Archives for January 2016

European car sales analysis Full Year 2015 – brands

Car sales in Europe increased 9% to 14,1 million units in 2015, which was better than expected, and means 1,2 million additional sales for a market still suffering from overcapacity. However, as both the US and China broke new sales records last year, Europe is still about 2 million sales off its peak of over 16 million sales in 2004 and 2005.

volkswagen_group-sales-europe-2015As I mentioned in the December 2015 European car sales analysis, the diesel scandal has had very limited effect on the sales of the Volkswagen Group, as it remains the #1 manufacturer by far and even adds the most volume of all at close to 200.000 additional sales, even though that means a slower than average relative growth of +6%. Renault-Nissan performs almost as good or even better, depending on how you look at it: its 11% growth is pretty impressive, but its 190.000 additional sales mean that the gap between the VW Group and the French-Japanese alliance is still growing.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis December 2015

The European car market has finished 2015 with a bang, at +14,75% in December to 1,14 million sales. This is the highest year-on-year improvement of any month in 2015, and beats November’s +13,25% both in terms of growth and in absolute figures.

Peugeot_Citroen-dealership-European-car-cales-ranking-december-2015French manufacturers Renault-Nissan and PSA added the most volume, followed by Ford Motor Corp., as Volkswagen Group added only 4.592 sales or 1,9% in December, but remains the biggest winner of 2015. That means we can conclude that the diesel emission scandal has had only a limited effect on the manufacturer’s sales in Europe, even though all of its brands gain less than the overall market and Seat (-3.062 sales) and Porsche (-12,6%) are even among the biggest losers in December.

SAIC MGMahindra & Mahindra (thanks to SSangYong) and Tesla Motors each more than double their sales year-over-year and are among the fastest growing manufacturers again.… Continue Reading …

Poll results: Fiat Tipo expected to do pretty well in Europe

Earlier this month we asked our readers if they thought Fiat was on the right track with the all-new Tipo “entry-compact” sedan, by launching a low-priced and low-tech sedan (a hatchback and station wagon will follow) after every previous attempt to sell a Volkswagen Golf rival has miserably failed.

Fiat-Tipo-auto-sales-statistics-Europe68% of respondents have faith in this strategy, with just over half of them predicting annual sales between 75.000-100.000 annual units, similar to the Skoda Rapid and Citroën C4 Cactus, while a third of respondents think the Tipo could beat the Bravo, which peaked at 93.397 sales in 2008. Another third predicts another failure for Fiat as it won’t even hit 75.000 sales in Europe. Mind you, this excludes Turkey, where the Tipo (under the name Ægea) is produced and where it should follow the Linea as the best selling vehicle overall.… Continue Reading …

Chinese automakers suspect in EV subsidy fraud

Zhi_Dou_D2-EV-ChinaUnder pressure because of air quality concerns in its major cities, the Chinese government has heavily subsidized the sales of electric cars since 2010 and forced municipal governments to do the same. These subsidies could slash more than half of the price of the car or even more, as CarNewsChina reports the Zhi Dou D2 EV can be bought for just 49.800 Yuan ($7.560) after subsidies, which total an astonishing 109.000 Yuan ($16.550).

Such a scheme is bound to cause a distortion in the market place, but even worse: cause companies to fraud, and that’s exactly what has happened, according to various Chinese news media. The Economic Observer in Beijing and National Business Daily in Shanghai reported that unspecified domestic automakers have over-reported sales of their plug-in cars in order to wrongfully claim government subsidies. Some of them are claimed to have reported sales of EVs to subsidiary “shell” companies, only to remove the batteries and reuse them in the next production run.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 full year Minivan segment

US minivan

Sales in the minivan segment fell by 8% compared to 2014, a worse performance that all mainstream segments (3% fall) and considerably worse than passenger cars on average (5% growth). Not all is lost, however, for the once-pioneering segment, as 2016 will see the significant new Chrysler Pacifica go on sale, while the segment-leading Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are also due for a refresh in the next year or so.

Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 full year Large segment

US Large

Sales in the large segment fell by 12% compared to 2014, the worse performance of all mainstream segments, worse even than the 8% fall in sales registered by the subcompact and minivan segments. As a result, large cars fell further behind those two segments and is now the second smallest mainstream segment, ahead of only minicars, and selling only a fifth as well as the only slightly smaller mid-sized cars.… Continue Reading …

Comparison: car sales in US 1985 vs. 2015, part 2: models

Renault_Alliance-ad-US-car-sales-1985-modelsEarlier this week we looked at how the US car market has evolved in the past 30 years, and noticed that the local Detroit 3 brands have lost a significant chunk of their impressive market share. The Japanese, European and South-Korean brands have picked up that lost volume and some more as the American manufacturers killed off brands that had almost 3 million sales in 1985. Other brands that are no longer around in the US were much smaller, as only Isuzu (barely) sold more than 100.000 units that year. Suzuki was just launched in 1985 and of the Europeans that have been pulled out Saab was the biggest, with Renault, Peugeot and especially Yugo as niche players, although technically the AMC Alliance and Encore should be considered Renault models as well.

The top 2 best selling vehicles in the United States haven’t changed since 30 years ago, as the Ford F-Series has held the title since 1982, and never gave it up. The Chevrolet Silverado was still called the C/K back then, but already was in second place as it still is today. The RAM pick-up is #3 nowadays, but was far behind in 25th place three decades ago when it was still called the Dodge Ram.… Continue Reading …

Poll results: new E-class fails to impress

2017-Mercedes-E-Class-17

A few weeks ago we asked you what you thought of the new E-class. Now the results are in, and the verdict won’t make fun reading for Mercedes-Benz.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 full year Mid-sized segment

US mid-sized 2

Sales in the mid-sized segment fell by 1% compared to 2014. This means that this once-largest segment fell further behind the compact SUV segment, as families continue abandoning their trusted sedans for trendy, spacious and equally-affordable crossovers. Part of the reason for this tardy performance is that most of the segment leaders are getting on in age, while the cars that have come out in recent years failed to capture the buyers’ imagination.… Continue Reading …

Comparison: car sales in US 1985 vs. 2015, part 1: brands

Ford_F_series-1985In our series “what has changed in 30 years?”, we continue our comparison of historical car sales vs. present times. We’ve explored France and Germany before, and now we’ll move across the Atlantic to the US. The overall US car market has gained 13,4% of volume, from 15,4 million sales in 1985 to 17,5 million in 2015, but of course that doesn’t tell the whole story, as there have been big shifts of volume and market share for individual brands. Also, 11 brands have been killed or removed from the US market and 16 have arrived. That doesn’t even account for the brands that have come and gone in the meantime, like Saturn, Hummer, Geo and Daewoo.

Looking at the shares by country of origin, we notice that the local Detroit 3 manufacturers held more than 3/4 of their home market, with another fifth for the Japanese brands and a meager 4,4% for the Europeans, led by Volkswagen. The South-Koreans wouldn’t arrive on the shores of North America until the next year, as Hyundai started US exports of the Excel in February 1986 and Kia would take another 8 years to cross the Pacific. … Continue Reading …