10, market up 12.9%

One year ago: Italy July 2016: Hatchback lifts Fiat Tipo to 7th place

Full July 2017 Top 40 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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