Archives for September 2015

US sales 2015 first half Cargo Vans segments

US vans

There are two segments that make up Cargo VansSmall Vans and Full-size Vans. While both of them grew year-on-year, the momentum is clearly with the smaller segment, which grew by 42%, compared to 8% for the larger cars. One has to keep in mind this is a relatively new segment in the US, with two out of the five competitors being new in 2015, and as such is growing from a much smaller base – at 43k sales total it was barely over 25% of the 160k sales total for Full-size Vans.… Continue Reading …

Frankfurt report: Part I

With the Frankfurt auto show in full swing, we bring you the latest on the new models, starting with the VW Group:


Porsche Mission E – a gorgeous quasi-4-door that owes more to the iconic 959 than it does to the Portly Panamera. While the looks are unlikely to ever make production (tiny 4-doors don’t sell, just ask Aston Martin), the electric powertrain it previews sounds like it could give the Tesla Model S a run for its money. … Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Large Pick-up segment

US Large Pickup

The Large Pick-up segment grew by 4%, the exact same rate as the overall market, which is only appropriate given that to many this segment epitomizes the US car market. And as has been the case for many, many years, the Ford F-series is the segment leader with over 350,000 units sold in half a year. Clearly, customers have embraced the aluminum components in what has traditionally been an old-fashioned segment.… Continue Reading …

China car sales analysis August 2015

Auto-sales-statistics-China-Honda_Vezel-SUV Chinese car sales in June and July were down 0,87% and 4,63% respectively, after booming for over five years. In August, the loss narrowed to 0,64% thanks to 1,37 million sales, and the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate (SAAR) was back above the 17 million mark at 17,66 million units. Following the trend that the Chinese auto market has followed in recent months, sedans and MPVs were down harshly, at -16% to 761.600 sales and -9% to 132.700 sales respectively, while SUV sales continued their boom by surging almost 46% to 453.200 units.

However, the SUV love isn’t spread equally as well, as most small SUVs from foreign brands plunged hard on increased competition from larger but cheaper local offerings and powerful sales of Honda’s two models Vezel and XR-V. Just a few months ago, these models were among the hottest on the market, but they’ve quickly lost their appeal as the domestic brands turned up the heat. Among the victims are the Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, Kia KX3, Citroën C3-XR, Peugeot 2008, DS6 and Mitsubishi ASX, while the Hyundai ix25 appears able to resist the plunge. But also some domestic nameplates appear to suffer from the influx of hot new models, as the BYD S6, Brilliance V5, Chery Tiggo 3 and Tiggo 5, FAW Besturn X80, GAC Trumpchi GS5, and the Lifan X60 and still relatively X50 are also taking a hit from either a fresher SUV in their own line-up or worse: from other brands.

Please note these figures exclude import models, unless specifically noted.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis July 2015 – models

Volkswagen-Passat-new_generation-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAfter exploring the July 2015 auto brands sales, let’s zoom in on which car models have performed well this month. Volkswagen impressively places three models in the top-5, for the first time ever. The Golf is traditionally the best selling car in Europe, and for the third time this year the Polo is in second place. But the most impressive performance comes from the Passat: up 50% to fifth place for only the second time in 9,5 years. The Skoda Octavia also has an excellent month, scoring its highest ranking of the year in 6th place, and the Audi A3 is back into the top-10 after two months of absence, making it 5 VW Group models in the top-10.

The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa has a bad month, dropping out of the top-10 for the first time this year, behind the Peugeot 208, which in its turn is outsold by its larger sibling the 308 for the first time this year. The biggest winners in the top-20 are the new generation Skoda Fabia in 14th place, up 57,7% and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class at #15 with sales up 64%.

The Renault Captur is down from 7th place in June to #20 in July, with sales up just 6,1%, the smallest gain since its introduction. The Captur is even threatened by the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka this month, with only 1.100 between the two models. The Peugeot 2008 is not far behind as well, in 24th place and less than 900 sales behind the Mokka.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis July 2015 – brands

European-car-sales-july-2015-fiat-dealershipWith close to 1,18 million car sales, the European car market is up 9,4% in July, which is extra impressive considering I credited pre-registrations for the 14,5% increase in June, which would’ve depressed the July volume of the brands who had tried to artificially improve their first-half results. The year-to-date figure now stands at 8,55 million sales, an increase of 8,19% on the same period last year.

