Compact cars: new Opel/Vauxhall Astra shines. Volkswagen Golf keeps the lead
The compact car segment posted an 8% increase in H1 2016 following drops posted by the market’s leader, VW Golf and other important players, whose fall was offset by big rises recorded by the new generation Opel/Vauxhall Astra, the Mercedes A-Class and Toyota Auris. Despite the Golf’s 2% fall and Astra’s 26% increase the Volkswagen still doubles the Astra’s volume. Other traditional leaders such as the Ford Focus, Audi A3 and Renault Megane registered falls during the half because of aging reasons, emissions scandal and the change of generation, respectively.
VW Group is still the absolute leader in this segment with 36% market share. However, it was lower than the share it had in H1 2015 of almost 39%. The Golf is being not only affected by the emissions issue but also by the fact that it is entering its fifth year of life after its introduction in 2011. Therefore it faces tougher competition from newer rivals like the Peugeot 308, new Astra and Renault Megane. In the meantime Fiat is back in the segment with the Tipo, which during the first six months of this year has sold 22,700 units, outselling other mainstream compacts like the Nissan Pulsar, and getting close to its cousin Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Mazda 3 and Honda Civic.