To all our readers, current and future, we’d like to wish a Happy New Year 2017! On our part, we promise to continue to bring you all the good things you’ve come to expect from CarSalesBase.com, as well as do our best to bring new content: new analysis, new ways to view our data, new features, and possibly a new website design. 2017 should be a great year!
Archives for December 2016
For the second year, in what we hope will become an annual tradition here at CarSalesBase, we are using the incoming new year as motivation to reflect back at 2016 and look at its success stories (see here for the 2015 surprises, and here for the 2015 disappointments). Let us know in the comments below if you agree or disagree!
For the past two decades, ever since Ford decided to make Jaguar into a global competitor to luxury car brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the British brand has suffered from false dawns and unfulfiffled promises. After doing surprisingly well in the US selling the much-derided X-Type and the uber-conservative S-type, with sales peaking at over 61,000 units in 2002, things took a turn for the worse, with sales dropping to around 15,000 a year, where they have been up until 2015.
This year, however, Jaguar is looking to sell over 30,000 cars for the first time in over a decade, more than doubling last year’s sales. The reason for this upswing is a barrage of new models, with particular success coming from the F-Pace SUV and the mid-sized XE (averaging about 1,500 and 1,000 units per month, respectively). The only bligth on the brand’s copybook is the relative failure of the new large XF to connect with the buyers, with sales in recent months substantially below the levels reached by its predecessor this time last year, no doubt hurt by cannibalization from its new stablemates.
After analysing European car sales for November 2016 by brand, let’s check out what the model ranking looks like. The Renault Clio celebrates its best November ever in 2nd place behint the traditional leader Volkswagen Golf, and ahead of its segment rivals Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. The Opel/Vauxhall Astra is in 5th place for the second month in a row, followed by the Skoda Octavia, also with its best November ever. The Volkswagen Tiguan drops a position on last month, but celebrates its fourth straight month in the European top-10, while the Renault Captur is the 2nd best selling crossover in the continent, back in the top-10 for the first time since June, with – you guessed it – its best November ever. The same goes for the Nissan Qashqai by the way, right behind the Captur in 11th place. The Fiat Panda hits its best ranking since February in 12th place while its sibling Fiat 500 is down in 29th place. The Renault Megane (#14) doubles up its volume of last year and outsells the Peugeot 308 (#20) for the first time since June 2014 and the Ford Focus (#15) for the first time since December 2012. The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (#21) outsells its rival Peugeot 2008 (#22) for only the third time this year, with the Dacia Duster (#25) not far behind.
For the first time since exactly one year ago, the Renault Kadjar (#33) outsells both the Kia Sportage (#36) and the Ford Kuga (#48), and the all-new Peugeot 3008 crossover also beats those two in 35th place. [Read more…]
November 2016 car sales in Europe are back in the positive after a slight drop the month before. A total of 1.176.026 new passenger cars were registered last month, an increase of 4,7% on the same month last year. That brings the 11-month total to 13.833.784 sales, up 6,5% on the same period last year and less than 300.000 sales from the 2015 full-year score for the 30 countries that make up the EU + EFTA. In other words, 2016 is going to be the third consecutive year of growth for the European car market after hitting rock bottom with less than 12,3 millions sales in 2013. All major markets showed improving sales, with the Southern European leading the way once again: Spain (+13,5%), France (+8,5%) and Italy (+8,2%) were outperforming, while the UK (+2,9%) and Germany (+1,5%) grew slower than the rest of the market. As 12 of the smaller markets grew by double digits (let by Hungary at +42,8%), The Netherlands (-20%) and Bulgaria (-7,1%) were the only losers in November.
Last week Mercedes-Benz released first pictures for the new E-class Coupe, and you’d be forgiven for reacting to them with a massive shrug. After all, we’ve seen it all before – it looks like a larger C-class Coupe, which itself was a shrunken S-class Coupe. That said, the new car arguably looks best of the three – not as bloated as its big brother, but better-proportioned than its baby brother. Still, it’s not the obvious similarity to its stablemates that our regular reader Behta pointed out…
As you may or may not have noticed, the Left-Lane.com logo has been removed off the top of our website for a few weeks, as we had been informed it violated a registered trademark. When I started this blog just over 3 years ago, I simply hadn’t thought about any trademark issues because I could not imagine would take off like this. I just came up with a car-related name and decided to stick with it. Now, 3 years later we’ve accumulated a total of 3 million visits, of which the last million came from just the last 6,5 months. And you come from every country in the world. We like to thank each of you for your visits, comments, likes and shares, they’ve all been a great help to growing our reach.
