Once again here it is the monthly analysis of Fiat 500/Panda vs. VW Up!/Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii sales record. After a bad August for the Italian couple, as Italy was on vacations and car registrations were down as usual, in September things seem to get better. It is not that last month there were not sales fall in all major European markets, but in some, like Spain and Italy, September was the continuation of usual sales registrations seen till July. It is why, compared to August numbers, the Panda is up a massive 64%, thanks to Italy that counted for 79% of that growth. But compared to July results, the Panda was up only 3%. The 500 sold 8.451 units in the usual countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland). The only country not to be included this time is Slovakia, that has not yet released its data. In all those countries the trio from VW Group sold 13.716 units that could be a bit more as Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii sales figures for Italy are not available. It was the best month ever for the trio, up 14% compared to August and 4% compared to July. It is the second time they sell more than Fiat Panda, which was close with 13.659 units, a far away from Fiat 500.
As usual, Panda’s results are strongly dependent by Italian market which counted for 67% of its sales. But there things are not going well and this minicar sells much less than expected by Fiat at the beginning of the year. The reason: it is a great product, but there is no such market of some months ago. Germany was the second largest market with almost 1.500 units delivered, but it was the only European market to surpass the 1.000 units barrier. In France, where Fiat has a better position, the Panda sold less than 1.000 units, which is not good at all. It did quite well in Poland and Spain, but in the Netherlands its registration are far away from what happened at beginning of the year, when it sold around 1.000 units per month. In Austria and Denmark, the success of the VW trio has some effect on Panda’s demand, no matter it is stabilized around 200-250 units/month. The worst result comes from Greece, where the Panda has traditionally been the best-selling mini car thanks to strong private and renting demand. Though total car sales were down a shocking 42%, the Up! managed to be part of the top 10 during September and the very first competitor to be affected by this was the Panda. At the end the Panda continues to be successful in its segment but two different events affect considerably its registrations performance: the weak European demand and the success of the VW Up!.
VW is doing a good job in terms of units sold. Its trio is extremely popular in Denmark and the Netherlands while it seems to gain more market share in small markets such as Czech Republic, Greece, Slovenia, Romania and Ireland. Certainly Germany is and will continue to be the largest market for these models. The 3 sold more than 5.500 units, not far from the record achieved in July with 6.025 cars. But unlike what happens with the Panda and its native market, Italy, the trio is less dependent on Germany, as in September it counted for 41% of its total sales. In the opposite side the Up!, Mii and Citigo have not been able yet to achieve important numbers in big markets like Italy, France and Spain. Though the Up! had its best month ever in Italy, the importance of this segment over there could think it could have better registrations. In Spain, where mini cars are not really popular, the Mii is doing really bad, far away from the constant leaders, the 500 and Panda. Anyway VW wants more and is getting ready for 2 cylinders diesel available in the coming months. If the trend continues like this by the end of the year they will be able to accomplish their goal of getting an important market share in Europe’s A-Segment.
Finally Fiat 500, less dependent on Italy (42%), had a bad month, though it was much better than August (up 62%). It could not beat the barrier of 10.000 units/month as it did in May and June. However it was Italy’s third best-selling car in September and YTD figures show that is not far from the Ypsilon, the third best-selling car so far. It did a good job in Germany with more than 1.700 units delivered, allowing September to become the third best month this year (after March with 1.879 units and June with 1.844). In France it also had a good month, close to the average of the year. In the Netherlands, though it is quite far from the German trio, the 500 had its bets month so far with almost 700 units delivered. More or less what happened in Denmark, where the German trio dominates, but the small Fiat had its third best month so far. Contrary the 500 had a big and unreasonable fall in Spain, being September the worst month, as in Greece, where it has traditionally been a popular car. The price war there is in this segment will continue to affect negatively Fiat models as the popular 500 gets old and the new Panda does not offer the low prices it used to have its Polish predecessor. All this while VW make use of its dominant position and its profits from abroad to offer cheaper cars.