Italy: car market rose 2%. Mini’s advertising campaign reinvents “half-a-car” loan formula.

Accordingly with data released by UNRAE, the Association of Italian Importers, cars sold in Italy in January 2014 have been 117.802 up 2.6% from last year and second year-on-year increase in a row following three years of decline.

“Half a Car” was a financial offer developed in US in the eighties and imported in Italy, almost 25 years ago, by Ford. It consists in financing a vehicle, calculating the loan only on the half of vehicle price and for two years. After this period, the customer in entitle to continue the loan, give back the car or substitute the car with a new one. It is a great formula to reduce the ownership period –selling more cars – apply high interest rate – making more money on financing – and sell included in the price options, like insurance and accessories.

In these 25 years, Ford was always the best in the sales process of their product, called “Idea Ford” and all competitors have introduced this formula in their loans line up, with mixed results. In our opinion, no-one was able to communicate this formula as “Smart”, before the new Management of Mini started a campaign, to communicate their product, called “Mini Free2drive”. The communication simply gave a name to the Countryman, Pietro (Peter in Italian) and the payoff is “If You like, its name is Pietro”. In Italy there is a very famous (and old) byword saying, more or less” My name is Peter Comes-back” meanings that who has this name, always return back..

In the following year

Looking at top Brands performance:

Fiat sold 24.712 cars with share at 21.0%, up 1.1 points from December and back at usual 2012 performance. Fiat leading models in the market are still there, with Panda and Punto 1st and 2nd and 500L and 500 respectively in 4th and 5th. So, why to develop new models if Italians still like old ones? Why someone should expect at least one new model each year for one of the top ten car Brands in the World?

Volkswagen in second sold 9.421 cars with share flat at 8.0%, down 0.5 points from December and 0.3 points from Q4. Best-selling models Golf and Polo ranked respectively 7th and 9th while Up! was 27th.

Ford in third sold 7.454 units with a share of 6.3%, down 0.7 points from December, really not a good start. The best-selling models Fiesta ranked 8th, down 4 spots, while Focus was 27th and C-Max 31st.

Peugeot advanced in 4th, up 2 spots, with 6.347 units and a share of 5.4%, up 0.5 points from the previous month. The 208 ranked 12th in the year, while new 2008 was 14th.

Renault was 5th with 6.284 sales and 5.3% of share, up 0.1 points from the previous month. Clio was the best imported vehicle in 6th place, up 2 spots, while Captur slipped in 23rd, down 8 spots.

Lancia was 6th with 5.664 sales and share at 4.8%, up 0.1 points from December. The bestselling model was the Ypsilon ranked third with 4.4% of share while the rest of line up sold only 0.4% of Italian market. However, in February Fiat has launched an SVP pf Delta and we will keep the performance in the next. (for readers below 40s, we must explain that SVP means Special Version Model, something very usual in the eighty of last century, consisting on “launching” Colors & Trim in an old model, with a phantasy name, rather than design, project and produce a new vehicle. You should agree SVPs is something less expensive and easier to do).

Citroen recovered the 7th place, up 4 spots from December, with 5.607 retails and 4.8% of share, up 1.2 points from December. Top model was the C3 advanced in 13th, up 4 spots, while C3 Picasso was 20th.

Opel fell in 8th, down 4 spots, with an awful start of the year selling 5.602 vehicles with a share of 4.8%, down 1.1 from the previous month. The top model Corsa ranked 11th while Astra ranked 30th and Mokka 34th.

In The table below, the Top 30 Brands ranked by last month position:

