Supermini

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Supermini

Ford Fiesta, European market leader in 20131

Supermini (also called B-segment across Europe)2 is a class of automobile larger than a city car but smaller than a small family car.3

Superminis are usually available in hatchback body styles.

Origins of the term

The term supermini developed in the UK in the 1970s as car manufacturers sought a new design to surpass the influential Mini and journalists attempted to describe such a vehicle.45

While manufacturers produced new designs, the term was adopted as an informal categorisation.6

In October 1984, the Consumers' Association used the term in its annual Car Buying Guide. It gave an explanation at the start of a section entitled Small Hatchbacks. It said small hatchbacks were known popularly as superminis and while similar to the Mini they were more spacious inside and more versatile. This definition made clear that a "supermini" was something larger than a Mini yet smaller than a typical car of the time. In its 1984 report, it included such cars as the Austin Metro, Vauxhall Nova and Ford Fiesta. This report was also published soon after the launch of a host of other foreign-made superminis which were selling well in Britain - these included the Fiat Uno, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 205, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Polo.

Smaller or more basic cars were grouped under a Bargain Basement heading and included the Mini, Citroën 2CV, Fiat 126 and Volkswagen Beetle - these accounted for a much smaller share of the market than the modern superminis.3

By the mid-80s, the term had become established as a formal car classification term,78 Eventually being adopted as the B-segment in European Commission classification.9

Superminis in Europe (B-segment)

The recently renewed Renault Clio, ranking #2 in sales in Europe
Dacia Sandero, from Renault-Nissan Group, is an example in how low cost models are getting popularity in Europe
Being in the past one of the most sold car in Europe, Fiat Punto is lately declining in sales

In 2013, 22.4% of European sales are currently B-segment cars, making this segment, together with C-segment (at 22.2%), the two most popular ones in the Region and where all Global manufacturers are present (although segments such as J-segment (SUV)'s and M-segment (MPV's) are getting popularity eroding B-segment market share).

Half of the sales are covered by five best selling models such us Ford Fiesta, the recently renewed Renault Clio and Peugeot 208, the VW Polo and the Opel Corsa together with its twin Vauxhall.

Recently low cost models such as Dacia Sandero (Renault-Nissan) and Skoda Fabia (VW Group) had significant success, while other popular model in the past like Fiat Punto are declining in sales.

Model 9 months 2013 sales
Ford Fiesta 221.210
Renault Clio 215.222
Volkswagen Polo 200.355
Peugeot 208 188.771
Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 187.573
Toyota Yaris 124.468
Škoda Fabia 98.254
Dacia Sandero 87.668
Seat Ibiza 85.440
Fiat Punto 82.268
Others 713.203

Other brands include:

Alfa Romeo MiTo Audi A1 Chevrolet Aveo
Citroën C3 Citroën DS3 Daihatsu Sirion
DR Motor DR5 Honda CR-Z Honda Jazz
Hyundai i20 Hyundai Veloster Kia Rio
Lancia/Chrysler Y Mazda2 Nissan Leaf
Nissan Micra Mitsubishi Colt Peugeot 206+
Peugeot 207 SEAT Ibiza Suzuki Swift
Tata Indica Volvo C30 smart

Examples of superminis sold in Asia

See also

References

  1. ^ "De buitenlandse verkoopcijfers". Auto Week. 
  2. ^ "Motor Industry Facts 2013". The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 2013. p. 28. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Which? Car Suppliment". Which? (Consumers' Association): 5. October 1984. "Popularly known as superminis, these cars are a size larger than the original BMC Mini and are typified by the Austin Metro." 
  4. ^ Webb, Clifford (11 August 1976). "Leyland management denies 'pushing too hard' over output". The Times. p. 15. "There are also said to be fears within the state-controlled motor group that Ford, having displaced Leyland from their traditional market leadership, will stay top for the rest of the year and could consolidate this position further with the introduction of the super "Mini", the Ford Fiesta." 
  5. ^ "Plans for super Mini". The Times. 18 August 1976. p. 1. "Leyland Cars announce a plan to mass produce a super Mini in an integrated operation at Longbridge." 
  6. ^ Waymark, Peter (30 May 1977). "Basic design changes are the only way to cut car costs". The Times. p. 16. "From the fuel-saving point of view there can have been no more welcome trend in the past five years than the appearance from one european Manufacturer after another of what has become known as the "supermini" - the Fiat 127, Renault 5, Peugeot 104, Volkswagen Polo and most recently, the Ford Fiesta." 
  7. ^ European Motor Business (Economist Intelligence Unit) (4-7). 1986. 
  8. ^ Mann, D (1999). "Car definitions and forecast methodology". Automotive Plastics & Composites - Worldwide Markets & Trends to 2007. Elsevier. p. 176. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  9. ^ European Commission classification







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