Archives for September 2017

European car sales analysis July 2017 – models

Skoda_Octavia-European_car_sales_statistics-2017After looking at the July 2017 car brand ranking in Europe, let’s discuss sales figures of individual models. Like in May, Volkswagen places 2 models on top, with the Polo in run-out mode to prepare for the new model that will arrive in showrooms shortly. With places 4 through 7 all within a margin of just 600 sales, we find a surprise in fourth place, as the facelifted Skoda Octavia improves its ranking record. Its previous best was a 5th place achieved in Oktober 2013 and August 2015. The Nissan Qashqai ranks 5th for the second time this year and frankly outsells its closest challenger Volkswagen Tiguan, which is out of the top-10 for the second month in a row and only 1.100 sales ahead of the Peugeot 3008, the fastest growing nameplate in the top-75. As the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa is suffering from its advanced age compared to much fresher rivals, it is down to 6th place of its segment, behind even the Dacia Sandero and Toyota Yaris. The latter of these two is the biggest winner in the top-10 with a gain of 15% thanks to its facelift. The Corsa is also challenged by its new stablemate Citroën C3 in 13th place. … Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: Audi A8 and…

I think it’s fair to say that the design of the latest Audi A8 has met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. While most of the styling is not in any way ill-judged or controversial, people’s reactions instead fall into a few camps: “wasted opportunity” is a common one, “yawn” is another, while many detractors level the same criticism as they have leveled at most German limousines for the past two decades: “looks too much like the mid-sized saloon blown up by 30%”. While personally I fall into the “wasted opportunity”, there is an aspect of the A8’s styling which actually bothers me, and that is the oversized, chrome-lipped grille that, to add insult to injury, reminds me a of a much-less exclusive car…

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Genesis debuts its 3-series fighter, the G70 [w/ poll]

Following what feels like a relatively short gestation process, with relatively few spy shots and no teasers (that’s refreshing in today’s world), Hyundai-Kia’s new premium brand Genesis revealed the new G70 model. Designed to compete in the premium mid-sized segment against the likes of Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class, the G70 is Genesis’ first truly new model, following in the footsteps of the premium large G80 (née Hyundai Genesis) and the premium limousine G90 (née Hyundai Equus).

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Frankfurt production cars

Audi RS4 Avant and BMW M5

Kriss: hit

If this is the future of performance saloons/wagons, sign me up! Sure, we should all mourn the passing of the thrilling NA V8 screamer in the RS4 and, going back two generations, a similarly high-revving NA V10 in the M5. However, if they can only imbue the new engines with a bit of charisma it’s hard to argue with the hard facts: 0-62mph (100km/h) times of 4.1s for the RS4 and 3.4s for the M5, respectively, plus a series of chassis techniques to make these big cars controllable and exciting: torque vectoring, carbon brakes, a rear-biassed 4WD system that can be fully switched off in the BMW’s case. Plus they look every bit as good as they should, with their wide tracks and swollen arches.

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European car sales analysis July 2017 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-July_2017July marks the third consecutive month of growth for European car sales, and the sixth this year. A total of 1,19 million cars were registered in the 28 countries of the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 3,2% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 9,56 million sales, up 4% on the first seven months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) and Germany (+3,5%) also outgrew the market, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) suffered another blow. Including the smaller markets, Greece (+19,7%) was once again the best performer, while Ireland (-7,2%), Switzerland (-4,6%) and Denmark (-3,3%) are the only other three markets to lose volume on last year.

Toyota_CHR-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAmong manufacturers, Toyota Motor is the best performer in terms of absolute growth, although Renault-Nissan is only a handful of sales behind and Daimler AG remains pretty close as well. The first two add more than 10.000 sales to their July volume of last year, while the latter grows by close to 9.600 sales. On the other end of the scale, Ford Motor Company loses more than 7.000 sales as its best seller Fiesta is in a model change phase which temporarily hurts its deliveries. BMW Group loses almost 1.200 sales and Honda continues to lose volume for the 7th month this year. In relative terms, Aston Martin is the only manufacturer to more than double up, while Tesla Motors adds 63% and General Motors‘ US brands Cadillac and Chevrolet (sports cars and SUVs) grows by almost 50% from its low base. Mahindra & Mahindra is hurt by slowing sales of its South-Korean SUV brand SsangYong and is the fastest declining manufacturer, followed by Ford Motor Company and Honda.

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Look-a-like: Dacia Duster and…

This Look-a-like is going to be a bit different, as it is based on a suggestions from CSB readers. In the metaphorical crosshairs this week: Dacia Duster, a car whose second generation recently debuted ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, impressing both Bart and myself. 

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US sales: August 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for August, let’s take a closer look at the models ranking.

Top 10

Ford F-series

Ford F-series

The Top 10 this year has been the setting of many fascinating battles. First, there is the battle of the Large Pickups, a battle which Ford F-series remains firmly in control of despite a wobbly start to the year, with sales up 15.0% in August alone. Following the Ford are Chevrolet Silverado and Ram Pickup, with the Ram putting in some good performances earlier this year, outselling its rival for three straight months March through May and coming to within 5,000 cars in the YTD total at the end of that period, but the Chevy regaining initiative since then to widen the YTD sales gap to over 35,000 units by the end of August. August growth stats reflect this clearly: sales for the Chevy are up 3.9%, while for the Ram they are down 6.5%, the largest drop in 12 months.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the pre-Frankfurt report

With the Frankfurt Auto Show almost upon us, Bart and I figured we’d run one of our customary Good, Bad and Ugly features ahead of the actual show, just to make sure we’re not swamped with the debuts once the doors open. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Bart and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.

Bentley Continental GT

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US sales: August 2017, brands

The decline in the US car market continued with a 1.6% decline in sales, despite August this year having one more sales day than last year. Despite the fact that some of the fall may be attributed to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the US towards the end of the month, it is clear that the market is not going to pick up anytime soon. The poor performance in August caused the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) figure to drop to 16.13 million vehicles, the lowest figure in over three years.

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Look-a-like: VW T-Roc and…

The new VW T-Roc has brought a breath of fresh air to VW’s design, and unlike the most recent batch of Audis, or the new VW Arteon, it has done so without relying on an exaggerated grille. That said, while it all comes together very nicely, there are parts of the T-Roc’s design that immediately reminded me of cars that have come before it.

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