Sales in the Small Commercial Vans segment fell by 10.4 percent in 2016 to 84,408 vehicles, the first time that annual sales in the segments have declined since Ford Transit Connect kicked-off the segment as we know right now in 2009. Low fuel costs are holding back sales as American business generally prefer Large Commercial Vans or Pickup Trucks instead. With no likely new entrants in 2017, the segment’s fortune depends square on customers’ expectation of what gas prices will do in the near future.
Archives for February 2017
After discussing European car sales for December 2016 by brand, let’s check out what the model ranking looks like in the last month of 2016. Renault amazingly places 3 models in the top-7, with the Clio, Captur and Megane, all showing double digit improvement. Volkswagen managed this same feat in August (when it had 3 models in the top-6) and October with the Golf, Polo and Tiguan, but for the French brand this is a much more unusual performance. In its fourth year, the Captur just keeps improving even without any updates, while the Clio had its best December since 2010 thanks to a minor facelift and the Megane has its second-best month in 4,5 years after last June, now that the new generation is picking up steam including the station wagon version. As a result, the Megane is not that far behind its rival Opel/Vauxhall Astra, hinting at an interesting battle between these two in 2017, a battle which will undoubtedly hurt the segment (and total market) leader VW Golf. The Volkswagen Tiguan makes it five top-10 finishes in a row, of which it outsold its rival Nissan Qashqai four times.
The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa drops out of the top-10 for the first time in 16 months with a 13th place, its lowest ranking in at least a decade. The Peugeot 2008 (#16) keeps improving since its facelift and stays well ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (#24), which feels the Dacia Duster (#25) breathing down its neck. The Peugeot 308 barely holds on to a top-20 position but its 51% loss looks worse than it is. [Read more…]
European car sales in December 2016 showed the 10th gain of the year at +2,6%. A total of 1.180.704 new passenger cars were registered last month, just a handful more than the month before. This also makes this the highest December volume on record, indicating the days of crisis are now well and truly behind us. Almost all major markets showed improving sales, with the Southern European leading the way once again: Italy (+13,1%), Spain (+9,3%), France (+5,8%) and Germany (+3.7%) outperformed the market, while the UK (‐1.1%) dropped slightly. Four other countries lost volume in December, and did so with double digits: tiny Cyprus lost 14,7%, even tinier Iceland lost 16,2%, but both were below 1.000 sales. More worryingly were the losses for Greece (-30,1%) and The Netherlands (-48,1%), but the latter was a result of a change in the taxation of company cars by January 1st, 2017. From now on, only EVs will receive a discount on the taxation, and Plug-in hybrids and other fuel efficient cars will no longer be elligible. This also resulted in a 30% share of plug-in cars in the Dutch December sales figures! [Read more…]
After 2016 set a new record for passenger car sales in the US, the new year got off to a slow start with sales falling 0.6 percent to 1,140,473 in January.
Sales in the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment rose by 14.9 percent in 2016, a slightly slower pace of growth than for the Premium Compact SUV segment, but faster than the Premium Large SUV segment. Moreover, with total sales of 434,412 it came to within 3,000 units to outselling the Premium Mid-sized segment – it has increased its sales almost seven-fold over the past decade, while its non-SUV cousin segment lost almost 20 percent of sales over the same period. 2017 promises to be yet another good year for this segment, with the arrival of the new Audi Q5, BMW X3, as well as possibly the new Volvo XC60 and Infiniti QX50. [Read more…]
Sales in the Sports Large and Exotics segment fell by 10.4 percent in 2016 to 54,994, about a third lower than they were a decade ago. The segment’s prospects for 2017 are rather bleak: not only right now it seems that there will be no big new debuts in this segment in the coming year, the early indication is that customers are not very keen on the new, turbocharged iteration of one of the mainstays of the segment: Porsche 911.
Note: going forward, the segments Sports Large and Exotics have been merged, partly to align the US reporting with that for Europe, and partly because data for the old Exotic segment became very thin ever since sales estimates for the truly exotic brands (Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini) became unavailable.