Sales of large sedans in the US have been declining for 6 years now and volume is down to less than half the volume of 2013. Large sedans now comprise just 2.4% of total new car sales in the United States. King of the large car hill is the Dodge Charger , the only single model in the segment that has been able to buck this trend and improve its sales in 2019, and doing so by double digits while all the other models lost volume by double digits. As a result of its 21% gain, the Charger now holds a 38.9% share of the mainstream large car segment (23.2% including luxury large sedans), up from 26.7% in 2018. At 96.935 deliveries, 2019 is the Charger’s second best sales year since 2009, just 1,400 sales below 2013. Nearest mainstream rivals are the Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Maxima, down by 20% and 17% respectively, and both combined sell about 80,000 units, still far off the Charger’s tally. For both models, this is their lowest volume year since their nameplates were launched. [Read more…]
The midsized car segment in the US is not as badly in dire straits as in Europe (-19%), but a 7% decline is still more than the overall car market and decreases its share of the market from 13% to 12.3%. However, when looking at just the sedan (non-SUV) market, the midsized segment actually outperforms its peers and improves its share from 42.2% to 44.3%. The Toyota Camry gains share thanks to a 2% loss in 2019, and thanks to the Honda Accord’s 8% decline, the Camry now has an almost 70,000 sales advantage over its nearest rival. The Nissan Altima sees stable sales in 2019 thanks to the new generation, and the same reason helps the Subaru Outback to a 1% gain, which adds one percentage point of share to both nameplates. When combining sales of the Outback and its sedan cousin Legacy, Subaru holds the #3 spot in this segment. Very impressive for what used to be a niche brand. [Read more…]
Sales of compact cars in the United States are down by a worrying 16% in 2019, and the segment is down 1.6 percentage points of share of the total US car market, to 9.7%. It now holds 35% of the sedan market in the US, down from 36.8% in 2018. The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla consolidate their leadership thanks to stable sales while their closest two rivals both see their sales drop by double digits. The Civic and Corolla are now not only the only two nameplates to sell over 300,000 cars each, but also the only ones to sell over 200,000 cars, with the Nissan Sentra and Hyundai Elantra both dropping below that threshold as both are down by 13%. The Civic and Corolla together hold 38% of the compact car segment (39.7% of non-luxury compact cars), up from 32% in 2018. We lose three members of the 100k sales club, as the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze have been killed by their manufacturers and the Kia Forte dropped below that mark despite falling slower than the overall segment. We do welcome a returning member after a 1-year absence with the Jetta back above 100,000 sales again, allowing it to jump from 8th in 2018 to 5th in 2019. [Read more…]
The subcompact car segment in the United States saw a decline of 6% in sales in 2019, as it now holds just 2% of the overall car market and 7.3% of the overall market for sedans. The class leader Kia Soul consolidates its position as it moves with the segment at -6% while its closest rival Nissan Versa is down by double that at -12% as it’s preparing for a new model generation. The Ford Fiesta, in its last full year on the North American market, shows a 16% gain as dealers are discounting to move them off their lots. [Read more…]
Despite the low fuel prices and all the talk about Americans buying fewer cars, especially small cars, the minicar segment in the United States has managed to actually grow in 2019, showing a 6% increase to over 80,000 sales, which means it still holds a tiny share of 0.5% of the total US car market. The two best selling nameplates in the segment happened to be the only two to improve their sales volume, and both did so by double digits, while the remaining three all lost by double digits. [Read more…]
After looking at the 2019 Chinese car market including sales by brand, let’s look at the models ranking. China is one of the world’s most diverse markets, with 95 different brands (excluding the makers of cheap Low-Speed Electric Vehicles) selling nearly 600 models in 2019, of which 100 sold fewer than 1.000 units last year, and half sold fewer than 10.000 units, while only one model managed to sell over half a million cars in 2019. [Read more…]
The Chinese car market has declined every single month in 2019, which means it has continued its losing streak to 18 consecutive months. One little ray of hope is that December 2019 showed the lowest rate of declines of the streak at -0,9%, and all the double digit losses were limited to the first half of the year. A grand total of 21,07 million passenger cars were delivered to Chinese dealers in China in 2019, which is 9,5% lower than 2018 and 13,4% lower than the peak of 24,3 million in 2017. These figures exclude commercial vehicles, minivans and imported cars and reflect wholesale deliveries from the factory to the dealers. In the short term, the Beijing government is not planning any incentives to prop up the market, but it has ended its reduction of subsidies on one of the fastest growing segments of the Chinese car market: that of EVs and plug-in hybrids. Rather, the government seems to see this market contraction as an excellent opportunity to consolidate the market as (too) small players will be forced to close down or be taken over, while the larger state-owned carmakers also feel extra pressure to merge their operations and cut loss-making domestic brands. Also, China’s central government has pressured most major cities and provinces to adopt State 6 emissions rules (which are similar to the Euro 6 standards) on July 1, which caused local dealerships to offer steep discounts on vehicles that didn’t meet these standards. This is one of the reasons why wholesales have reduced their decline in the second half.
A lot of analysts had predicted US car sales to dip below 17 million in 2019, but the market proved stronger than expected and has scored a fifth consecutive year above that symbolic 17 million mark, despite a 1.2% drop in sales. As has been the trend in recent years, sales of car models (sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, coupes and convertibles) declined, as they showed an 11.7% drop to a record low share of 27.8% of the total market, while truck sales (crossovers, SUVs, pickups, minivans and vans) were up 2.7% to a record 72.2% of the market. Japanese brands were the biggest losers at -2.9% but still hold 37.2% combined market share, the lowest it has been since 2015. American brands also struggled (-2.1%) to a share of 44.9% the third-ever lowest share after 2012 and 2017. European brands were up 1.2% to a share of 9.6%, the highest since 2013. Korean brands were the big winners in 2019, gaining 4.6% to a market share of 7.8%, the highest since 2016 but still a full percentage point below its peak in 2011. [Read more…]
In November 2019, car sales in Europe marked a third consecutive month of growth, preparing to finish the year with an increase if December is up by 3,7% or more. And considering December 2018 showed a WLTP-induced dip of 8,6%, that is very likely to happen. European consumers and businesses have taken delivery of 14,39 million cars in the first 11 months of 2019, a decrease of just a quarter of a percent. Of the five major EU countries, only the UK posted a sales decrease in November (-1,3%), while Germany (+9,7%), Spain (+2,3%), Italy (+2,2%) and France (+0,7%) showed strength. Year-to-date, the picture is less positive, (-5,7%) and the United Kingdom (-2,7%) in the red the most while Germany (+3,9%) is the only large market that recorded growth so far in 2019.
In October 2019, European car sales continue to recover from their WLTP induced dip last year, with a 9,6% increase in sales, after a 7,1% drop in October 2018. This brings the year-to-date tally almost back into the positive at -0,7%. Like last month, VW Group and Renault-Nissan are the big winners compared to last year, because they were also the big losers a year ago, being least prepared for the WLTP fuel efficiency and emissions testing procedure that kicked in at September 1st, 2018. Almost all EU countries posted increases in October, with the exception of Cyprus and the UK. Four of the five major EU markets showed strong improvements, with Germany (+12,7%), France (+8,7%), Italy (+6,7%) and Spain (+6,3%) in recovery mode, while deliveries in the UK were down 6.7% on Brexit-related uncertainties.