Archives for February 2017

PSA may buy Opel/Vauxhall, but does it make sense? [w/poll]

Peugeot-Opel-logoThis week it became apparent that PSA Peugeot-Citroën and General Motors are having talks about the possible takeover of GM’s European division by the French automaker. This includes the Opel and Vauxhall brands, which have been a decade-long money drain on General Motors. The two automakers have been working together closely on the development of a handful of models and are looking for opportunities to boost each company’s profitability, which includes a sale of the two brands. GM has had a stake in PSA until 2013 when it became apparent that projected savings from their cooperation and platform sharing would fall short of expectations. After this breakup, the French company had to be bailed out by the French government and its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor, which each control 14% of the shares.

Would a new, more intense cooperation bring the promised synergies? And does this mark the start of a much-needed wave of consolidations in the European car market? Or will it only cause PSA to lose focus on its own financial recovery and resurrection of its brands? Let’s look a the pros and cons for both parties involved:

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Poll: how well will the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid do in the US?

Yesterday Hyundai announced that the Ioniq Hybrid will cost around $23,000 when it goes on sale in the US, which makes it some $2,000 cheaper than its main competitor, Toyota Prius. In addition, the Hyundai can claim to be considerably more efficient than the Toyota, at least on paper, promising 58 mpg combined to the latter’s 52 mpg. So far things look promising for the Hyundai, but can it really succeed where the likes of Honda Insight failed?

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Upcoming DS7 Crossback [w/ poll]

Photo courtesy of Worldscoop

This post is a bit unusual in that it is a “3 in 1”. First, it’s a scoop of the new upcoming mid-sized SUV from the DS brand, rumored to be called the DS7 Crossback. Second, I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask our readers about whether they think the carmaker is on the right track, both with this model and more broadly for the DS brand as a whole. And finally, I just could not help thinking the car reminds me two others that have come before it…

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European car sales analysis Full Year 2016 – models

Car-sales-Europe-2016As predicted last year, market leader Volkswagen Golf drops below half a million sales in 2016, under increased pressure from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra (+29,8% in 6th place) and Renault Megane (+20,4% in 25th place but in the December top-7). The Ford Fiesta loses the second place it held in 6 of the last 7 years as it prepares for a new generation. That means the Renault Clio is the new #2  and the Volkswagen Polo is the second VW on the podium. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 make it five subcompact cars in the top-7. The Nissan Qashqai celebrates a 7th consecutive year of 200.000+ sales and the 9th year as Europe’s best selling crossover/SUV. It is however being challenged for that title by both the Renault Captur, entering the top-10 for the first time, and the Volkswagen Tiguan, up 20% to #18 but in the top-10 for the last 5 months of the year. The Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat drop out of the top-10. Even though it’s by no means the freshest model in its segment, the Toyota Yaris has enjoyed 3 years of stable growth and moves back up one more place into 14th. After being outsold by its sibling Fiat 500 for 3 years, the Fiat Panda hits back to enter the top-15 again.… Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: Hyundai i30 / Elantra GT and…

When the latest Hyundai i30 / Elantra Sport was revealed at the Paris Auto Show in the fall of 2016, I was more than a little bit disappointed. After all, the previous generation marked a big improvement over what came before, bringing a confident, dynamic style that made it one of the most attractive hatchbacks on the market. The latest model goes for a completely different look, trying to be sophisticated and solid-looking in a bid to emulate the VW Golf’s appeal, but to these eyes at least it falls quite short of achieving that. That said, even I have to admit that from the rear the car is rather attractive, in that it reminds me of one of my favorite designs, even if the similarity is more in concept than the detailed execution.