Rank Jan

Rank Dec

Rank 2013

Brand

Sales Jan

Share I Half ’13

Share Q3 ’13

Share Q4 ’13

Share Dec

Jan

1

1

1

Fiat

       24.712

21,5%

20,9%

20,3%

19,9%

21,0%

2

2

2

Volkswagen

         9.421

8,2%

7,6%

8,3%

8,5%

8,0%

3

3

3

Ford

         7.454

6,8%

6,6%

6,7%

7,0%

6,3%

4

6

6

Peugeot

         6.347

4,8%

4,8%

5,1%

4,9%

5,4%

5

5

5

Renault

         6.284

5,0%

4,9%

5,3%

5,2%

5,3%

6

7

8

Lancia

         5.664

4,4%

4,3%

4,3%

4,7%

4,8%

7

11

7

Citroen

         5.607

4,7%

4,4%

3,9%

3,6%

4,8%

8

4

4

Opel

         5.602

5,5%

5,1%

5,5%

5,9%

4,8%

9

8

9

Toyota

         4.948

3,9%

4,3%

4,7%

4,6%

4,2%

10

12

10

Audi

         4.906

3,6%

3,9%

3,5%

3,2%

4,2%

11

14

11

Nissan

         3.954

3,7%

3,7%

3,3%

3,1%

3,4%

12

10

12

Mercedes

         3.703

3,4%

3,4%

3,5%

3,6%

3,1%

13

9

13

BMW

         3.473

3,2%

3,3%

3,4%

3,7%

2,9%

14

16

17

Dacia

         3.382

2,0%

2,4%

2,1%

2,3%

2,9%

15

13

14

Hyundai

         3.237

3,0%

3,0%

2,8%

3,1%

2,7%

16

17

16

Kia

         2.799

2,3%

2,4%

2,2%

2,0%

2,4%

17

15

15

Alfa Romeo

         2.405

2,5%

2,6%

2,2%

2,4%

2,0%

18

18

18

Chevrolet

         2.265

1,9%

2,4%

2,0%

1,6%

1,9%

19

22

19

Smart

         1.670

1,5%

1,6%

1,6%

1,2%

1,4%

20

19

20

Mini

         1.479

1,3%

1,3%

1,4%

1,5%

1,3%

21

23

22

Land Rover

         1.427

1,1%

1,0%

1,0%

1,0%

1,2%

22

21

21

Suzuki

         1.207

1,0%

1,0%

1,3%

1,4%

1,0%

23

24

24

Skoda

         1.133

0,8%

0,8%

0,8%

0,7%

1,0%

24

25

25

Seat

             997

0,8%

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

0,8%

25

20

23

Volvo

           904

1,0%

1,0%

1,2%

1,4%

0,8%

26

26

26

Jeep

             523

0,4%

0,4%

0,5%

0,5%

0,4%

27

27

28

Honda

             475

0,3%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

28

28

27

Mazda

             474

0,4%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

29

32

31

Porsche

             366

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,3%

30

29

30

Mitsubishi

             241

0,2%

0,3%

0,3%

0,3%

0,2%

In the table below, the top 40 models, ranked for the last month position:

Rank Jan

Rank Dec

Rank 2013

Brand

Sales Jan

Share I Half ’13

Share Q3 ’13

Share Q4 ’13

Share Dec

Share Jan

1

1

1

Fiat Panda

           8.384

8,0%

7,2%

7,7%

7,6%

7,1%

2

2

2

Fiat Punto

           5.775

5,0%

5,0%

4,3%

4,3%

4,9%

3

3

3

Lancia Ypsilon

           5.188

3,5%

3,5%

3,7%

4,1%

4,4%

4

5

5

Fiat 500L

           4.526

2,6%

3,4%

3,2%

3,1%

3,8%

5

7

4

Fiat 500

           3.866

3,2%

2,6%

3,0%

2,8%

3,3%

6

8

6

Renault Clio

           3.521

2,7%

2,3%

2,3%

2,4%

3,0%

7

6

8

Volkswagen Golf

           3.392

2,4%

2,1%

2,7%

2,9%

2,9%

8

4

7

Ford Fiesta

           3.198

2,4%

2,6%

2,8%

3,2%

2,7%

9

9

9

Volkswagen Polo

           2.864

2,5%

2,1%

2,5%

2,1%

2,4%

10

11

11

Toyota Yaris

           2.477

1,8%

2,0%

2,1%

2,1%

2,1%

11

10

15

Opel Corsa

           2.464

1,6%

1,6%

1,7%

2,1%

2,1%

12

13

12

Peugeot 208

           2.275

2,0%

1,9%

1,6%

1,7%

1,9%

13

17

17

Citroen C3

           2.039

1,4%

1,4%

1,5%

1,3%

1,7%

14

16

64

Peugeot 2008

           1.873

0,1%

0,4%

1,6%

1,4%

1,6%

15

18

10

Nissan Qashqai

           1.707

2,3%

1,9%

1,5%

1,3%

1,4%

16

22

18

Smart Fortwo

           1.670

1,2%

1,6%

1,6%

1,2%

1,4%

17

14

13

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

           1.635

1,8%

1,9%

1,4%

1,5%

1,4%

18

17

21

Dacia Sandero

           1.558

0,9%

1,4%

1,3%

1,3%

1,3%

19

23

16

Mercedes A Class

           1.529

1,7%

1,1%

1,2%

1,1%

1,3%

20

26

22

Citroen C3 Picasso

           1.470

1,1%

1,3%

0,8%

1,0%

1,2%

21

35

49

Dacia Duster

           1.420

0,6%

0,7%

0,6%

0,7%

1,2%

22

32

27

Audi A3

           1.372

0,9%

1,2%

0,9%

0,8%

1,2%

23

15

33

Renault Captur

           1.334

0,3%

1,2%

1,5%

1,5%

1,1%

24

19

26

Mini Countryman

           1.284

0,9%

1,0%

1,2%

1,3%

1,1%

25

28

32

Kia Sportage

           1.233

0,7%

0,9%

0,8%

0,9%

1,0%

26

38

24

Ford Focus

           1.209

1,2%

0,9%

0,8%

0,7%

1,0%

27

20

23

Volkswagen Up!

           1.193

1,1%

1,1%

1,0%

1,3%

1,0%

28

29

43

Hyundai i10

           1.045

0,6%

0,7%

0,8%

0,9%

0,9%

29

55

50

Audi Q3

               996

0,6%

0,5%

0,6%

0,5%

0,8%

30

31

28

Opel Astra

               995

1,0%

0,9%

0,9%

0,8%

0,8%

31

25

20

Ford C-max

               981

1,2%

1,0%

1,0%

1,0%

0,8%

32

33

56

Toyota Auris

               974

0,5%

0,5%

0,8%

0,8%

0,8%

33

24

30

Hyundai ix35

               956

0,9%

0,9%

0,9%

1,0%

0,8%

34

45

44

Opel Mokka

               943

0,7%

0,7%

0,6%

0,6%

0,8%

35

21

25

BMW 3 Series

                912

1,0%

1,1%

1,1%

1,2%

0,8%

36

36

36

Toyota Aygo

               861

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

37

50

31

Chevrolet Spark

               836

0,7%

0,9%

0,8%

0,6%

0,7%

38

41

41

Ford B-Max

               813

0,6%

0,9%

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

39

58

48

Land Rover Evoque

               807

0,7%

0,5%

0,5%

0,5%

0,7%

40

32

29

Mercedes B Class

               801

0,9%

0,9%

0,8%

0,8%

0,7%

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