The battle between Fiat Panda and VW Up! (and its cousins) seems to be never-ending. Last month the Panda was again the king of the segment compared to all of its rivals individually. However total sales registrations of Up!/Citigo/Mii are one thousand above Panda’s. The trio from VW benefited from a good month of Skoda Citigo, which is up 17% compared to October figures. Its cousins are also up but not that good. The Up! which counts for 63% of total sales, is up only 2%, while the Seat Mii is up 7%. In other side there is the Panda, down 9% compared to October. Those results allowed the German trio to achieve its record month and overcome the Fiat. As the Panda continues to be strongly dependent on Italian market, every time there is a fall in demand over there, its total results are severely affected. Meanwhile registrations of the Up! in Germany slow down while its figures in Denmark and the Netherlands continue to grow. In October Panda’s sales were 67% higher than Up’s. One month later the gap between them is reduced: the Fiat is 49% above. This time the Fiat 500, the other mini car from Fiat affected by the rising of Up! and Co. is not included in the analysis as its data is being distorted by 500L registrations. In some important markets (Germany and France) 500 sales figures include the 500L, so its numbers are bigger than what they are really. Due to the fact that is difficult to get the real data it will not be included as far that changes.
As it was cited before, the Panda is down 9% on a monthly basis. The reason for the fall is explained by Italy, where its registrations are down 16% in a total market that fell 10% in the same period. It was the only major market where the Panda had bad results because it did quite well in France and Germany. However, more sales in those markets and others like Austria or Switzerland don’t offset the fall in Italy, which counted for 68% of its total sales (in Austria, Czech Rep., Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland). In Spain things went really bad, as its registrations are down a massive 48%. Compared to its rivals, Panda’s registrations in Italy are almost the same of VW Up!’s total, while its foreign sales figures are 4.750 units, below Skoda Citigo + Seat Mii total: 5.948. It means that the Fiat is popular only because of Italy and loses market share in other markets. It’s a pity that this interesting and new product is affected so badly by European crisis. Fiat should strive for better positioning the Panda and opening more markets as it deserves more sales figures. This month production for the old Panda will be halted in Poland, so January sales are expected to drop. It is clear that Italy is Fiat’s natural market in Europe, but this market should not affect Fiat operations in other markets of that continent.
The VW trio had a record month. More than 16.000 units were delivered in November, boosted by the good performance of the Citigo, with more than 3.500 units. In the case of the Up!, its registrations are up 2% compared to October, thanks to excellent results in Denmark (+11%) and Netherlands (+6%), Switzerland (+23%) and Greece (+84%). In Germany it was down 1%, while in France it was up only 4 units (from 811 units in October to 815 in November). In Italy the Up! is down 7%, or 60 units. This trend confirms the success of this VW in small and mid size markets, and it’s not so good results in larger markets such as Italy, France and Spain. The Seat Mii, the less popular of the trio, had a wonderful month in Germany (+18%) and Ireland (from 5 units in October to 15 last month). In Denmark (-15%), its big success (as market share) is being affected by the lack of inventories, so consumers opt to buy the Citigo (+23%) or the Up!. However the greatest event in November came from Germany with the Skoda Citigo, up a massive 65% or 461 units. Germany and Denmark (accounting for 70% of its total sales) are the markets that allowed the model to have an interesting growth in sales. Opposite situation for most of other markets, where the small citycar is down: -38% in France or -20% in Czech Republic, its homeland.