China car sales analysis September 2017


The Chinese car market continue sits steady growth in September, showing a 3,4% increase to almost 2,3 million sales of passenger cars. This is the fourth consecutive month of single digit increases after years of booming growth. It also builds confidence in the belief that the market will continue its winning streak in 2017 and finish the year in positive territory despite an exceptionally strong last quarter of 2016. That brings the year-to-date total to almost 16,8 million sales, an increase of 3,7% on the same period in 2016. In absolute terms, 2017 is ahead of last year by 600.000 sales, which means the likelihood of yet another new sales record is becoming greater by the passin gmonth. We’d need at least an 8% sales decline in the last quarter to see the first annual decline in a few decades in China. Even considering the exceptionally strong finish of 2016, that seems pretty unlikely, especially taking into account the sales tax on cars with engines of 1,6 liter and smaller will increase again in January, from 7,5% back to its normal rate of 10%, which should pull forward sales of this kind of vehicle to the last quarter. Back to September: the crossovers and SUV trend seems unstoppable with yet another double digit gain: +10% to 971.000 sales, while sedans improve 3,7% to 1,16 million sales and the decline of the MPV segment accelerates to -25% to 165.900 sales. Within those sales figures, electric cars and PHEVs also showed a impressive improvement of 79% in September, to almost 78.000 sales. EVs were responsible for most of that growth, as sales increased 83% to 64.000, compared to a 62% increase for PHEVs, to 14.000. These figures add up to 325.000 EV and 73.000 PHEV sales in China so far this year, an increase of 38% on the first 9 months of 2016 and 2,4% of the overall market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that will be imposed in 2018

The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in August stood at 25,8 million, a similar level as last January, which has been the highest so far this year, and up by 850.000 on August, marking the 6th consecutive month of increased SAAR. The share of domestic automakers in September was 39,8%, the highest figure in the past 3 months and down from 41,8% in September 2016. Sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments were down 1,5%, compared to a gain of just 2% for US brands, +12% for Japanese brands and +15% for European brands. In contrast, South-Korean brands are down for the 9th month this year, by 23%.

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Mitsubishi presents ambitious plan for growth, neglects Europe

Mitsubishi_Eclipse_CrossMitsubishi Motors has presented an ambitious growth plan for the next three years, called “Drive for Growth”. According to this plan, the brand will invest more than 600 billion Yen (€ 4,5 billion / US$ 5.3 billion), of which R&D spending will increase by 50% to € 1 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) to develop six all-new models (including the recently launched Eclipse Cross crossover for the US and Europe, and the Xpander MPV for Indonesia) and significantly update five existing models. As a result of this product offensive, worldwide sales should increase by 40% to 1,3 million units in 2020 and the company expects to return to profitability with a profit margin of 6% by the 2019 fiscal year. This is the first business plan by Mitsubishi since Nissan took a controlling 34% share in its struggling rival in 2016. According to Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko “this is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region.”… Continue Reading …

New on CSB: graph comparison tool!

Car_sales-comparison-tool-US-luxury As one of the leading websites dedicated to car sales (with over 300.000 monthly views from readers all over the world) and with one of the largest databases on car sales data (with historic and current data of over 2.500 different models across 3 continents and as far back as 6 decades), it is our mission at to continually look for ways to give our readers more and easier ways to find the information they’re looking for. We’re happy and proud to introduce the latest result of this quest: a car sales comparison tool that allows you to visually compare annual car sales from all available brands and models in Europe, the US and China in a graph. Our tool lets you pick up to 8 different models or brands to compare, from as far back as 1961, and give you a visual of their annual sales, in addition to a table with the exact data.

For example: compare Ford Focus sales in Europe with those of the same model in the US and China. Or compare BMW 3-Series sales in Europe with those of up to 7 competitors. Graphically display the growth of the Mercedes-Benz brand in three continents. You can decide what you want to compare and for which time period. Check out the comparison tool at (or use the “Comparison Tool” button in the top menu) and let us know what you think. Send us a note if you think we can improve the tool or the functionality, or just let us know if you like it. Also, if there’s anything else we can do to improve your experience on our website, please let us know, we can only serve you better if you tell us what you’re looking for and what you want from us.

