European sales 2016 compact car segment

Compact_car-segment-European-sales-2016-Volkswagen_Golf-Opel_Astra-Skoda_OctaviaThe compact car segment in Europe has grown by 3% in 2016, half the growth of the overall market at +6,2% and equal to the subcompact car segment, which remains Europe’s largest segment ahead of this one. Expectedly, the dominant leader of the segment Volkswagen Golf drops back below half a million sales after two years, due to increasing pressure of fresh rivals. The main culprit to the Golf’s demise is the Opel/Vauxhall Astra, movin up from fifth place to #2 for the first time since 2011 thanks to a 30% sales increase on last year, topping a quarter million sales also for the first time since 2011. The bang-for-your-bucks Skoda Octavia holds on to its third place with sales up 5%, helped by the 9% loss for the Ford Focus, dropping from 2nd place to #4. The Peugeot 308 loses a similar share of 9% and drops a place to #5 after topping 200.000 sales for only one year.

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European sales 2016 Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2016-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_Polo-Ford_FiestaThe subcompact car segment grew by 3% in 2016, about half the overall market growth of 6,2%, but it remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin. At the top of the ranking, we have a change of guard. For only the second time since 2009 the Ford Fiesta is not Europe’s best selling subcompact car and for the first time in a decade the Renault Clio is the segment leader.  We’ve had three different leaders in three quarters, with the Fiesta in the lead after the first quarter, but the Clio took over in Q3, while the Volkswagen Polo became the segment best seller in Q3. By year end, the Clio ended up on top with sales up 3% to just 3.500 ahead of the Polo, while the Fiesta lost 5% of its volume to drop below 300.000 annual sales for only the second time since 2002. The Clio has just been slightly facelifted and the Polo will be updated soon, but there will be an all-new generation of the Fiesta later this year, which should help the nameplate recover some of the lost ground.

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European sales 2016 Minicar segment

Minicar-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Fiat_Panda-Fiat_500-Volkswagen_UpWith a bit of a delay we’ll start with the European segment analyses for 2016, starting of course with the minicar segment. Sales of minicars in Europe were stable in 2016 with 1,33 million units sold, compared to an overall market growth of 6,2%. Fiat still holds the top 2 spots of the podium and grows its share of the segment to over 28%, but after 3 years of Fiat 500 reign the Fiat Panda has reclaimed leadership of the segment it led from 2004 until 2012. The Volkswagen Up! holds on to its third place but loses 8% of its volume. The Renault Twingo, leader of the segment between 1999 and 2003, is knocked down into 5th place by the Hyundai i10 and feels the Toyota Aygo breathing down its neck. All three models lose volume in 2016. The Smart Fortwo is the biggest winner in the top-10 with sales up 21%, jumping four places on 2015 and two places on Q3 of 2016. The small two seater even outsold the Aygo in Q4.… Continue Reading …

Cadillac sold more cars in China than in the US last month

Auto-sales-statistics-China-Cadillac_XT5-SUVIn January, China has overtaken the United States to become the largest global market for Cadillac, the luxury brand of General Motors. Cadillac reported a sales increase of 116% to 18.011 sales in China, of which 16.216 were locally produced (+160%). In comparison, the brand’s US sales in January were down 4,1% to 10.298 units. Worldwide Cadillac sales were 28.764 units in January, which means the US luxury brand sold just 455 cars outside of its two largest markets, just 1,6% of its total volume.

Until 2016, the United States has been Cadillac’s largest market with 170.006 deliveries last year, a loss of 3% on the previous year, while its 2016 sales in China surged 46% to 116.406 units, of which 111.532 were locally produced, more than double the year before.… Continue Reading …

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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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 …

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 …

European car sales analysis December 2016 – models

European-car_sales-figures-December_2016-Renault_Clio-CapturAfter 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.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis December 2016 – brands

European-car-sales-graph-December_2016European 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!… Continue Reading …

China EV sales 2016: where almost half of the world’s EVs are sold

Auto-sales-statistics-China-BYD_Tang-SUVAfter discussing the China car sales figures for 2016, we’ll take a more detailed look into sales of EVs and PHEVs in the People’s Republic, which is by far the biggest market for Plug-in passenger cars in the world with a share of 44% of the world’s sales of this type of vehicle. That’s up from just 6% in 2013, helped by generous and sometimes fraud-prone subsidies. Will this quick rise continue? The Beijing central government has set a goal of 3 million EV sales in China by 2025, up from the almost 325.000 in 2016, so it’s definitely aiming for it. They will switch from the carrot strategy (subsidies) to the stick strategy (a carbon-credit scheme and a Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard), effective within the next few years, which mean foreign automakers will be forced to enter this market too. At the moment, most of China’s EV sales come from the local brands: Chinese automakers have produced 43% of all Plug-in cars built in 2016 worldwide. However, in the short term there is some uncertainty in the market as the central government’s subsidies will decline in 2017 to prepare for the new strategy. But moreover, the government has set standards for EV energy consumption and range, which could lead to a shakeout of mainly manufacturers of small and cheap EV citycars, many of whom are likely to fail to meet these tougher guidelines.… Continue Reading …