One more month and good news for Fiat. In March, it was one of the few brands with positive growth in Europe, just when Germany, France, and Spain markets had double-digit drops. The ‘resurrection’ of Fiat (who knows if it will continue like that) was possible to the success of the 500L. This new mini MPV has become that popular that last month it exceeded Fiat 500’s sales in Italy and the company said that production target could be easily met. In my monthly analysis, which includes 15 European markets, Fiat sold more than 7 thousand units of the 500L. The result allowed this Fiat to be, once again, Europe’s best-selling B-MPV. Besides, it has become a way to offset the dramatic fall of the Punto. Actually, Fiat is trying to position the 500L not only as a MPV but also as a larger B-Segment in order to hit its competitors and help Fiat to stop losing market share in this segment.
Considering Ford B-Max, Citroen C3 Picasso, Hyundai ix20, Kia Venga, and Opel Meriva, as the base of the comparison, the 500L led again with 7.110 units circa (Germany and Sweden numbers are estimated). This result is 58% more than February record and allows the 500L to gain market share. In February its sales counted for 23%, and one month later the share jumped to 27%, against the fall of the B-Max, C3 Picasso, ix20 and Venga. Only the Meriva and the 500L had record share in March. A big part of the success of the 500L is explained by an excellent month in Italy, which counted for 64% of total. Therefore the dependence became stronger as Italy counted for 50% of the 500L sales in February. Still, it doesn’t mean that Italy is the only market where this Fiat succeeds. It had a record month in Czech Republic, Spain, and France. Besides, the car was recently introduced in the UK (where I am sure it will be an instant hit) and Poland. Compared to its rivals, the 500L is ahead of the second place (in March occupied by the Meriva) by 40%. This is much more than the difference there was between the 500L and the B-Max one month later (the Fiat sold 9% more than the Ford). Once again, good for the 500L (as it is an excellent product) and good for Fiat.