Enjoy using the tool and experimenting with it, but we warn you: from personal experience we know it can be a bit addictive, so use with care 🙂

The standard settings are 3 models to be compared from 2000 to 2016. Use the dropdown select boxes to select a different time period. Use the “add new model” button to add more than the standard 3 options, up to 8, and use the “remove model” button to reduce the number of options. Use the “Clear ” button to clear a selected field, or just select another model. Click on the “show tables” button below the graph to display the tables, and use the arrows to see the rest of the legend when more than 3 models are selected. 

Here are a few more examples of how to use the tool:



European car sales analysis August 2017 – models

European_car_sales-August-2017-Dacia_SanderoAfter looking at the August 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s zoom in on individual model sales figures. The major thing to notice in the top-3 is the arrival of the Skoda Octavia behind the usual suspects VW Golf and Renault Clio. If last month the Octavia set a new personal best ranking with a 4th place, it immediately breaks that record in August, landing on the European podium for the first time since the nameplate’s was launched in 1996. The facelift with the double headlights must really have struck a chord with European buyers. In fourth place, the Volkswagen Tiguan equals the record ranking it also hit last April, and it’s Europe’s best selling crossover for the third time this year after April and January, and for the sixth time ever, after August, October and November of 2016. But wait, there’s one more record breaker in the top-5: the Dacia Sandero climbs two more spots on the personal best it set last month and is in the European top-5 for the first time ever. This also makes it a Renault-Dacia 1-2 in the subcompact car segment, as the Sandero outsells overall top-5 regulars like the Volkswagen Polo (#6), Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (#8) and Ford Fiesta (down to a record low of 32nd place), as well as other rivals like the Peugeot 208 (#9) and Toyota Yaris (#10). Granted, the Polo and Fiesta suffer from model change-overs and the Corsa is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that still doesn’t really discount the Sandero’s top performance with a gain of 23,3%.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis August 2017 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-August_2017European car sales are up by 6% in August 2017, the largest year-over-year increase in the last 3 months, and the fourth straight month of growth for the European market. August being the traditional holdiday month for Europeans, especially those in the South, it’s by far the slowest month of the year in terms of volume. Just 893.000 cars were registered in August 2017, more than a million fewer than last March. The year-to-date figure now stands at 10,54 million sales, up 4,1% on the first eight months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) also outgrew the market, and Germany (+3,5%) improved at a lower pace, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) is once again going in the opposite direction. Including the smaller markets, Lithuania (+34,4%) and neighbouring Latvia (+25,8%) showed the strongest growth, split by Iceland (+28,8%). Besides the UK, other markets in a negative trend are Ireland (-21,3%), Denmark (-12,1%), Cyprus (-10%), Belgium (-8,1%) and Romania (-3,3%).

Renault-Nissan is the biggest gaining manufacturer for the first time since last March, although the company has held on to its top spot in the year-to-date rankings ever since. In August, Renault-Nissan’s gain is more than 10.000 sales ahead of the next best performer, Volkswagen Group, while Daimler AG is not far behind the latter, leaving last month’s big winner Toyota Motor Company off the podium this month. In terms of relative growth, Aston Martin doubles up for the second consecutive month, while the two Chinese manufacturers SAIC and Geely also outperform. SAIC’s MG brand comes from a low base, selling just a few hundred cars a month in the UK only, while Geely benefits from its investments in the Swedish Volvo brand and the small British Lotus sportscar brand.

