Fiat's Punto was the Italian market top-seller for the month just gone with 12,910 units finding buyers; meanwhile the Fiat Panda (above, 100 HP version) added 11,216 units and the Fiat 500, with 7,153 sales, made it a top-three lock out for the Fiat brand.


Making its first appearance in the Italian sales data is the Giulietta which amassed 1,803 registrations during June, a very welcome boost for the ailing Alfa Romeo brand, and that performance planted the new model firmly as the eighth best-seller in the category. Above: The Giulietta seen out testing close to the Chrysler Group's world headquarters in Michigan as the brand contemplates a return to the U.S. market.

Fiat Group sales continued to plunge in Italy for a third consecutive month: during June it was down 27.40 percent year-on-year, well adrift of the overall market which shed 19.12 percent and meant the domestic carmaking giant's share of all sales contracted to 30.48 percent. This was however moderately better than last month when the Fiat Group's share of its home market dropped below the 30 percent threshold for the first time in five years. According to automotive trade body UNRAE, a total of 170,625 passenger vehicles were sold in Italy during June.

With total sales for June of 52,011 units the Fiat Group was down more than 20,000 units on the same month last year (71,645 units in June 2009) to contribute to a 27.40 percent year-on-year decline and a shrinking in its market share by over three percentage points from 33.96 to 30.48 percent year-on-year. It all meant the Italian carmaker was again hit harder than most in the slowdown after state incentives targeted at environmentally-concious cars were withdrawn at the end of March. The Fiat brand was the hardest hit in year-on-year terms, it saw 39,082 cars registered last month, that was down more than 15,000 units on the same month last year and added up to a 29.50 percent year-on-year collapse in sales. Lancia's two month resilience to the sharply falling market came to an abrupt end in June, it sold 7,680 cars for the month just gone and that was down 26.65 percent year-on-year, while Alfa Romeo, with 5,116 sales last month, continued to shed numbers as usual, although its year-on-year drop was trimmed to 9.23 percent (and just under 500 units down) as demand for the new Giulietta positively impacts on its data: the new C-segment hatchback accounted for more than one-in-three of all its sales. It all meant that the Fiat brand's Italian market share for the month just gone dropped from 26.28 to 22.91 percent year-on-year, Lancia slipped from 4.96 to 4.50 percent while Alfa Romeo comfortably outperformed the market and thus its share of all sales rose from 2.67 to 3.00 percent.

Of the Fiat Group's niche luxury/performance brands, Ferrari added a further 84 units in last month (the California, 41 units, and the 458 Italia, 39, made up the bulk of Maranello's sales) putting the sports car maker up a very healthy 47.37 percent year-on-year, while Maserati's 49 units was exactly the same number it sold during June 2009 leaving it unchanged.

After the first six months of the year the Italian new passenger car market has seen 1,163,602 registrations and the strength it showed during the first three months of 2010 still counteracts the steep declines of the last three months which means the market remains in positive territory, up by 2.91 percent for the year-to-date. After its recent battering in the showrooms the Fiat Group has however dropped into negative territory for the year-to-date: it has a total of 360,594 registrations for the year-to-date which is down 4.67 percent (and 18,000 units) on the same opening six months of last year and its share of its home market for the period slips from 33.45 to 30.99 percent year-on-year. The Fiat brand has 278,804 registrations for the year-to-date, down 5.34 percent year-on-year, and that means its market share slips from 26.05 to 23.96 percent, Lancia is on 53,444 units for the year-to-date, up 3.91 percent, and its market share has increased from 4.55 to 4.59 percent, while Alfa Romeo's year-to-date total of 27,597 cars sold is down 12.32 percent year-on-year and its share of all sales in Italy declines from 2.78 to 2.32 percent year-on-year.

For the year-to-date the Ferrari division is on 459 sales in Italy which puts the sports car maker up 3.61 percent year-on-year with demand mostly being made up from the 2+2 convertible California (259) and the new 458 Italia (158). Meanwhile Maserati's sales continue to sharply head south: it has amassed 290 registrations after the first six months of 2010 and that leaves the Trident brand's sales down by a quarter (-24.28 percent) year-on-year. It's best-seller for the year-to-date is the GranTurismo coupé which with 142 registrations accounts for half of all the Modenese carmaker's sales.

