Last year proved once again that Europe’s segment-leading models are seldom knocked off of their No. 1 perches in annual sales.
Sixteen of the 24 segments tracked by Automotive News Europe, using data from market research company JATO Dynamics, were dominated by models that have maintained consistent leadership in their respective sectors.
In addition, last year's data showed that strong contenders consistently rise back to the top. Of the six models that were the segment leaders in 2017, just one was a newcomer. This was the Ford Edge, which passed the aging Volkswagen Touareg to top the large SUV and crossover sector. Two Mercedes-Benz heavyweights – the C class and S class – regained the No. 1 spots in the midsize premium and upper premium segments, respectively.
Two other new-old leaders were the Mazda MX-5 and Ferrari 488. The latest-generation MX-5 helped Mazda to return to the top of the convertible segment while the model changeover for the 488 helped Ferrari to regain the No. 1 position for exotic sales. In the minicar segment the Fiat 500 and Panda are the long-time leaders. Last year the upscale 500 dethroned the more affordable Panda, according to JATO figures.