Industry Bites: The Five-Figure Club

It’s mid-February and the ACEA numbers for 2016 still have ‘provisional’ status.  


My interest here is in the brands which fell short of 100,000 registrations last year across the EU and EFTA countries. The audit is something of a blunt instrument. The supercar and ultra-premium marques do not even feature. Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti are counted in the 4,561 “other VW Group” registrations. Likewise FCA’s 8,211 others comprise mainly Dodge and Maserati. And yet, the 2,589 Chevrolets registered get their own billing.

Hapless Subaru, Infiniti and Daihatsu account for the 38,864 “Other Japanese” sales in the territories.

And so to the count, from bottom to top of the class:

Lexus: 44,898
DS: 65,657
Alfa Romeo: 66,172
Lancia: 67,225
Jaguar: 68,687
Porsche: 71,149


The big winner is Jaguar, up from 40,268 buoyed by the F-Pace effect. The only one of the six to lose numbers is DS, down 9,572 as they sink under the ‘being utterly crap’ effect.

Alfa Romeo’s growth is a disappointing 9,370, despite Giulia sales starting mid-year.

The last laugh, yet again, goes to the mighty White Hen. Lancia registrations are up 9%, and are a comfortable 1053 cars ahead of Alfa Romeo’s, confounding Sergio’s grand ambitions and massive investment.

All hail the Hen…

9 thoughts on “Industry Bites: The Five-Figure Club”

  1. I still can’t decide whether that’s a success or otherwise for Jaguar, given the introduction of two entirely new model lines plus a new model (XF). Shouldn’t they have sold even more tin with wheels?
    Then again, who would’ve guessed only a couple of years ago that Jag would outsell Alfa and challenge Porsche?

    1. F-pace’s saving Jaguar’s bacon, plain and simple. XE & XF are disappointments in most senses of the word, which makes the F-pace’s success (it’s already by far the most common Jag on the streets of Hamburg – and most examples aren’t dealer’s or rental company cars, as with so many XE/Fs) so crucial to the brand.

      I don’t believe this was the actual plan, but for the time being at least, the F-pace should constitute an end to Jaguar being utterly reliant on life support measures. Hopefully, this success will also result in a healthy budget for the saloons’ urgent facelifts.

    2. I suspect this state of affairs will only embolden JLR to produce more Jaguar branded crossovers at the expense of saloons, on the rationale that this is what the market wants. One thing’s certain anyway, they certainly don’t seem to want their current mainstream saloon offerings.

      As regards the Ypsilon, according to Car Sales Base – formerly Left-Lane, sales were up 13% in 2016, giving the aged model 8th position overall in the minicar sector, nipping at the heels of the Smart For Two. They just can’t seem to kill the hen…

  2. Do you wonder how many bigger Lancias would sell if they existed? If you were to pick a vehicle class for a second Lancia vehicle line what one would it be?

    1. Logic would suggest a high-riding B-segment SUV, so I’ll propose instead a micro-EV, with Twizy dimensions and a downright luxurious Alacantra trimmed-cabin, with lots of personalisation options.

      Or perhaps a Lancia-ised version of the Fullback (née Mitsubishi L200). Call it the Jolly or Esaro; it can’t be any worse than sticking Flavia badges on not very many Chrysler 200s.

  3. Just two years ago, Jaguar will still confidently proclaiming that every new model would be built on its sophisticated aluminium architecture.

    The next new Jaguar will be the E-Pace, based on the native FWD, transverse, steel ex-Ford platform that underpins the Evoque and Disco Sport.

    Cold, hard reality has bitten. It’s much easier to build a profitable SUV than any other vehicle right now, so that is their priority.

  4. Pray tell, what are those three ungainly sort of modernized Austin Devon lookalikes with small wheels in the first picture? Can’t say I remember having seen them before anywhere in my
    automotive world. Look like a modern Noddy car for Mrs Bumble. Are they the mighty white Hens?

    And, it’s Infiniti with an “i”.

    They can’t give away Fiats here in Canada: 2355 sales in total of 500, 500L, 500X and 124 by Mazda in 2016. In a 2 million car a year market. Imagine getting outsold by Infiniti (12094 sales) 5 to 1.

    Fankly, it’s a complete joke, as are the vehicles, in my humble opinion. No updates, same old, same old, ridiculously high pricing – a base Abarth is only $2K less than a WRX! If Chrysler didn’t sell a couple of million RAM pickups and Jeeps in North America each year and make some actual money, there wouldn’t be a single spare dollar to be changed into a euro to drop on the Italian operations and these new Alfas, whose engineering I personally would regard with deep suspicion anyway. All FCA vehicles are at the bottom of reliability lists, and Fiat is at the bottom of FCA.

    After the Fiat experience and losing money hand over fist after putting in “Salons” for them at their places of business, stocking parts, service training, computer systems, etc, there are exactly no dealers pressing to sell high-priced Alfas to lose even more cash. The entire FCA enterprise sits on a wobbly base that even a mild recession will cause to fall apart – they don’t even have a single actual, you know, car, to sell here; the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 having been cancelled. I dunno. It’s shaky. I could shed a tear of anguish if the product was any good but it objectively is not.

    1. I share your concern, Bill. Even Marchionne will run out of bunnies to pull from his hat at some point. I guess it does pay off in the end if the chap running the place actually knows and cares about the product he’s selling (no matter how fiercely intelligent he might otherwise be).

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