Archives for November 2014

European car sales analysis September 2014 – brands

European-car-sales-september-2014-Vauxhall-dealershipSeptember marks the 13th month in a row that the European car market increases year-over-year. At 1.267.068 units, the market has grown 6,1% when compared to September 2013, leading to a year-to-date tally of 9,85 million cars, which is up more than half a million on last year, or 5,6%. In September, the European car dealers sold over 500.000 cars more than they did in August, which is traditionally the slowest month of the year due to the summer holidays.

Also, September marks the twice-yearly license plate change in the UK, which means this month a backlog of registrations is released, and it’s traditionally second to March as the largest month of the year in Europe’s second market, after Germany. In fact, the UK was by far the largest market this month, as more one in every three cars sold in Europe was registered in the UK, compared to 18% or less than one in five over the course of a full year.

European-car-sales-september-2014-Vauxhall_Insignia-Ford_MondeoAs a result, brands that are popular in the United Kingdom have sold exceptionally well in September. For example, the UK market accounted for more than half of all Ford cars sold in Europe, and GM’s UK Vauxhall brand outsold its twin Opel brand in all other European markets. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, which are usually heavily dependent on their German home market, sold more than one third of their European volume in Great Britain. For Jaguar and Land Rover and Bentley, the dependence on what used to be their home market becomes even more clear in September, with 80%, 72% and 74% of their sales respectively.

After breaking its record market share two months in a row, the Volkswagen Group has returned to a somewhat more modest share of 23,6% of the European car market. … Continue Reading …

Fleet of Tesla Model S electric taxis at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Tesla-Model_S-taxi-Schiphol-Amsterdam-AirportAmsterdam Schiphol Airport has recently introduced the Tesla Model S as the preferred airport taxi for arriving passengers who need transportation to their destination. This means a total of 167 Tesla Model S 85 kWh sedans are currently in use by two taxi companies, giving Schiphol the largest fleet of all-electric taxis of any airport in the world. A third company, Taxi Electric, has run a Model S between Amsterdam and Schiphol airport for a few months already, in addition to its fleet of Nissan Leaf zero-emission taxis. The Tesla taxis will serve Schiphol for a period of at least four years, with an optional extension of up to eight years.

“This represents a crucial step in our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and become one of the world’s top three most sustainable airports’, explained Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol Group’s President and CEO, who happens to drive a Tesla Model S company car himself. The Tesla taxis are expected to run just over half of all taxi rides from the airport, as they’ll be supplemented with regular diesel-powered taxis during peak hours.… Continue Reading …

Crisis in the midsized car segment, part 1: How bad is it?

The midsized car segment in Europe has been in a deep crisis for over a decade, but the bottom of the steep slope appears to be in sight. After total segment sales of premium and non-premium models had dropped from a high of over 2.7 million vehicles in 2001 to less than 1.2 million in 2013, the decline seems to have stabilized in 2014 with sales year to date down less than 0,2% on last year.

The decline is not evenly shared among premium and non-premium models. In fact, non-premium models outsold their premium rivals by at least a 2-to-1 ratio until the year 2000, but especially the German Big 3 have made great inroads ever since. As a result of this strong performance, in 2013 for the first time ever, premium midsized cars outsold their non-premium rivals in Europe and they’re taking an even greater lead in 2014.


BMW is the big winner of the segment, as the 3-series increased its share of the segment from 11,7% ten years ago to 19,5% this year (including the 4-series). Audi and Volkswagen shares also grew by 5 percentage points or more with their A4, A5 and Passat (including CC), followed by Volvo thanks to the success of the S60 and V60, Skoda’s Superb and Mercedes-Benz with the C-Class. Besides VW and Skoda, the only other non-premium automaker to increase its segment share is Hyundai-Kia, although the i40 and Optima remain niche players with a combined share of 2,6%, or less than 2.500 units per month.

All other mainstream brands have either lost more than half of their volume in the segment, abandoned the segment or have disappeared from the market altogether. … Continue Reading …