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China car sales analysis August 2017

China-car-sales-graph-august_2017The Chinese car market grows for the third consecutive month in August 2017, with a 6,5% increase to 1,87 million sales. That brings the year-to-date total to almost 14,5 million sales, an increase of 3,7% on the same period in 2016. Looking at the final four months of last year, they were exceptionally good in terms of sales volume due to the pending reduction of the tax cut on small vehicles (engines of less than 1,6 liters). The tax, which was temporarily halved to 5%, increased to 7,5% on Jan. 1st 2017 and will return to its normal rate of 10% on Jan. 1st 2018. This may give the Chinese car market another boost in the final few months of this year, but will it be enough to keep the market from decreasing for the first time in a couple of decades? The year-end rally in 2016 pulled forward a lot of sales, which translated in a slow start of 2017 and that may be difficult to make up in the final few months of the year. Back to August: crossovers and SUVs continue their boom with an 18% increase to 760.700 sales, but for only the second time this year, after February, sedan sales also improved, up 4% to 954.800 units. The MPV segment remains weak with a decline of 19% to 155.200 sales. Within those sales figures, electric cars and PHEVs also showed a impressive improvement of 76% in August, to almost 68.000 sales. EVs were responsible for most of that growth, as sales increased 96% to 56.000, compared to a 22% increase for PHEVs, to 12.000. These figures add up to 260.000 EV and 59.000 PHEV sales in China so far this year, an increase of 30% on the first 8 months of 2016 and 2,2% of the overall market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that will be imposed in 2018.

The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in August stood at 24,9 million, the highest since last January and up almost a million on July. The share of domestic automakers in August was 38,5%, the lowest figure in the past 13 months and down from 39,15% in August 2016. However, it’s worth noting that the share of domestic brands in the crossover segment is an impressive 56%. Despite their success in this hot segment, sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments trailed the market growth at +4,7%, though still beat the US brands at +2,8% and the South-Korean brands at -27,2%, their lowest rate of decline since last February. With European brands up 8,7%, most of the growth in China came from Japanese brands at +25,3%.

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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 …

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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China car sales analysis July 2017

China-car-sales-graph-July_2017After two months of slumping sales in April and May, the Chinese car market recovers with two months of increases in June and July. July sales are up 5,4% on 2016 and a whopping 30,8% on July 2015, which was especially depressed when the Chinese stock market crashed, before the Beijing government stepped in with their tax reduction on vehicles with small engines. A total of 1,65 million new passenger cars were sold last month, naturally a new record for July sales in China. The year-to-date total now stands at 12,59 million sales, an increase of 3,4% on the first seven months of 2016. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate stands at 24 million in July, the highest figure since January. SUVs and crossovers are once again the main (and only) winners in April with sales up 18% to 689.500 units, while sedans decline for the fourth consecutive month at -0,3% to 824.900 sales and MPV sales continue to plunge at -11% to 136.500. New Energy vehicle sales improved 55% to 57.000 units, as EV sales gained 70% to 45.000 units and PHEVs rebounded for the second straight month at +16% to 12.000 sales. Year-to-date, EV and PHEV sales in China are up 22% to 251.000 sales, of which 204.000 EVs (up 34%) and 47.000 PHEVs (down 13%). Sales of domestic automakers were up 9,5% and their share is up from 38% to 39,5%, although that is the lowest share since last January. Japanese brand cars are up 16,3%, sales of US brand cars are up 3,9% and of European brand cars are up 0,9%, while sales of South-Korean brand cars are down 46,7%.

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European sales 2017 first half: Exotic and Sports Car segments

After a booming first quarter of 2017, sales of exotic cars in Europe have stabilized with a 2% decrease in the second quarter. First half sales are still up, but by “only” 18%, to 3.951 units. We already had a new segment leader in Q1 with the all-new Aston Martin DB11, but in Q2 we crown yet another new leader, as the Ferrari 488 has topped the charts for the first time in its career. Ever since it replaced the former segment leader Ferrari 458 Italia, the Bentley Continental GT had topped the charts. Until this year, that is. After a stable Q1, the Continental loses 23% of its volume in Q2, which leads to an 11% loss year-to-date. The next generation will be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in a few weeks time and will arrive in Bentley showrooms next year. The DB11 slows down slightly in the second quarter and was even outsold by the Continental GT in Q2 (by just 6 sales), but is expected to rebound later this year when deliveries of the AMG V8 twin turbo engine pick up steam. The only other model in the segment to sell more than 100 units per quarter is the Lamborghini Huracan in fourth place with a 12% increase in the first half.

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