Archives for November 2015

The fashion for numerical car names, and the associated inflation

Audi badgesWith the recent introduction of the Genesis brand Hyundai also outlined how the existing models would be renamed under the new brand: the Genesis large sedan would become the G80, while the Equus luxury limousine would become the G90. This development is yet another manifestation of a recent trend in the car industry, especially strong among luxury brands: giving your models numerical names.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Midsized SUV segment

European-car-sales-statistics-midsized-crossover-segment-2014-Nissan_Qashqai-X_TrailSales of midsized SUVs and crossovers stay hot, improving their growth rate from 11% in the first half to +13% after three quarters. Of the top-7 players, only one loses volume on last year, and that’s just a shy 1%. The Nissan Qashqai has been the traditional leader of the segment, consistently selling over 200.000 units a year for the past 5 years and 2015 is going to make its 6 in a row, with more than likely a new volume record for the model and in fact for any midsized SUV nameplate. Thanks to the new generation, the Qashqai grows faster than the rest of the segment at +15% to almost 180.000 units in 9 months. And note that this is without the extended Qashqai+2 version, which has been replaced by the X-Trail. The latter is the fastest growing model of the segment and has moved into the #11 position so far this year.

The Volkswagen Tiguan surprisingly recovers from its slow first half of the year to boost sales by 20,8% in Q3 thanks to sell-out pricing of the outgoing model which will be replaced in 2016. The rest of the top-10 is stable as well, with the Kia Sportage benefiting from its facelift, despite having already released images of the upcoming new generation.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Small Crossover segment

Opel-Mokka-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Small Crossover segment is still one the hottest segment of the market, besides the tiny EV segment, and continues to surge at a 50% growth rate as new entrants keep being introduced to the segment while the existing models keep growing. There are no less than 5 new players in the segment this year and only one model in the top-12 loses volume so far this year, and that’s only by a mere 250 units. You won’t be surprised to still find the Renault Captur on top of the ranking, although that position is getting more hard-fought by the quarter, as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was only 1.300 units behind in the past three months combined. That means the Mokka has firmly consolidated its second place in the segment and proves to be a second, badly needed, successful model with the Adam minicar.

The Peugeot 2008 simply can’t keep up with the sales volume of the two leaders, but still increases its lead over the Dacia Duster, which is now really starting to show its age, but there’s nothing released yet on a possible replacement. The Duster barely managed to outsell the Nissan Juke in Q3 and is likely to drop a few places in 2016 as the only Unique Selling Point it has to keep up with the fresh new product being launched is its bottom-basement price.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Large MPV segment

Ford_S_Max-2016-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe large MPV segment is boosted by new arrivals in Q3 of 2015, as the segment is up a still modest 2,2% in the third quarter, reducing its year-to-date loss to “just” 13%, from -19% in the first half. The near future of the segment looks relatively bright, considering the all-new Renault Espace is still getting up to speed and the new generations Ford Galaxy and S-Max will reach full potential in 2016 as well.

For now the Volkswagen Sharan keeps the lead of the segment, ahead of its corporate clone Seat Alhambra with a combined 57,7% share of the segment (down from 61,5% in the first half), but in September the Ford S-Max was boosted by a traditionally strong month of September, its 2nd biggest market, to lead the segment ahead of the Espace, with the Sharan surprisingly in fourth place behind the Alhambra as well.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Midsized MPV segment

Citroen_C4_Picasso-Renault_Scenic-VW_Golf_Sportsvan-Ford_C_Max--european_car_sales-2015-midsized_MPV-segment

Photo credit: Autogids.be

The midsized MPV segment in Europe goes deeper into a sales slump in Q3 of 2015, with sales down 8,7% in the quarter and now -4% year-to-date. In the first three quarters of this year, only two models in the top-10 show improve on their volume from last year. As opposed to most other segments, there’s an actual battle for the top spot between midsized MPVs this year, with the Citroën C4 Picasso reclaiming the lead after losing it to the Renault Scenic in Q2, but the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan isn’t far behind either, and it was the best selling model in Q3. If all three continue like this in the last quarter, the Scenic will drop to the bottom step of the podium, which isn’t very surprising when you consider it’s about to be replaced early next year.