While the Fiat Group saw its sales slide last month the Fiat Punto (including Punto Classic, Grande Punto and Punto EVO combined) was the market's top-seller for the month with 12,910 units finding buyers, while the Fiat Panda (11,216) and the Fiat 500 (7,153) made it a top-three lock out for the Fiat brand as the latter model pushed Ford's Fiesta (5,769) into fourth spot. Lancia's Ypsilon (4,559) was the ninth best-seller in Italy for the month of June to make it four Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) models in the top-ten. For the year to date the Punto (96,833) is the biggest selling car in Italy with the Panda (82,576) in second place, the 500 (41,228) in fourth and the Ypsilon (26,253) in tenth.

The Punto was also Italy's best-selling diesel model during June with 5,903 examples being specified by customers in this format. Amongst LPG powered cars the Punto was also the number one choice with customers during June with 1,739 sold. The Panda (943) was the fourth best selling LPG model in last month while after the first half of the year the Punto has seen 23,631 LPG sales which leaves it in second place, well adrift of the top-selling Fiesta, while the Panda (10,187) and Ypsilon (7,230) are sixth and tenth respectively. In the category for methane-powered cars, FGA had a top-three lock-out in June with the Panda (1,055) leading out the Multipla (823) and Punto (522), while making it four representatives in the top-ten was the Fiat Qubo (110) in seventh place; this Fiorino-based model has suffered more than most of its methane-powered Fiat sisters with a tailing off of sales with the withdrawal of generous incentives. For the year so far the Panda (16,935), Punto (14,025), Qubo (7,407) and Multipla (3,483) hold the top-four positions amongst methane-powered cars.

In A-segment the Panda and 500 locked out the top two spots in Italy last month while in B-segment the Punto was the toop choice with customers with the Ypsilon fourth and Alfa Romeo's MiTo (2,270) ninth. Of the 500's sales, 641 were the 500C and this allowed the new model to top the class for convertibles with more than three times the sales volumes of its closest rival, Smart's ForTwo. However the convertible version of the 500 has barely made a dent in initial sales projections due to it being somewhat overpriced compared to its closed-roof sister. The MiTo's sales for June were slightly down on what it achieved during the same month last year but its sales for the year-to-date now stand at 17,849 units which is more than 1,500 up on the same period of 2009. The MiTo was also Italy's top-selling coupé car last month, a category in which it is counted.

In C-segment the Fiat Bravo continues to see its sales slide and with 2,484 units sold it only manage fourth place, more than 2,000 units down on the same month last year, and while its sales were nearly half that of the segment leading VW Golf during June it was however within shouting distance of the second and third best sellers in C-segment, the Nissan Qasqai and Opel Astra. The Bravo has just been optioned with new MultiAir engines as well as the Start&Stop technology and these additions should impact positively on its sales during July. Making its first appearance in the sales data is the Giulietta which amassed 1,803 registrations during June, a very welcome boost for the ailing Alfa Romeo brand and that planted the new model firmly as the eighth best-seller in the category; however the Giulietta's success came at the expense of the Lancia Delta which dropped right out of the C-segment top-ten. For the year-to-date the Bravo has seen 16,177 registrations while in D-segment there was again no sign of the Alfa Romeo 159 making the top-ten.

Elsewhere the Alfa 159 Sportwagon (521) broke back into the "station wagon" top-ten for the month in ninth place, the Fiat Sedici (665) was the sixth best-seller in "Fuoristrada" while the Multipla (1,257), revived by demand for the methane powered versions, was a very respectable third amongst the compact MPV contenders and now has 6,151 sales for the year-to-date. Lancia's Musa (1,486) had a sluggish month by its usual standards, it's sales were down by a half on the same month last year but it still pipped Opel's Meriva by 51 units to retain its usual command of the small MPV category, while a second representative for FGA in the top-ten was the Musa's sister, the Fiat Idea (352) which claimed eighth place. For the year-to-date, by contrast, the Musa is 15,899 units, well up on the same period last year. Amongst the large MPVs the Lancia Phedra (176) was the third best-seller while the Fiat Ulysse (53) was three slots further adrift. In Multispace the Qubo (931) and the Fiat Doblò (438) retained their customary positions clear at the top of the class and the story much is the same for the year-to-date, with 11,630 and 3,900 sales respectively.

© 2010 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed