Archives for August 2017

European car sales analysis June and first half 2017 – manufacturers

European-car-sales-graph-June_2017Car sales in Europe increased in June 2017, but by the smallest figure so far this year at +1,7% to 1,52 million. Compared to June 2015, it’s still a healthy growth of 8,2% in 2 years time. The year-to-date figure now stands at 8,37 million sales, an increase of 4,1% on the first half of 2016. This means that in the first half of 2017, we’ve seen only one month of decline, countered by one month of double digit growth, and four months of single digit growth. Of the five largest markets, Italy (+12,9%) and Spain (+6,5%) outperformed, France (+1,6%) showed average growth, but the UK (-4,8%) and Germany (-3,5%) lost volume. New EU member states (+12%) contributed greatly to the overall growth, led by Romania (+47%), Lithuania (+40,6%) and Estonia (+33,7%). Contrastingly to its neighbors, Latvia showed the largest decline at -17,8%. In the first half of 2017, Italy (+8,9%) and Spain (+7,1%) outperformed the market, Germany (+3,1%) and France (+3,0%) also improved, but the UK is into the red with a decline of 1,3%. New member states improved 15,2% vs. an increase of 3,8% for the pre-2004 members. Biggest gainers are Romania at +27% and Croatia at +23,6%, while Ireland (-10%) is the fastest declining market, with only Finland (-1,6%), Latvia (-1%) and the UK as the other shrinking markets.

Fiat_Tipo-hatchback-station_wagonIn terms of manufacturer volume gains, FCA Fiat-Chrysler is the big winner in June, ahead of Toyota Motor and Volkswagen Group, while BMW Group, PSA and Ford Motor are the three biggest volume losers. In terms of relative growth, General Motors (now freed from the burden called Opel/Vauxhall) more than doubles deliveries of its US models, while Tesla Motors and Aston Martin also deliver nice growth on their newly launched models Model X and DB11. On the other end of the scales, Honda continues to bleed in Europe and risks becoming irrelevant if it doesn’t pay more attention to customer’s needs. Speaking of irrelevant brands, Mahindra & Mahindra enjoyed nice growth in recent years on the revival of SsangYong, but the honeymoon is over and the brand appears to have hit the full potential of its current line-up. In South-Korea, there’s already a new generation Rexton, let’s hope this makes it to Europe soon to help the brand continue its growth curve. Like Honda, Subaru treats Europe as an afterthought and also shows double digit declines.

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Sports segment

Mazda MX-5 almost takes the segment lead, as RWD cars soar and FWD cars crashThe Small Sports segment lost an astonishing 31.6% sales in the second quarter of 2017, a bad performance second only to that of the Minicar segment that lost almost half its sales over the same period. Combined with the slower decline experienced by the segment in the first quarter of the year, sales in the segment were 22.8% smaller in the first half of 2017 than in 2016. Although there is some hope in the form of the new Hyundai Veloster, that car won’t arrive until sometime in 2018 – until then, it’s likely sales will continue declining.

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Commercial Van segment

Every single model loses sales, as the segment shrinks by almost 20%

US-sales-small-cargo-van-segmentOverall sales of Commercial Vans in the US fell again in the second quarter of 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in the first quarter, resulting in a cumulative drop in sales of 3.2% YTD. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that customers seem to be slowly moving away from commercial vans to pickups, at least to the extent that the latter are used for commercial purposes. Confirming this, the decline is concentrated in the small commercial van segment, which has lost 17.9% of its volume so far this year, while the large commercial vans segment, for which pickups are no substitute, seems largely unaffected.
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US sales 2017 first half: Large Commercial Van segment

Once segment golden boy Ford Transit suffers double-digit sales decline while segment grows slowlyUS large van segmentOverall sales of Commercial Vans in the US fell again in the second quarter of 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in the first quarter, resulting in a cumulative drop in sales of 3.2% YTD. However, this is mainly due to sales decline in the small commercial vans sector – sales in the large commercial vans sector have been growing so far in 2017, albeit at a leisurely 0.5% pace overall.
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Look-a-like: Toyota C-HR and…

Let me come clean right from the beginning: I am a big fan of the Toyota C-HR, as it is the only car right now that seems to be carrying the avant garde torch in the subcompact SUV segment that was once kick-started by the equally adventurous-looking Nissan Juke. What’s more, the model’s looks are clearly not hampering it with consumers, who have taken to the model really rather well (European sales data, US sales data, US subcompact SUV segment comparison). However, despite this love, I always found it curious that this willfully different-looking car is, from the rear, very similar looking to another car that came before it…

