Archives for December 2015

Disappointments of 2015 and 2016: Europe

A new year is always a nice opportunity to reflect on the past year and in our case, that means looking at which cars have sold disappointingly slow in 2015 and which do we expect to disappoint in 2016. We’ll also look at which cars or brands have surprised from a sales volume point of view in a separate article.

Which cars had disappointing sales in 2015:

DS4-sales-disappointment-Europe-2015Citroën split off its premium models into a stand-alone brand, but all it really did was just remove the Citroën name from two of the three cars they offer when they were given a slight facelift. The French didn’t bother to launch any new models, while the brand desperately needs some fresh product if they want to become a true luxury player. Unfortunately, nothing new is on its way and the DS6 compact crossover which could’ve saved the brand will stay a China-only model. Sales were down in 10 of the 11 months so far, with November the only exception, possibly thanks to those facelifts.
The European luxury market is a tough place if you’re a non-German brand, so if you want to make it here, you’d better get your act together quickly, DS.

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Surprises of 2015 and 2016: Europe

A new year is always a nice opportunity to reflect on the past year and in our case, that means looking at which cars have sold surprisingly well in 2015 and which do we expect to surprise in 2016. We’ll also look at which cars or brands have disappointed from a sales volume point of view in a separate article.

Which cars sold surprisingly well in 2015:

Renault Kadjar
Renault_Kadjar-sales-surprise-Europe-2015Even though sister brand Nissan has sold over a million units of the Qashqai compact crossover in just the past five years, Renault didn’t even have a competitive entry in the hot-selling segment. The Samsung-built Koleos peaked at just 21.000 sales in 2009 and dwindled to a third of that volume last year, for a paltry 0,7% share of the midsized SUV segment. This  year, Renault finally introduced the Kadjar, based on the platform of the Qashqai but with its own styling and even different dimensions. It has been an instant hit: over 9.000 sales in November put the Renault Kadjar ahead of the Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage to claim third place of the podium in only its sixth month of customer deliveries, behind only the Qashqai and the Volkswagen Tiguan. It even stayed ahead of the also renewed Hyundai Tucson, which replaces the ix35, which is has been the #3 of the segment until now. Hyundai therefore already has a solid base of faithful customers, which makes it even more impressive of the Kadjar to strike so hard out of the blue.

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US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Large Sports segment

US Sports Large

Sales in the Sports Large segment shrank by 7% in Q3 2015, pulling the segment into the red after a period of positive growth in the first half of the year.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Small Premium Sports segment

US Small Sports Premium

The Small Premium Sports segment shrank by 10% in the third quarter of 2015, a slightly better performance than in the first half of the year, when the sales were down 20%.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

The Sports Small segment grew by 13% in Q3 2015, just a bit slower than the 14% growth rate it managed in the first half of the year.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis November 2015 – models

After discussing the European car brands sales for November 2015, let’s zoom in on which models stood out of the crowd last month. For the fifth time this year and the second time in a row, Volkswagen monopolizes the top-2 positions with the Golf and the Polo. In fact, the entire top-6 is exactly the same as in October. The Polo’s good run won’t be enough for the Polo to take the #2 spot over the full year, because the Ford Fiesta has enjoyed exceptionally strong months in March and September on its UK volume. It looks like the top-10 positions are cemented for the full-year ranking, there’s just a small chance the Passat may have such a strong December to leapfrog the Peugeot 208 for 8th place.

auto-sales-statistics-Europe-november-2015-Volkswagen_Golf-Volkswagen_PoloThe Audi A3 outsells the Ford Focus to take 11th place and the all-new Opel/Vauxhall Astra is just one spot and less than 250 units behind the Focus. After a short hiccup in October, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (#18) is back well ahead of the BMW 3-series in 23rd place, while the Audi A4 is down to #45 as it is changing to the new generation. In fact, the A4 is even outsold by the Audi A6 (#40) for the first time since February 2012. The A6 benefits from the upcoming model changes for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (#56) and BMW 5-series (#59).… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis November 2015 – brands

European-auto-sales-statistics-2015-November-Renault-Nissan-Dacia-dealershipCar sales in Europe got a significant boost in November, up 13,25% to 1.116.838 sales, the second-best improvement this year. That pulls up the year-to-date total to 12.967.470, which is an improvement of 8,36% on 2014. This means we’re still on track to cross the 14 million unit barrier this year. To hit that threshold, December sales need to improve by only 3,7% and we’ve been below that figure only three months this year.

After a short hiatus in October, Volkswagen Group and Renault-Nissan are back as the biggest gaining manufacturers in November, this time joined by Ford Motor Company in third place. The only manufacturer to lose volume this month is DRB-Hicom with the Lotus sports car brand, down a mere 12 units after more than doubling in October. Tesla Motors continues its winning spell, followed by Mahindra&Mahindra thanks to its SSangYong brand, and Tata Motors thanks to both Jaguar and Land Rover increasing more than 70%.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Exotics segment

US Exotics 2

Sales in the Exotic segment fell by 13% in the third quarter of the year, on the surface a dramatic reversal of fortunes for a segment in which sales were up 5% in the first half of the year. However, upon clearer inspection this fall is driven mostly by a 17% drop in sales for the Maserati brand, whose models account for well over half of sales in the segment.… Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Nagoya, Japan

In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes, after Morocco, Africa and Monaco, Europe we’re going to yet another entirely different car culture: that of Japan. And the streets of Japan are filled with models you won’t find anywhere else, it’s an entirely different sight from the rest of the world.

Suzuki_Lapin-Suzuki_Alto-Honda_Vamos-front-Japanese-street_scene-2015Suzuki Lapin and Suzuki Alto Kei cars, Honda Vamos Kei firetruck

For starters, there are the dozens of “Kei” cars and trucks. These are tiny cars that get certain tax benefits in Japan, but are limited in size, engine displacement and power: 3,4 meters in length (11.2 ft) and no more than 1,48 meters wide (4.9 ft), with an engine of 660 cc pumping out 47 kW (64 hp) max. More than 40% of the new cars sold in Japan falls within these limits, which calculates to more than 2 million Kei cars a year, which is more than all the cars sold in France in a year. Some of these vehicles have been exported to Europe and other countries, although they mostly featured larger engines for export markets. The only foreign manufacturer to ever have sold a Kei car in Japan was Smart, which in the early 2000’s made a special version of its Fortwo to fall within these limits, but it sold poorly.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Alternative Power segment

US Alternative Power

Sales in the Alternative Power segment continued falling in Q3 2015 at 17% compared to the same period last year, even faster than the 12% fall in the first half of the year. It is clear that low gas prices are bad news for this segment…… Continue Reading …