After asking for your help in coming up with a new name, we were overwhelmed by replies, e-mails and Facebook messages, all with creative suggestions and all usable, because it helped us on the right track to find a suitable new name: CarSalesBase.com. The name refers to our database with car sales data of over 2.200 models in 3 continents, and it also refers to this site as your base for all your interests in automotive industry data, strategy and opinion articles. We hope you like our new name and keep visiting.
Now let’s get to some general notices:
What do you need to do now that we’ve changed our name and our domain?
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Get ready to see some sales records shattered again: in November the Chinese car market broke its 11-month old record of 2,38 million sales in a single month by 150.000 units to over 2,53 million sales, an increase of 19,6% on last year’s November, which happened to be the first time Chinese car sales topped the 2 million sales milestone. It also means that China has broken 2015’s full-year record of 20,18 million sales already in November, as the year-to-date tally now stands at 21 million sales in 2016. Again, the purchase tax cut on vehicles with an engine of 1,6 liters or less fueled the market, as the central government still hasn’t decided (or at least made public) whether to extend the tax cut into 2017. If they keep this up, next month could be yet another monster month, breaking this month’s record again. Regardless of the outcome, pulling forward these car sales will have a moderating effect on the first few months of 2017, as analysts uniformly agree the next two years will see Chinese car sales plateau. Then again, analysts have been predicting this scenario for a few years now, and they keep getting proven wrong as the Chinese auto market has continued to grow sharply against all odds.
The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Selling Rate again hit a new record in November at 26,4 million units. Sales of crossovers and SUVs shot up 41% to 1,02 million units, while deliveries of sedans increased 10% to 1,28 million and MPV sales grew 8% to 235.700. The share of local brands dipped from their record of 44,35% in October to 42,42% in November, still above the average of this year, as year-to-date the local brands have a share of 40,67% of their home market, compared to just 37,66% over the full year 2015.
The Chinese car market is one of the most diverse in the world, with over 400 locally produced passenger car models from more than 70 domestic and foreign brands. If we include imported vehicles, minivans, pickups and commercial vehicles, there are more than 1.000 different models available. In November 2016 we welcome 7 new models, of which 4 crossover/SUVs, 2 MPVs and one station wagon.
The Buick GL8 is not an entirely new nameplate, it has been around for two previous generations since 2000, and in fact this third generation isn’t all that new considering it sits on the same platform of the previous generation. Then why bother featuring it here at all? The GL8 marks a significant shift in Buick’s positioning, as this is the first model of the brand worldwide to get the new upscale Avenir moniker. Avenir is not a sub-brand, but more like a top-of-the-line trim, a bit like Ford’s Vignale in Europe and GMC’s Denali in the US. The GL8 is a big MPV, which at first was mostly used by luxury taxi and transport companies, but is now also being embraced by families looking for a lot of passenger space. [Read more…]
Jaguar faced a tough decision when designing its first EV: either follow the successful Tesla Model S template, or go with a more original concept. While I’m sure the former option looked attractive to them, given the Tesla’s market success and, aruguably, the need to give the XJ replacement a stronger USP, the company ended up taking the bold step of venturing into a market that, until recently, would have been unthinkable for the brand: a sporty crossover. I admire as much – it takes guts, and, given how the concept looks, the final product will probably end up being one of the better-looking EVs out there. The problem is that, unless some parts of the design change substantially from the concept, it won’t be all that original…
This is a guest post from one of our enthusiast readers, Colman Murphy. If you’re interested in reaching an audience of almost 200,000 monthly viewers with your automotive related article, get in touch with us! We’re looking for guest writers and additional staff.
The acquisition of Solar City by Tesla on November 21st leaves no doubt the latter is increasingly an energy company. Question is, does that make it less of a car company? I doubt Elon Musk feels compelled to focus on just one business — he’s had his hands simultaneously in Space-X, Tesla and Solar City for a decade now — but the combined debt and portfolios of Tesla and Solar City must be a source of many a discussion if not discontent among the company’s board and its investors. Earlier this year, this website already discussed a vision of long-term strategy of Tesla, which also brought up the idea that Elon Musk is looking beyond its current form as a car manufacturer.
There are no indications that Tesla must exit the car market, at least not in the near term. There are very few other brands — automotive or otherwise — that have executed their vision as effectively as Tesla, and that brand strength alone could carry the company for many years. But the Electric Vehicle/Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) landscape is getting ever so crowded; Tesla’s next vehicle, the Model 3, will impose significant pressure on its profit margins; and a Republican-controlled US government is more likely to favor low oil prices and big trucks from the major corporations over green-technology vehicles made by niche manufacturers on the West Coast. With that as backdrop, a move away from cars might well be the right move for Tesla. [Read more…]