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Pickup segment

US-sales-small_pickup_truck-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Colorado-Nissan_Frontier-Toyota_Tacoma

After finishing 2016 as the fastest growing segment, with a growth rate of 25.5%, things have slowed down considerably, resulting in a growth rate of only 2.4% over the first half of 2017. Moreover, rather than being evenly spread among all models, the remaining growth in the segment is being driven by one model only: the all-new Honda Ridgeline. With the replacement for the Nissan Frontier, the eagerly-awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup and the return of the Ford Ranger still a while away, it is unlikely the segment will see a huge upturn anytime soon.

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US sales 2017 first half: Premium Large SUV segment

Stable sales for large luxury crossovers, slight growth for full-sized luxury crossovers.

US Large Premium SUV
Sales of Premium Large SUVs appear to have peaked, as first half 2017 figures are up just 1% over the same period last year, for a total of 296,538 sales. So far this year, the trend in the premium segment seems to be: the bigger the truck, the slower the sales growth. However, subdivided in Large and Full-sized SUVs, the former subsegment is down by 1% to 236,206 sales, while the really big trucks still improve by 11% to 60,332 sales. The segment has had a boost of fresh and updated models in recent years, but will take a breather in coming months. We’ve just had the launch of the new generation Land Rover Discovery to replace the LR4, but we’ll have to wait until next year for the arrival of the Lexus RX 7-seater, new generation BMW X5 and the long-awaited new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the full-sized subsegment, there will be more news this year, with the new generations of the Infiniti QX80 and the Lincoln Navigator arriving in showrooms in the second half, as well as an updated Cadillac Escalade.

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US sales 2017 Large Pick-up segment

US Large PickupSales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 4.3% in the second quarter of 2017, a slight slowdown relative to the the first quarter, but still enough to register a YTD sales rate of 4.9% – much better than the falling market total. In fact, there is a trend emerging in 2017, wherein pickups seem to be regaining what little ground they lost to commercial vans in recent years (at least those pickups that are used for commercial purposes) – both pickup segments grew so far this year, while the commercial vans segment lost volume. This steady growth trend is likely to continue in 2017, but the arrival of the new RAM Pickup towards the end of the year may result in a quickening of the growth rate in 2018, given how popular the model has been in recent years.

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US sales 2017 first half: Premium Mid-sized SUV segment

Robust growth continues as Cadillac reclaims lead ahead of 4 close challengers.

US premium mid-sized SUVSales of Premium Mid-sized SUVs in the US were up 9% in Q2 of 2017, resulting in an 11% increase for the first half of the year. Total sales added up to 213,994 units, which is just about double the figure of the Premium Large Car segment, down by 14%. And whereas the German luxury brands are still firmly in control in the sedan market, they’re much less dominant among crossovers, with only one German in the top-4, in third place. The crossover segment continues its steady growth rate after already gaining close to 15% in 2016, as buyers are switching from sedans to crossovers and SUVs, which in then attracts new models to the fast growing segment. The Jaguar F-Pace and Cadillac XT5 just celebrated their first birthdays, the new generation Audi Q5 is still fresh and in the coming months we’ll welcome the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Range Rover Velar, as well as new generations of the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3. Compared last year, the entire top-6 is shuffled up, showing how this is one of the most dynamic and competitive segments, with 5 models challenging for the lead.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017 first half: Premium Compact SUV segment

Fastest growing segment in the US, now larger than premium compact car segment

US premium compact SUV 2The Premium Compact Crossover segment saw its sales increase 15% in Q2 of 2017, which is a slowdown of the booming 39% growth in the first quarter, which brings the year-to-date increase to 27%, still an improvement over the 24% increase in all of 2016. Total sales in the first half were 56,667 which is more than the sales figure of the Premium Compact Car segment. Only one model in the segment lost sales: the Mercedes-Benz GLA. With the new generation Mini Countryman in showrooms now, and the arrival of the Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 by the end of the year (or perhaps early next year), the segment is bound to continue on this path of growth. Next year, Audi could bring the Q2 to the States as well, although this has not yet been officially confirmed, nor has Acura hinted at the possibility that the China-made CDX is coming to the US. If so, it won’t be for at least another year.

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