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US sales 2016: all reports

In case you missed any of them, here is the complete list of the reports we recently on sales in the US in 2016:

US-sales-minicar-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Spark-Mitsubishi_MirageMinicar segment  Subcompact segment US-sales-compact_car-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Cruze-Honda_Civic-Nissan_Sentra-Hyundai_Elantra-Mazda3Compact segment
US-sales-midsized_car-segment-2016-Toyota_Camry-Chevrolet_Malibu-Honda_Accord-Mazda6Mid-sized segment Large segment  US-sales-minivan-segment-2016-Honda_Odyssey-Toyota_Sienna-Kia_Sedona-Nissan_Quest-Dodge_Grand_CaravanMinivan segment
US-car-sales-subcompact-crossover-segment-2016-Q1Subcompact SUV segment US-sales-compact_SUV-segment-2016-Subaru_Forester-Nissan_Rogue-Chevrolet_Equinox-Mazda_CX5-Honda_CRV-Toyota_RAV4-GMC_TerrainCompact SUV segment US-sales-midsized_SUV-segment-2016-Kia_Sorento-Chevrolet_Traverse-Ford_Explorer-Dodge_Durango-Nissan_Pathfinder-Honda_Pilot-Toyota_HighlanderMid-sized SUV segment
US SUV LargeLarge SUV segment US-sales-small_pickup_truck-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Colorado-Nissan_Frontier-Toyota_TacomaSmall Pickup segment US Large PickupLarge Pick-up segment
US premium compactPremium Compact segment Premium Mid-sized segment Premium Large segment
US limousine segmentLimousine segment US premium compact SUV 2Premium Compact SUV segment US premium mid-sized SUVPremium Mid-sized SUV segment
US Large Premium SUVPremium Large SUV segment US small van segmentSmall Commercial Vans segment US large van segmentLarge Commercial Vans segment
Alternative Power segment US Small SportsSmall Sports segment  US_sales-premium-small-sports_car-segmentPremium Small Sports segment
  US large sportsSports Large and Exotics segment

US sales: January 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for January, let’s zoom in on the models.

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US sales 2016 Alternative Power segment

Sales of Alternative Power cars across all segments fell by 11.2 percent in 2016, making this the third year in a year of decline in a row. This means that, with 264,287 sales in 2016, the meta-segment is some 25 percent smaller than it was at its peak in 2013, though it is still more than twice as big as it was a decade ago. That said, prospects for cars with alternative power still look pretty bleak because cheap gas keeps luring people away from EVs, hybrids and more fuel-efficient cars in general into larger crossovers, SUVs and pick-up trucks. Not even the new Toyota Prius liftbackChevrolet Volt or Tesla Model X seem to be able to stop that.

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European car sales analysis Full Year 2016 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-2016Passenger car sales in Europe rose for the third consecutive year in 2016, and its 6,2% increase put the total for the year just above 15 million units for the first time since pre-crisis 2007. Growth for the past 3 years has totaled 22,2%, or 2,73 million additional sales. That means the market has now officially (and finally) recovered, 8 years after the first big hit that shook up the industry. However, there’s still room to grow, because even though the US market appears to be at its peak, the European market (EU + EFTA) still has 7,7% to go before hitting its all-time record of 16,16 million sales it hit in 2004. But first, let’s get back to 2016 and see how individual countries have performed: The growth was largely sustained across the region but weighted towards the South, which had the most to catch up to begin with. Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+10,9%) showed the biggest gains of the major markets, followed by France (+5,1%), Germany (+4,5%) and the UK (+2,3%). Among smaller markets, Iceland (+31,7%), Hungary (+25,1%) and tiny Cyprus (+22,2%) were the most dynamic, while only 2 out of the 30 markets lost volume: The Netherlands at -14,7% and Switzerland at -2%.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2016 Large Commercial Vans segment

US large van segment

Sales in the Large Commercial Vans segment rose by 15.4 percent in 2016 to 377,971 vehicles, the highest level they have been in the past decade. While 2017 is unlikely to bring any big changes to the segment lineup, sales are likely to continue rising at the clear expense of the Small Commercial Vans segment, as long as gas prices don’t rise too quickly.

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