As has almost become a tradition, VW Group leads the way with the biggest growth in absolute terms, but Renault-Nissan has lost some of its mojo, perhaps as a result of the aforementioned pre-registrations in June. Daimler, PSA and also Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles show increases of more than 10.000 units compared to July 2014, while there’s only one manufacturer to lose sales: DRB-Hicom as a result of big fluctuations in Lotus deliveries: up 38% last month, down 26% this month.

In relative terms, Tesla is the fastest growing brand in Europe, with sales up 265,8% to over 1.000 sales. The brand starts to become less dependent on Norway and The Netherlands only as the Model S gains traction in other European countries as well. Mahindra & Mahindra thanks to SSangYong and AvtoVAZ thanks to (surprisingly) Lada are also growing fast.… Continue Reading …

The Alfa Romeo Giulia in real life, what do you think?

Alfa_Romeo_Giulia-right-frontI recently had the opportunity to see the new Alfa Romeo Giulia in real life. Of course this was the top-of-the-line, 510 horsepower QV version, which is Alfa’s M3- and C63-killer, with a Ferrari-based engine. This will be the first rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo sedan since the 75 and much of the future of the brand depends on the success of this model. We already know what Kriss thinks of the Giulia, and as I’m a true Alfa-fan, you don’t need to guess much to know what I think of it.

Yes, it looks less original than the 156 and the 159 did, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The 159 wasn’t a commercial success and the perhaps too aggressive design, especially of the front-end may have had a hand in that. Of course it also didn’t help that the model was way too heavy and came with engines sourced from General Motors. Especially for the V6 that was a large step backwards from the beautifully sounding and looking Alfa Romeo V6 that was last used in various sizes in the 156, 166 and GT.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Small Pick-up segment

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Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

The Small Pick-up segment grew by a very fast 62% compared to the first half of 2014, driven primarily by the re-entry of GM into the segment with their new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks. After a one-year absence the small GM trucks did well out of the gates, racking up the best combined sales since 2008. It marks a change of strategy for the company, though, since whereas the previous generation of trucks was designed in the US and then sold abroad (also as an Isuzu), the current generation was actually developed primarily for the Asian market, and only then adapted for sales in the US (where it sports a considerably different front).

Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Irrespective of the warm reception that the new GW twins have received the Toyota Tacoma remains the segment leader, racking up more than half as many sales as the second-placed Chevy at almost 89 thousand units. This is despite a new, third-generation model having already been announced in Detroit in January, and which will go on sale in the third quarter of the year. Such a performance sure beats that of the aging Nissan Frontier, which has been on the market since 2004, and a new generation of which has already gone on sale in Asian markets (where it’s called the Navara). It will be interesting to see whether Nissan’s strong form in other segments can translate into the Small Pick-up segment once the new generation goes on sale.

2015 H1 Pick-up Small

Look-a-like: Alfa Romeo Giulia and…

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Now, don’t get me wrong – I want Alfa Romeo to succeed just like the next person. If that means they need to copy from the best, well, so be it. But in their rush to finish the Giulia in time (the development took a record 26 months) I feel that Alfa’s designers borrowed a little too liberally, copying the good stuff as well as the bad, and not just from the car you are already thinking of…… Continue Reading …

Poll: What do you think of the Citroën Cactus M Concept?

Citroen Cactus M Concept

After weeks of speculation and fan-boy excitement Citroën finally showed off its Cactus M Concept. The car is meant as a modern take on the Mehari, an off-roader offshoot of the legendary 2CV and the reason why the new model is called the “M Concept”. But while the car sure looks cool and most of our readers are probably pretty excited about it, I doubt this car would sell even if PSA was planning to produce it – and they will probably think twice, nah, three times before they commit after the sales failure that were their most recent “out there” cars such as the Citroën Pluriel or the Peugeot 1007.

Continue Reading …