Europe: weak medium segment gaining volume thanks to station wagons image

Increased sales of estate versions of midsize models were responsible for paring the decline in deliveries of the segment in Europe, with predictions for flat volumes until at least 2018.

Thanks to higher demand for wagon versions of such top sellers as the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo, next to the feeble turnaround of the midsize sedan version have been responsible for the segment’s level sales of around 600,000 vehicles per year, with the trend set for the 2015 to 2018 period, according to IHS Automotive forecasts. According to figures from JATO Dynamics, the carmakers delivered 543,607 units in the segment on the Old Continent last year – which is massively down from 2011 when the regional sales topped 866,000 autos. The segment has been impacted by increasing rivalry with premium models that have become more accessible and sport utility vehicles and crossovers. But the wagons have remained a choice among consumers because there are practical and offer good value. The variant has captured around 60 percent of the segment last year, compared to just 30 percent in 2000, when sedans and hatchbacks dominated, says IHS Automotive.

“This segment had been under pressure for the past decade, but the wagon has been relatively resilient to this contraction as it remains something of a workhorse,” comments IHS analyst Ian Fletcher. “They offer customers a great deal of space and practicality.” The top market for midsize models in the region has remained Germany, followed by the UK, France, Spain and Poland. The best-selling models are the VW Passat, Opel Insignia, Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508 and Skoda Superb.

Via Automotive News Europe