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Superminis are usually available in hatchback body styles.
Origins of the term
While manufacturers produced new designs, the term was adopted as an informal categorisation.
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.
Superminis in Europe (B-segment)
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).
The Renault Zoe, a 5 seater electric car with a range of 210 km, is the best seller in the category of electric superminis, with 8.262 sales in 2013.
|Model||2013 annual sales|
(*) The trio Peugeot 208/207+/206+ is ranked #2 to 289.593.
(**) The Dacia Sandero is ranked #7 to 148.825 by including its sedan version, named Logan.
Other brands include:
Examples of superminis sold in Asia
- "De buitenlandse verkoopcijfers". Auto Week.
- "Motor Industry Facts 2013". The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 2013. p. 28. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Which? Car Supplement". 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."
- 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."
- "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."
- 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."
- European Motor Business (Economist Intelligence Unit) (4-7). 1986.
- Mann, D (1999). "Car definitions and forecast methodology". Automotive Plastics & Composites - Worldwide Markets & Trends to 2007. Elsevier. p. 176. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- European Commission classification