UK: B-Segment cars score in depressed European car market
Data released by automotive data firm JATO shows that B-Segment models occupied four of the top five spaces in Europe's car market last month as the overall market continued to decline.
JATO's data is consistent with that released earlier in the month by LMC Automotive and shows that Europe's new car market in January was down 9.6% on a year earlier.
The Volkswagen Golf continues to be Europe’s best-selling car, despite a fall of 17.8% in January sales compared to 2012. Four B-Segment cars, the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 complete the top five. The battle among the leading B-Segment cars for second place in the market is very close, only a few hundred units separating the Fiesta, Polo and Clio, with the 208 not far behind.
Out of the ‘Big Five’ European markets, only Great Britain saw any growth in January. Germany, France, Italy and Spain all experienced continued falls in vehicle registrations against a backdrop of econommic recession and austerity budgets across the continent.
Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, Vice President, Research at JATO said: “The new year has not seen any renewed demand for new cars in much of Europe. The market remains challenging and highly competitive.”
Outside the Top 10, Mazda, with sales up 25.0% thanks to the CX-5 crossover SUV, and Dacia, with sales up by 6.0% thanks to the introduction of the second generation Sandero hatchback and the new Lodgy MPV, were described by JATO as the 'rising stars of the market in January'.
Hession added: “The B-Segment is one of the most competitive in the European market. Recent product actions such as facelift Fiesta and the introduction of the Clio 4 and the 208 have added to the strength of this segment. With the Fiesta, Polo, Clio and 208 all selling such similar volumes, we anticipate the lead of this segment will change regularly during 2013.”
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NOTE: * denotes estimated volumes for January 2013
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