The Golf Sportsvan is cannibalizing the aging VW Touran somewhat, as that model dropped to 7th place of the segment in Q3 and 5th place year-to-date as the Ford C-Max took advantage of its weak rival by outselling the Touran by a 2:1 ratio in Q3. If the VW keeps struggling like this from the slow changeover to the new generation Touran, the Peugeot 3008 may reappear into the top-5 by the end of its seventh year on the market. The 3008 is leaving the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira clearly behind so far, which is the surviving model that’s going down the fastest, losing almost a third of its volume on last year.… Continue Reading …

Hit or Miss? Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat finally released pictures of the its new 124 Spider, along with information that it will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four good for 160hp (US) or 140hp (Europe). So while the new car is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, complete with an almost-identical interior, the distinct styling and drivetrain promise a different ownership and driving experience to the diminutive Japanese roadster. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Small MPV segment

Fiat-500L-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe decline of the small MPV segment continues in Q3 of 2015, as customers flock to the increasingly popular small crossovers. So far this year, there’s only one model in the segment to improve its sales year-on-year, and that’s unsurprisingly from a brand that doesn’t (yet) offer a small crossover. Nonetheless, the Fiat 500L keeps its crown as the best selling small MPV in Europe, but has been outsold by its crossover sibling 500X in every month of Q3.

The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva follows at a distance, holding on to the second spot it took from the Nissan Note in Q2. The Note is even under fire from the Ford B-Max, the car that once led the segment before falling out of grace when newer and better alternatives appeared onto the market. However, Ford is the only brand where the small MPV outsells its crossover rival, with the Mokka-Meriva at a 3:1 ratio and the Juke-Note at 2:1, while the B-Max still outsells the Ford Ecosport.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Midsize segment

Volkswagen_Passat-Ford_Mondeo-european_car_sales-2015-midsized_car_segmentThe European midsized car segment keeps outpacing the market in 2015, growing at almost twice the rate of the rest of the car market, but keep in mind this is a segment that has been declining for a long time already. Unsurprisingly, the Volkswagen Passat tightens its stranglehold of the segment by increasing its share to 35,8%, meaning more than one in three midsized cars sold in Europe bear the VW logo. This is the highest segment share of any model in the European mainstream segments.

In Q3, the all-new Ford Mondeo is still way underperforming on its expectations, as it’s still being outsold by the 7-year old Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. So far this year, the only month the Mondeo outsold the Insignia was July, by a mere 214 units. It probably doesn’t help that it took Ford more than two years to launch the model in Europe and that it looks a lot like the outgoing model, especially from the rear 3/4, although the Passat proves that that doesn’t have to translate into slower sales.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Compact segment

Volkswagen-Golf-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe compact car segment in Europe is up 5% in the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market, but the segment is likely to get a boost in 2016 from a few important model launches, most notably from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane. None of these is very likely to topple the Volkswagen Golf from its first place in the segment and in fact the entire car market, as the Golf holds a firm 23% share of the segment. The top-3 is still completed by the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia, as the latter has fallen short in its attempt to pass the Focus.

For fourth place, the Peugeot 308 is already in danger of recapitulating the position it took in the beginning of the year from the Astra, as GM is boosting the outgoing model with huge incentives. The new generation Astra has arrived in showrooms in Q4 and we’ll have to wait and see if it gains traction quickly enough to take back its fourth position by the time the year comes to an end.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Subcompact segment

European-car-sales-statistics-subcompact-segment-2014-Ford_Fiesta-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_PoloThe subcompact car segment in Europe is still up 5% after the first three quarters of 2015, which is slower than the overall market. At over 2 million units, it remains the highest volume segment of the continent. The traditional leader Ford Fiesta remains untouched despite starting to show its age, but below it there’s an interesting battle for 2nd place. So far, the Renault Clio is able to hold on to its position, but the VW Polo has come within 300 units. And considering the Polo outsold the Clio by more than 6.500 units in Q3, it’s safe to predict it will move up one spot by the end of the year. In fact, the Polo might even be challenging the Fiesta for the Q4 top spot, as it came within 2.500 units in Q3. The full-year crown looks like a one-horse race, but perhaps will 2016 be the first time since 2009 that the Fiesta doesn’t top the subcompact segment.… Continue Reading …