You ever look at a good-looking car for the 100th time and then it hits you just how much one aspect of its design reminds you of another car? Not necessarily a big thing, but one small detail that has you wondering “huh, I wonder if they really came up with this on their own or whether, maybe subconsciously, they were influenced by that other car”. Well, I had one such moment with the Mazda CX-5, one of my favorite compact SUVs, when I looked at its headlamp and fenders and realized just how much they look like those on the… [Read more…]
Archives for December 2015
The Large SUV segment continued shrinking in Q3, with sales down by 10% compared to the same period last year. While the low gas prices seem to have benefited most other SUV segments, these ladder-on-frame dinosaurs clearly have a hard time getting back into favor with customers, possibly due to increasing competition from much newer, and better, competition from the Large Premium SUV segment. [Read more…]
This is the first installment of our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes.The kind of cars the people of Morocco drive can be described very simply: all types of Renault with a number instead of a name, Peugeots from the -04 and -05 series, and increasingly so from the -06 series, and Mercedes-Benz from the same era (1970’s, 80’s and 90’s), preferably with a Diesel engine. Of the modern cars, by far the most are either French or Dacia, most notably in the bodystyle what the French call “Fourgonette”, the archetypical Boulangerie-van like the Citroën Berlingo and Renault Kangoo, both in passenger and cargo versions. Add a handful of South-Korean and Chinese models to the mix and you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of what the streets of Casablanca, Marrakech or Agadir look like.
The Mid-sized SUV segment grew by 9% compared to the Q1-Q3 period in 2014, faster than the car market overall (5% growth). [Read more…]
The Compact SUV segment grew by 13% over the period Q1-Q3 compared to the same period in 2014. As such, it is still the second fastest growing non-premium SUV segment, after the Subcompact SUV segment, and easily retains its mantle as the largest single segment in the US, widening its gap to the Mid-sized and Compact car segments (down 2% and up 2%, respectively, on Q1-Q3 2014). [Read more…]
This year I’ve been traveling all around the world and that has given me the opportunity to study what kind of cars people in different countries and different continents drive, which is most of the times quite different from what I’m used to at home. Of course I’ve taken a ton of pictures from interesting cars and street scenes, but until now I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Naturally, I want to share them with you so I’ve decided to make an “International street scenes” topic, in which I show you the car cultures in a bunch of different countries across the world, hoping to eventually expand it to every corner of our globe.
As always, I encourage interaction between the regular editors and our readers so wherever you live, if you want to share the kind of cars people drive in your country (or even your neighborhood), if you have funny or interesting pictures of cars, street scenes or anything related to the subject, feel free to get in touch with me and send me your pictures (and if you want, some text to explain your car culture). This way, we can show our other readers from all over the world which brands, models or even which type of car the streets are filled in other cities, countries or continents.
In the next few weeks, I’ll start off with my own experiences in the following places:
- Morocco, Africa
- Nagoya, Japan
- Bali, Indonesia
- Texas, USA
- Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
Let me know what you think of this kind of post, and if you want to see more of them. And again, if you want to share your pictures of interesting car cultures or street scenes, I’m more than happy to post them here.
As we’re approaching the final few weeks of 2015, it’s becoming clear that this has been another great year for the automotive industry, most notably in the two largest markets in the world: China and the US. Both markets are on track to set new volume records in 2015, but have taken different paths towards those records. The previous US sales record was set in 2000, when automakers sold 17,4 million cars but never reached that figure ever since. At that time, the US market was more than 30 times bigger than the Chinese car market, but the latter hasn’t stopped growing ever since. And at an amazing pace: 27,5% per year on average. As a result, the Chinese passenger car market caught up with that of the US in 2013, and is set to break through the 20 million units barrier for the first time this year.
The Subcompact SUV grew more than any other segment over the period Q1-Q3, with sales up 168% compared to the same period in 2014. [Read more…]
You will probably look at the picture above and respond with a collective “huh?” – I know I did. It is not often that you see coach-builders take on storied brands like Mercedes-Benz, but that is exactly what Galpin Auto Sports have done (they also did the Mustang-based, Henrik Fisker-designed Rocket). Inspired by the Mercedes-Benz W111/W112 “Fintail” models, the coach-built special is based on the latest W222 S-class chassis and uses elements from the SLS (front, rear lights) to evoke the S-class’ great-great-grandfather.
I happened to stumble on this advertisement for the Renault Captur in Malaysia, and one of the catchphrases reads “Experience Europe’s best selling crossover*”. The asterisk points to the source of the data supporting this claim and at the bottom of the ad, our own Left-Lane.com analysis of the small crossover segment is quoted to prove the Captur is indeed the most popular (small) crossover in Europe, as it has been since the second half of 2013. Great recognition for our work from TC Euro Cars Malaysia, the official Renault distributor in the country!
The 15 Renault dealerships in Malaysia currently sell a handful of models: the Clio subcompact hatchback including the Renault Sport version, the Captur small crossover, the Renault Sport Megane 265, the Fluence compact sedan and the Koleos midsized crossover. And the Twizy electric quadricycle, although only 30 of those have been registered in Malaysia this year. At least they didn’t have to steering wheel position from left-hand drive to right-hand drive for the Twizy. [Read more…]